10 November 2009


Both the kernel and its covering contain psychoactive components within their oils.

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Nutmeg is the dried kernal of Myristica fragrans, a tree native to the Spice Islands, near New Guinea. Now cultivated in many places, the tree grows to about fifty feet high and bears seeds for up to sixty years.

Its fruit looks much like a peach and contains a brownish-purple, shiny kernel encased within a bright orange-red or red covering. The covering, or aril, is used for production of mace; the seed, dried in the sun for about two months and turned over each day, becomes nutmeg. Both the kernel and its covering contain psychoactive components within their oils. (Psychedelics Encyclopedia)

Nutmeg is used in many countries mainly as a garnish during Christmas festivities. It appears in the Hindu Pharmacopoeia as a treatment for fever, asthma and heart disease. Since the seventh century A.D., Arab physicians have used it for digestive disorders, kidney disease and lymphatic ailments. Yemeni men are said to consume nutmeg to increase and maintain their sexual vigor.

Nutmeg is legal to possess, sell, or buy in all forms.

The primary effects of nutmeg use come from several active allylbenzenes they contain including myristicin, safrole, and elemicin.

Nutmeg was introduced to the West in the early 16th century and its psychoactive properties were quickly discovered.

The Substance: Nutmeg; Myristica fragrans; Jaiphal (Hindi); Pala (Indonesian). The Experience: No common terms known.

Effects can take two to seven hours to come on, depending on how recently the last meal was eaten.

The primary effects of a full dose of Nutmeg can last up to 24 hours. More minor secondary effects can continue for up to 72 hours.

Many people find the effects of nutmeg unpleasant. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and severe dry mouth can accompany the psychedelic/sedative effects.

Do not operate heavy machinery. Do Not Drive.

There has been some suggestion that nutmeg should not be taken in combination with an MAOI. We have very little data on this. MAOIs are most commonly found in the prescription anti-depressants phenelzine, tranylcypromine, isocarboxazid, l-deprenyl, and moclobemide. Ayahuasca also contains MAOIs (harmine and harmaline). Check with your doctor if you are not sure whether your prescription medication is a MAOI.

Addiction potential
Nutmeg is neither physically addicting nor likely to cause psychological dependence. Withdrawal effects following discontinuation have not been reported.

- Article used with the permission of Last modified May 2009.

Erowid caution and disclaimer

This Erowid article is a summary of data gathered from Erowid site visitors, government documents, books, websites, and other resources. As this field is complex and constantly changing, information should always be verified through additional sources.


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