Nutmeg and mace are two commonly used spices that come from the same tree, Myristica fragrans. Nutmeg is made from the seed of the tree and mace from the seed covering. Papuan nutmeg (Myristica argentea), Bombay nutmeg (Myristica malabarica), and Jamaican nutmeg (Monodora myristica) are not true nutmeg.
Nutmeg is best known for its use in food. It is used in cooking around the world. Other traditional uses of nutmeg include treatment of diarrhea, mouth sores, and insomnia.
Nutmeg also has a history of abuse as a recreational drug. Severe nutmeg poisoning and, in some cases, death have been reported with consumption of very large amounts of nutmeg.

Related Terms

Alpha-pinene, alpha-terpineol, basbas (Arabic), basbasah, (Arabic), basbaz (Persian), beta-phellandrene, beta-pinene, bicuiba (Portuguese), borneol, buah pala (Malay), bunga pala (Malay), chan thet (Thai), chant heed (Laotian), cineole, dâu khâu (Vietnamese), dehydrodiisoeugenol (DDIE), diarylpropanoids, dihydroguaiaretic acid (DHGA), dok chand (Thai), elemicin, erythro-austrobailignan-6 (EA6), estragole, eugenol, fatty lipids, fleur de muscade (French), flor de noz moscada (Brazilian Portuguese), foelie (Dutch), gamma-terpinene, gerinol, guaiacin, industan djevisi (Turkish), isoeugenol, isolicarin, jaaiipatrii (Nepali), jaayphala (Hindi), jadikkai (Tamil), jaephal (Hindi), jaiphal (Bengali), jaiphul (Hindi), jaitri (Hindi), jajikaia (Telugu), jajipatri (Sanskrit), jajiphalam (Sanskrit), japatri (Telugu), jathi seed (Malayalam), jathikkai (Thai), jati pattiri (Tamil), jatikka (Tamil), javitri (Hindi), jayaphal (Nepali), josat al teeb (Arabic), jousbuva (Arabic), jouzboyah (Persian), jouzuttib (Arabic), kambang pala (Malay, Java), kembang pala (Malay), licarin, lignans, lignan-ketone, ligroin, look jun (Thai), macelignan, machilin, macia (Spanish), macis (French, Spanish), malabaricone, meso-dihydroguaiaretic acid (DGA), methoxybenzene, methoxyeugenol, methyleugenol, moscada (Spanish), moscadeira (Portuguese), moscadero (Spanish), moschokarydo (Greek), muscadier (French), Muskatbaum (German), Muskatblüte (German), muskatnii orekh (Russian), muskatnød (Danish), muskatnogo orekha (Russian), muskatnoi drechi (Russian), Muskatnuβ (German), Muskatnuβbaum (German), muskott (Swedish), myristic acid, myristica, Myristica cagayanensis, Myristica fragrans, Myristica officinalis, Myristicae aril, Myristicaceae (family), Myristicae semen, myristicin, myrisisolignan, nectandrin-B (NB), neolignans, nhuc dâu khau (Vietnamese), nikuzuku (Japanese), noce moscata (Italian), nogal moscado (Spanish), noix de banda (French), noix muscade (French), nootmuskaat (Dutch), nootmuskaatboom (Dutch), noz moscada (Brazilian Portuguese), nuez moscada (Spanish), nutmeg, nux moschata, nuz moscada (Portuguese), otobanone, otobaphenol, pala (Indonesian), pala banda (Malay), pattiri (Tamil), pied de muscade (French), resorcinols, rou dou kou (Chinese), rou dou kou yi (Chinese), rou guo (Chinese), rou kou (Chinese), sadikka (Sinhalese), safrole, sekar pala (Malay), semen Myristicae, sushonaya shelukha (Russian), taiphal (Hindi), taipmal (Hindi), taukau (Chinese), terpene, terpinen-4-ol, terpineol, trimyristin, vicuiba (Telugu), volatile oil, yu guo (Chinese), yu guo hua (Chinese), zadeikpo (Burmese).
Note: Jamaican nutmeg (Monodora myristica) is a plant that has an aroma similar to nutmeg and has been sold as a substitute for nutmeg. However, it is in a different family (Annonaceae) and is not covered in this monograph.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.