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All the virtues and risks of nutmeg

All the virtues and risks of nutmeg

Nutmeg is a spice with many beneficial properties. However, it also has side effects you should be aware of.

Nutmeg is the dehusked seed of the Myristica fragrans tree, which is typical of the Maluku Islands, in Indonesia, and grown in inter-tropical zones. Nutmeg and its fleshy cover, called mace, are used as spices.

Its flavor is very particular and suits well both sweet and savory dishes. Nutmeg is also used in natural medicine to treat digestive disorders and rheumatic diseases. However, many people are not aware that it can have severe side effects. In high doses, it has hallucinogenic effects, it is addictive, just like a drug, and can even cause death. Let’s see, then, how to use it safely.

Nutmeg: properties

All the virtues and risks of nutmeg


Nutmeg is excellent to treat gastrointestinal disorders, such as diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. It stimulates digestion, helps counteracting air in the bowels and soothes colics.

The oil extracted from it is great to fight muscular pains and rheumatism, if rubbed directly on the affected area.

Finally, according to popular medicine, this spice has a powerful aphrodisiac effect and would be excellent in case of impotence. With regard to this last effect, however, there are no scientific confirmations.

Nutmeg: side effects

Many people are not aware of this spice toxicity, if taken in large amounts. Consuming more than 5 grams causes hallucinations, alterations of consciousness, and addiction, just like all the other drugs.

Doses higher than 10 grams will cause poisoning and, if not treated in time, even death.

Nutmeg for your recipes: how to use it?

You can use this spice in many sweet and savory recipes, for example in cakes, creams and puddings, or to make vegetables, meat and eggs. It is a widely used ingredient in Middle Eastern and German cuisine.

You can buy nutmeg powder, ready to use, or the whole nut. In order to fully enjoy its aroma, choose the latter alternative and grate it when you need it.


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