Thursday, March 19, 2009

Myristica fragrans HOUTT

English Name : Nutmeg

Family : Myristicaceae

Origin : Eastern Moluccas (Indonesia)

Nutmeg is an evergreen, small, dioecious tree attaining from 5 to 20 meters tall, crown is conical in shape. Bark is greyish-brown and when cut, it exudes a light red sap, a generic character for all species of Myristica. Leaves are alternate, simple, without stipules, papery thin; the stalk is about 1 centimeter long; leaf blades are elliptic to lanceolate, base acute, margin entire, top acuminate, aromatic when crushed. The inflorescences are axillary, in umbrella-like grouped flowers, male usually many-flowered, female 1 to 3 flowers only; flowers are fragrant, with fine hairs becoming smooth, pale yellow, floral envelopes 3-lobed; male flowers with slender stalk of less than 1 mm thick, usually narrowed at the base and with 8 to 12 stamens; female flowers with superior stalkless 1- celled ovary. Fruits are peach-shaped berry or drupe-like, fleshy, yellowish, splitting open into halves when ripe, containing only one ovoid seed, with a shiny dark brown, hard and stony furrowed and longitudinally wrinkled shell, enveloped by an aril cut into narrow parts that is attached to its base, the kernel with a small embryo and a chewed-up endosperm that contains many veins containing essential oils.

Grows wild on rich volcanic soils in lowland tropical rain forests. Its cultivation as a crop is largely confined to islands in the hot, humid tropics at altitudes up to 4,500 metres.

Parts Used : Powder, aril, fruit and leaves

Herb Effects
Stimulant, carminative, astringent and aphrodisiac

Active Ingredients
1,8-cineole, acetic acid, alpha-phellandrene, alpha-terpinene, alpha-terpineol, butyric acid, camphene, caprylic acid, elemicin, eugenol, formic acid, furfural, gamma-terpinene, geraniol, geranyl-acetate, isoeugenol, lauric acid, limonene, linoleic acid, methyl-eugenol, methyl-isoeugenol, myrcene, myristic acid, oleanolic acid, oleic acid, p-cymene, palmitic acid, safrole, stearic acid, terpinen-4-ol, terpineol, terpinolene (seed); myristicin (leaf); kaempferol, quercetin (plant)

Medicinal Use
Used in treatment of pestilential and putrid fevers, asthma and heart disease, digestive disorders, kidney disease and lymphatic ailments. It stimulates the appetite and improves digestion and calms nausea and vomiting. The nutmeg oil is used to dispel flatulence.

The dosage given was 9 tablespoons orally per day but it may vary between patients to avoid toxic symptoms.
Powdered dry seed, 0.3-1g three times a day.
Oil: Dilute 10 drops in 10ml almond oil and use for muscular pains associated with rheumatism or over-exertion.

Eating nutmegs produces stomach pain, double vision, delirium, and other symptoms of poisoning. Contraindicated in pregnancy. Do not use as a treatment on young children.


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