Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans, syn. Myristica off.)

Other common names: Mace (outer husk of the seed, has similar medicinal properties to the kernel, or nutmeg), myristica, muskatbaum, nux moschata, Myristica aromata.

The following information may not be re-posted, copied or published without my permission and appropriate credit given. Please contact me via email (listed on the About page) if you wish to re-publish any of the information on my blog.

Family: Myristicaceae


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Joe Ravi


Aromatic, bitter, GI tract stimulant, tonic, carminitive, anti-nauseant, analgesic, mild hallucinogen (in toxic doses), decongestant, hypnotic, emmenagogue, abortifacient, anti-tussive.


Nutmeg is traditionally harvested three times per year – in July/August, November and March/April. The mace and the nutmeg are separated at that point, and the nutmeg (kernels) are cured and dried.

Part used:  Dried seed kernel

Constituents: Lignins, stearin, volatile oil, starch, gum, myristicin, sabinene, camphene, d-pinene,dipentene, d-linalool,d-borneol,i-terpineol,geraniol, myristcin, safrole, eugenol and others.


Opened fruit, showing its mace and seed. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/W.A. Djatmiko


Nausea, vomiting, toothache, arthritis, hemorrhoids, indigestion, flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, intestinal gas and spasms, mouth sores, coughs, congestion, insomnia, pain.

Medicinal preparations:


Nutmeg can be ground up for use in culinary dishes and drinks. It has also been used in fluid extracts, and oils.


Nutmeg has been used in ointments for hemorrhoids, pain, and chest colds. It is an active ingredient in several well-known commercial products for these purposes. Its essential oil may also be used in aromatherapy treatments.

*Be wary of low-grade products, or those falsely sold as nutmeg. Make sure you are getting it from a high-quality, reputable source.


Large doses can be toxic, and medicinal use of nutmeg requires the guidance of a qualified healthcare practitioner. Do not use in children, the elderly or pregnant/nursing women. I would suggest particular caution using this herb (at least in higher medicinal dosages), if you have ever suffered from psychosis.

I suggest consulting a pharmacist or physician before starting any herbal supplement if you are taking a prescription medication or have serious underlying health concerns.

Energetic/traditional use:


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/W.A. Djatmiko

Nutmeg has a history of being used to conceal the taste of other substances. Now, it is used in a variety of flavourings and cosmetics.

Nutmeg has a warm, bitter constitution.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is intended as general education on herbs and is not intended to take the place of medical care. Please consult a health care professional before embarking on any health regime.

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