Indigenous to Moluccas (formerly known as the Spice Islands), Nutmeg was
introduced to the Western world in the 1600s by travelers. It swiftly became
the center of political and economic rivalry among European nations.
Botanically known as Myristica fragrans, Nutmeg is a tropical evergreen tree
that grows up to 65 feet high and bears large, fleshy fruits reminiscent of
apricot. At the center of the fruit is the aril, a crimson-hued covering
that envelops the Nutmeg seed. Nutmeg essential oil is obtained from two
sources. The most commonly one is the dried Nutmeg seeds, with fat and
starch eaten away by worms. The other source is the aril; however, this oil
is rarely available for aromatherapy use.
Different cultures have different medicinal uses for Nutmeg. Traditional
Chinese medicine values Nutmeg essential oil as a treatment for abdominal
pain, diarrhea, inflammation, impotence and liver disease. Germans use
Nutmeg oil to cure stomach and intestinal ailments. Some Middle Eastern
cultures believe it to be a potent ingredient in love potions. Nutmeg
essential oil is also used to relieve rheumatic pain, toothaches and fight
bad breath. It can be used to treat chronic nervous disorders and kidney
ailments. As a natural relaxant, Nutmeg essential oil sedates the body and
helps ease anxiety and depression.
Nutmeg essential oil has a very warm and spicy aroma that hints of a little
sweetness. Its top notes are light and fresh and the undertones are deep
The scent of Nutmeg essential oil is warmly uplifting and can be used to aid
meditation and enhance moods. It can also inspire creativity and increase
imagination. Nutmeg is also an excellent nerve tonic that helps relieve
Nutmeg essential oil is generally regarded as non-toxic, non-irritant and
non-sensitizing; however, due to its myristicin content, high concentrate
can result in symptoms of toxicity such as nausea, stupor and tachycardia.
Use it only in low concentrations of approximately 0.5% or less and the use
of this oil should be avoided during pregnancy.
Do not take essential oils internally or use without the guidance of
a qualified practitioner. The information provided here is for general
use only and is not intended to replace medical diagnosis or treatment.
Do not use during pregnancy.