Health benefits of Mace spice (javitri)

Mace spice (javitri)

Know in one minute about Mace spice (javitri)

  • Mace spice (javitri) boost immunity by protecting the white blood cells that fight against infection.
  • Treat urinary incontinence symptoms and improve dental health.
  • Improve digestion and treat ulcers by inhibiting the growth of Helicobacter pylori.
  • Treat liver injury, inflammation, and pain.
  • Reduce the risk of cancer and help to lose weight.
  • Improve memory and treat Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Prevents the development of asthma and premature skin aging.


The nutmeg (Myristica fragrans; family Myristicaceae) is an evergreen aromatic tree. It is important for two spices that can be produced from the fruit. 

  1. The flesh is the outer layer that covers mace and seed. During the harvesting time, farmers of North Sulawesi only take seed (kernel) and mace part, and discard the flesh. 
  2. The red or pale yellow, fleshy net-like spongy tissue cover on the kernel is called mace spice (javitri). It is a mild, delicious baking spice with a sweet smell and strongly aromatic. 
  3. It also contains the seed kernel inside the fruit, hard, fleshy, brownish-white, and transverse by red-brown veins which are called a nutmeg. 

Mace is carefully detached from the nut soon after harvest, washed, flattened by hand or between boards, and then sun-dried. When fresh, it is a bright scarlet becoming more horny,  brittle, and a  yellowish-brown color when dried.  The kernel constitutes 16–17% and mace constitute 2.0–2.5% by weight of the fruit. In traditional medicine, mace is used as a flavoring agent, a hair dye, and folk medicine in the Unani and ayurvedic systems. 

Common name

Bisbasah, javitri (in Unani medicine); buah pala (in Malay); Jouzbuwwa, Jouz-ul-teeb, and Jainsiban (in Arabic); Moscatero (Italian); Zafal (Kashmiri); Merisiniae (Latin); Jaiphal (Marathi); Jatika (Malayalam); Jaipholo (Oriya); Jaiphal (Urdu)

Geographical distribution

It is native to the Moluccas Islands and grown in India, South East Asia, and North Australia and Pacific islands.

Nutritional value of Mace

Mace is separately processed from nutmeg and has relatively fewer fats and carbohydrates. The main bioactive component in mace is macelignan, myristicin, elemicin, safrole, terpenes, alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, myristic acid, trimyristin, and neolignan (myrislignan). According to the USDA National Nutrient database, it is low in calories, contains both essential as well as non-essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and copper  (1).

Compound Amounts per 100 g.
Water 8.17 g
Energy 475 Kcal
Protein 6.71 g
Total lipid (fat) 32.38 g
Carbohydrate, by the difference 50.5 g
Fiber, total dietary 20.2 g
Calcium 252 mg
Iron, Fe 13.9 mg
Magnesium 163 mg
Phosphorus 110 mg
Potassium 463 mg
Sodium 80 mg
Zinc 2.3 mg
Copper 2.47 mg
Manganese 1.5 mg
Selenium 2.7 µg
Vitamin C 21 mg
Thiamin 0.31 mg
Riboflavin 0.45 mg
Niacin 1.35 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.16 mg
Folate, DFE 76 µg
Vitamin A, RAE 40 µg
Vitamin A 800 IU
Fatty acids, total saturated 9.51 g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 11.17 g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 4.39 g


Health benefits of Mace spice (javitri)

1. Treat urinary incontinence

Urinary incontinence is the inability to control urination with symptoms like leaking urine after sneezing, coughing, or laughing. However, intake of mace powder (1.5 g) twice daily for 3 months helps to improve urinary incontinence symptoms. Because it contains tannins which are beneficial to be able to tone up the muscles and reduce the laxity of the anterior vagina wall (2).

2. Antimicrobial properties

Mace contains resorcinols malabaricone B and malabaricone C that fight against oral bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus mitis, and Streptococcus salivarius (3). It also inhibits the growth of bacteria like Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Porphyromonas gingivalis that cause gum disease (4).

3. Boost immunity

Macelignans present in the mace is helped to prevent DNA damage, protect white blood cells from harmful radicals thus boost the immune system (5).

4. Anticancer properties

Mace contains bio-active neolignans that are effective not only to reduce tumor incidence but also in tumor frequency and tumor burden (6). It inhibits the growth of cancer such as cervical cancer, colon cancer, etc (7)

5. Anti-obesity properties

Mace contains a high amount of phenols, flavonoids, and alkaloids that can alter body composition. These compounds help to prevent the absorption of fat by inhibiting lipase enzyme activity. Moreover, it also increases the activity of antioxidant enzymes thus reducing oxidative stress and treating obesity (8).

6. Keep liver healthy

Mace spice (javitri) contains a high amount of polyphenols which help to increase good enzyme activity, inhibit lipid peroxidation, and inactivate the toxic substance (9). Therefore, the intake protects the liver from damage (10).

7. Anti-inflammatory properties

Myristicin, present in mace is helped to reduce swelling and joint pain thus may be used as a medicine for rheumatism (11).

8. Gastroprotective properties

Mace contains neolignans, myristicin, and phenolic compounds that are effective to inhibit the growth of Helicobacter pylori. These bacteria grow in the stomach and cause pain and may lead to ulcers. Thus mace is useful to treat dyspepsia, peptic ulcers, and possibly gastric cancer (12).

9. Antioxidant properties

Mace is rich in tannin, flavonoid, and terpenoid compounds that act as natural antioxidants. These phytochemicals help to prevent the generation of harmful radicals and protect the body from various diseases (13).

10. Rich in Macelignan

Mace contains a bioactive compound known as macelignan which acts as an anti-allergic agent that prevents the development of asthma. Apart from this it also helps to treat nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, it is also beneficial to protect human skin cell damage against UVB irradiation and prevent premature skin aging (14).

Side effect of mace

Generally, mace did not induce any unpleasant effects in a lower amount thus it is safe, effective, and easily available. However, some problems are reported in workers who are handling nutmeg and mace (15).

1. Respiratory health problems

In nutmeg and mace processing industries cause lower and upper airways symptoms in workers due to occupational exposure. They suffer dry cough, nasal congestion, and shortness of breath due to the presence of dust, mold, glucan, and endotoxin in them (16).

2. Risk of Psychotropic effect

A large amount of mace affects the behavior, mood, thoughts, or perception of the person thus precaution should be needed before consumption (17).


What is mace or Javitri?

Mace is the fleshy orange-red, spongy net-like tissue around the seed of nutmeg. It has a bitter strong taste and, therefore, is useful in bronchitis, thirst, and improves appetite (Ayurveda). It is also used as a stimulant, carminative, and narcotic in high doses. 

Are mace and nutmeg the same?

Nope, mace is the net-like skin covering (aril) on the kernel and nutmeg is the seed kernel inside the fruit.  Nutmeg and mace are commonly known as Jaiphal and Javitri in India however both are valuable for their medicinal properties. Moreover, you can use nutmeg in place of mace because they both are obtained from the same plant and their flavor is almost the same. 

How do you use Javitri Spice?

Mace has oil that is employed for flavoring food products and liquors, used for scenting soaps, tobacco, and dental creams, and also in perfumery. It is commonly used in soups, sausages, meats, fish, fruit pies, eggnog, puddings, vegetables and cakes, biscuits, custards, buns, etc. Apart from this it tastes very good in drinks like tea and soft drinks or mixed in milk and alcohol. Furthermore, mace also exhibits anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, hepatic  (liver), and neuro (brain) protective properties. 

Is mace spice good for you?

Yes, mace not only boosts the flavor of the food but also helps to treat cardiac diseases, indigestion, and sexual debility. Moreover, it is also beneficial to treat rheumatism, nervousness, stomach, and kidney disorders.