Nutmeg is an almost overpoweringly aromatic spice, to be used very sparingly. Fresh-grated nutmeg has a more powerful flavor and aroma than ground nutmeg. Nutmeg pacifies Vata and Kapha and increases Pitta. It contributes the pungent, bitter and astringent tastes. It is a warming spice.

In ayurveda, it is used as a natural sleep aid, normally taken in warm milk before bed. It stimulates appetite and digestion. Nutmeg is used in desserts and in baking. In ayurvedic cooking a pinch of nutmeg is added, with spices such as whole black pepper and bay leaf, to flavor rice or rice pilaf.