Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)


Latin Name Myristica fragrans
Sanskrit Name Jatisasya, Jatiphala
English Name Nutmeg
Common Name Jaiphal, Kanivish, Jaitri, Jayfar, Jaykai, Jatika, Sathikkai, Jauzbuwa


Ayurvedic Properties and Action:
Rasa Katu, Tikta
Guna Laghu, Tiksna
Virya Usna
Vipaka Katu
Karma Dipana, Grahi, Vrsya, Mukhakledanasaka, Mukhadaurgandhyanasaka, Kaphavatapana



Seeds contain about 0.24% myristicin, whereas volatile oil about 3.12%

It also contains volatile oil, licarin B, lignans and isolignans, fatty acids like lauric, myristic, palmitic, stearic, hexadecenoic, oleic and linoleic acids, pectin, vitamins and mucilage.

It contains volatile oil, fixed oil, proteids, fat, starch, mucilage, resin, myristin and myristic acid, essential oil and myristicol.

It contains volatile oil, fixed oil, proteids, fat, starch, mucilage, resin, myristin and myristic acid, essential oil and myristicol.

Pharmacological Actions:

It is stimulant carminative, spasmolytic, antiemetic and orexigenic.

It is an aromatic stimulant, antioxidant, analgesic, aphrodisiac, antiinflammatory, antipyretic, anthelmintic, digestive, carminative, antispasmodic, hypolipidemic, antibacterial, febrifuge and sedative.

It is aromatic, sedative, antispasmodic and stimulant.

Medicinal Use:

It is used in flatulency, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, chronic bowel complaints, spermatorrhoea, impotency, amenorrhoea, menorrhagia, dysmenorrhoea, ulcers, liver and splenic disorders, rheumatism, asthma, colic, flatulence and dyspepsia .
It helps to improve the sex performance.
It is useful as tonic for the heart and brain and in sexual debility and general debility

Clinical / experimental study:

An aqueous extract of nutmeg is reported to show anti-secretory activity against E. coli heat-labile enterotoxin; the hexane soluble fraction of the alcoholic extract inhibited the heat-labile and heat-stable-enterotoxin-induced secretory response in animal studies.

The hexane extract contains myristicin, an anti-inflammatory principle, and licarin-B and dehydro diisoeugenol which exhibited CNS depressant properties. The extracts of nutmeg decreased kidney prostaglandin levels in rats. They also inhibited platelet aggregation (due to eugenol and isoeugenol). The anti-inflammatory activity observed in carrageenan-induced oedema in rats and enhanced vascular permeability in mice, is attributed to myristicin present in mace.

The occurrence of dental caries is mainly associated with oral pathogens, especially cariogenic Streptococcus mutans. Antibacterial screening revealed that the extract of Myristica fragrans possessed strong inhibitory activity against S. mutans. The anticariogenic compound was successfully isolated from the methanol extract of M. fragrans was identified as macelignan. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of macelignan against S. mutans was 3.9 μg/ml, which was much lower than those of other natural anticariogenic agents such as 15.6 μg/ml of sanguinarine, 250 μg/ml of eucalyptol, 500 μg/ml of menthol and thymol, and 1000 μg/ml of methyl salicylate. Macelignan also possessed preferential activity against other oral microorganisms such as Streptococcus sobrinus, Streptococcus salivarius, Streptococcus sanguis, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei in the MIC range of 2–31.3 μg/ml. In particular, the bactericidal test showed that macelignan, at a concentration of 20 μg/ml, completely inactivated S. mutans in 1 min. The specific activity and fast-effectiveness of macelignan against oral bacteria strongly suggest that it could be employed as a natural antibacterial agent in oral care products.

Mace which is the aril of the fruit of Myristica fragrans has been used as analgesics, etc. The results of the study suggest that the antiinflammatory action of Mace is due to the myristicin that it contains.


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