Nutmeg or Mystica Fragrans or Jaiphal in Hindi is always used in foods, especially in desserts in India. It is considered as a precious herb because of the enormous medicinal properties of its seeds.

The most important thing in the uses of Nutmeg, as a small dose it does not produce any side effects. Effects of Nutmeg include a narcotic effect when taken in large doses. One word of advice will be to enjoy the Nutmeg benefits and not to abuse it.

Nutmeg is aromatic, stimulant, sleep inducing, carminative, intoxicating, digestive tonic and is also an aphrodisiac. Islamic scholars from historical times described nutmeg as stimulating, intoxicating, digestive tonic and as an aphrodisiac. Dr. Paracelsus Loni cerus and Mathiolus in their research on Nutmeg described it as a gastric tonic.

Nutmeg contains volatile oil 2.8 P.C; a fixed oil, proteids, fat, starch, mucilage and ash. Mace contains a volatile oil 8 to 17 P.C. (Identical with that obtained from the kernel), a fixed oil, resin, fat, sugar, destrin and mucilage. The fixed oil which is called “butter of nutmeg” consists of myristin and myristic acid and a potion of an essential oil. Essential oil contains myristicene and myristicol.

Myristicin is a phenylpropene, a natural organic compound present in small amount in the essential oil of Nutmeg. Myristicin found in Nutmeg has been shown to inhibit an enzyme in the brain that contributes to Alzheimer’s disease and it is useful in improving memory.

Nutmeg benefits include, help to combat asthma. In Homeopathy it is used to treat anxiety and depression. In Chinese medicine it is used to treat impotency and liver diseases. Researchers proved that ‘Nutmeg’ has an ability to enhance man’s virility.

One study has shown that the compound maceligan isolated from Myristica – fragrans may exert anti-microbial activity against streptococcus mutants. Ref.: B. Parimala Devi et. al. Journal of Pharmacy Research 2009, 2(11), 1669 – 1675

Nutmeg seed contains 20% to 40% of a fixed oil commonly called Nutmeg butter. This oil contains myristic acid,trymiristin and glycerides of lauric tridecanoic, stearic and palmitic acids. Experiments have evaluated the antioxidant potential of the oils of Nutmeg and its chemical components Eugenol and mace lignans, as well as the phenolic content. All the above have been identified as components of Nutmeg gives it, the antioxidant activity.

As far as the Use of Nutmeg, it has the ability to enhance man’s virility. Myristica Fragrans is an ingredient used in many sex tonics for treating debility, impotency and spermatorrhoea. A study which measured the effects of lauric acid and finasteride on rats with testosterone induced hyperplasia found that all three decreased the enlargement of prostate with mystric acid being more effective than lauric acid. Ref : Veeresh Babu, S.V. Veeresh, B, Patil, Anup A, Warke, Y.B. (2010). “Lauric acid and myristic acid prevent Testosterone induced hyperplasia in rats” European Journal of Pharmacology. 626:262 doi 10.10161j. ejphar 2009. 09037.

Nutmeg is closely allied to Clove and Cinnamon and all 3 can be substituted for one another. A small pinch of the simple powder of Nutmeg mixed in milk can help control diarrhea. It can safely be administrated in Delirium Tremens, insomnia. Nutmeg is reported to be an expectorant, vermifuge and used by the psychiatrists as a nervine. Nutmeg possesses aromatic stimulating properties and is occasionally used to remove flatulence, correcting nausea and more.

The effects of Nutmeg, when combined with Ashwagandha and Long Pepper are valuable for people with sleep problems. When combined they have a synergistic benefit.

Dr. Veena Deo, B.A.M.S. (M.D.)
Dr. Veena Deo is an Ayurvedic Doctor in India. All the information provided above and opinions expressed above are her own and should not be construed as medical advice. This information is provided for educational purposes only.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Ayurveda, Herbal supplements and formulations
Career Focus: Teaching, Ayurvedic Chemist, new products development
Education: B.A.M.S., M.D.(Ayurveda); 1984 Nagpur University, India.


Consultant on new herbal products development with Herbal Destination, New York.

Worked as a Medical Officer in “Matru-Sewa-Sangh” Nagpur 1987-88.
Worked as a Research officer in Datta Meghe’s Medical College, Wardha 1989-92.
Food & Drugs Cosmetic-Act-1940, Approved chemist from 1996.


Presented paper in International conference “Update Ayurveda” at K.E.M. Hospital Mumbai on “Efficacy of herbomineral formulation on Diabetes”.
Presented paper in International conference “Role of Indian Medicinal Plants” at Banaras Hindu University on “Management of Diabetes”.
Present paper on “Pain Management” in National Conference at Nagpur.
Presented paper in National Symposium on Research Methodology in Ayurveda Field, Pune.
Regular contributor of articles on Ayurvedic Topics to various magazines.
Talk shows on Radio & TV on Ayurvedic Topics, mostly relating to women's Health Problems.