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The healing power of nutmeg

  1. We know nutmeg as a dessert. In traditional Dutch cuisine it is cooked with Brussels sprouts and beans. But that's not the only thing nutmeg is good for. This nutrient has medicinal capabilities. It is primarily a remedy for digestive disorders. Nutmeg can combat nausea and prevent and cure stomach cramps.


  1. Danger from nutmeg History of nutmeg Traditional medicinal use of nutmeg Naming Active substances Nutmeg's effects Other medicinal effects Dose and Safety

Hazard of nutmeg

  1. If you add nutmeg to your food, you use very little. There is no danger associated with culinary use. However, when you use therapeutic doses of nutmeg, they come close to the amounts that have the nasty side effect of hallucinating you. All kinds of physical side effects can occur such as reduced vision and reduced sense of time and space. In addition, you can become listless or unconscious from this substance and it can cause dizziness. Headaches, nausea, and bloodshot eyes are common with nutmeg poisoning. Some people's physical coordination skills are disturbed. Every person reacts differently to it, but there is a case that someone could not open his eyes after sleeping because they were glued shut with sleep. Too high a dose starts above 5 grams. Incidentally, too much nutmeg is quite dirty, so few will exceed five grams. Two deaths have been reported in the medical literature, an 8-year-old girl and someone in her 50s who took it while on the drug flunitrazepam. In the 1960s it was used by students, inmates and weed smokers as an alternative high drug, but its effects have never been fully praised, except for Czech scientist Jan Evangelista Purkyně. He said that if you crushed three nutmegs and put them in a glass of wine, you would experience a euphoric feeling for three days in combination with hallucinations.

History nutmeg

  1. The nutmeg tree originates from the Moluccas, especially the island of Banda. There are several types of nutmeg trees, but usually the species that originates from the Moluccas is used for commercial sale. The VOC, the first multinational in the world, was the Dutch company that had a monopoly on the spice trade for almost two centuries. War was often waged, especially in England for spices. For example, the English stole whole nutmeg trees, root and all, from the island of Banda, during the first war between England and Muscat tree / Source: W.A. Djatmiko, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Traditional medicinal use of nutmeg

  1. Nutmeg has been used at least from the 7th century for its medicinal properties. It was initially used as a means for women to induce an abortion. That is the reason that a pregnant woman should never use nutmeg as a medicine. One consequence of the use of nutmeg as an abortion drug was that many women were poisoned by nutmeg. People began to hallucinate, lost physical coordination, and were totally listless.


  1. In Latin, the name for nutmeg is Myristica fragrans. Muscat actually means 'that which smells like musk' in Middle Dutch. Musk is an old (Sanskrit) word for testicle. The musk nut is somewhat similar in shape to a testicle, especially the structure of the outside of the fresh nut and the overall shape are reminiscent of male testicles. Musk is a fragrance produced by males of the animal kingdom to attract females. The Latin name Myristica could come from 'mir' or myrte, it means 'like myrte'. Fragrans means "fragrant" and refers to the fragrant fresh note.

Active ingredients

  1. For phytotherapeutic purposes, in particular the nut itself is used and sometimes the seed coat. The nut mainly contains essential oil with monoterpenes such as alpha and beta pines, sabinene, alpha and gamma pines and limonene. It further contains monoterpenols, the phenol methyl ethers myristicin and elemicin, phenols such as eugenol, isoeugenol, ether oxide and safrole, neolignans including fragansols and myristicanols, lignans in the form of fragrasins, malabaricone C, fatty oil, starch and pectin.

Nutmeg 'effects

  1. Nutmeg promotes saliva, strengthens stomach, stimulates digestion, antispasmodic, carminative, anti-inflammatory on the mucous membranes and antibacterial. Eugenol and isoeugenol are the main active ingredients and are largely responsible for the above medicinal effects. This aromatic spice can offer a solution for a number of conditions. Due to its nausea-dissolving effect, you could use it for pregnancy vomiting, but in small, culinary quantities. Ginger is a much better remedy for morning sickness and vomiting during pregnancy. Nutmeg is no longer often prescribed in herbal medicine, but you could use it as an extra agent for the following indications:

Other medicinal effects

  1. Nutmeg has several medicinal properties that are not directly supported by scientific research. Nevertheless, it is important to report them because various naturalists conclude that it is indeed a good remedy. There is a chance that one or more of the following use cases will be supported by research in the near future.


  1. Is an aphrodisiac; it increases the sex drive, Dissolves mucus and offers a solution for respiratory diseases, Helps with menstrual cramps, works against blood in the urine, Can solve concentration problems, Is a cure for hysteria, Can cure hypochondria, the morbid compulsion to assume sickness, Is a remedy that is indicated for claustrophobia, Can serve externally to expel rheumatism, Has an external effect on neuralgia.

Dose and Safety

  1. Take 300 to 600 mg nutmeg powder at a time with a maximum of 5 grams per day. A high dose should be discouraged during pregnancy as it may induce an abortion. Furthermore, the dangers of nutmeg are described in detail in the first paragraph of this article. Patients taking mono-amino oxidase inhibitors should use nutmeg only on prescription from a herbalist.

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