Involuntary and voluntary
Introduction and description
The most important commercial species is Myristica fragrans, an evergreen tree indigenous to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas (or Spice Islands) of Indonesia. Myristica fragrans, is also grown in Penang Island in Malaysia and the Caribbean, especially in Grenada. It also grows in Kerala, a state in southern India.
The nutmeg tree is important for two spices derived from the fruit: nutmeg and mace.
Nutmeg is the seed of the tree, roughly egg-shaped, while mace is the dried "lacy" reddish covering or aril of the seed.
Nutmeg is used dried and powdered or in nut form and grated in cooking. I have provided a description of it in the suppression section, as in non overdose proportions it has health giving properties and is delicious, but we are in the overdose section, so why is nutmeg included?
Nutmeg and ‘spiritual experience’
Nutmeg has gained a totally unjustifiable reputation for being a substance which, if taken in high amounts, - so ‘overdose’ quantities, - produces a ‘high’. The reputation has grown especially in the young who cannot afford other so called recreational drugs and interestingly enough in the prison community for much the same reasons.
These reports have not been helped by people like Dr Alexander Shulgin, who noted in his book ‘PIHKAL – A Chemical Love Story’ that comparisons can be made between myristicin and MMDA! The structural similarities are actually very very weak, - almost non existent.
Some people hypothesised that perhaps our body metabolised the constituents of nutmeg into some sort of amphetamine stimulant.
I have provided a lot of background information you can read about both how it is metabolised and also its chemical constitutents in the section Nutmeg - myristica fragrans in the science section.
Nutmeg is a spice with antibacterial and antiviral properties at very low doses. Some of its chemicals are being looked into as insecticides. Some are already used in paint strippers and cleaning products. One chemical in it is known to affect affect the metabolism of a variety of pharmaceutical drugs making them more potent, so it needs to be used with great care if you are on medications.
How it works
I have found a number of near death reports and violent hallucinations caused by overdosing on nutmeg. Nutmeg produces these via poisoning. At the high doses used by the people in the reports it is a poison.
It can wipe out your good bacteria giving you symptoms like flu, it can lay you open to liver damage. More details of the effects are in the Nutmeg paper. Ingestion of five or more grams of nutmeg causes what is called in the medical community ‘acute nutmeg poisoning’
References and further reading
- [Nutmeg poisoning] Pastrana Delgado J, Beunza Nuin JJ, Ramírez Medina S, Orduna Martínez J. Med Clin (Barc). 2008 Nov 8;131(16):639. Spanish. No abstract available. PMID: 19080861
- [Acute nutmeg intoxication in Spain]. Pérez Valdivieso JR. Rev Esp Anestesiol Reanim. 2007 Dec;54(10):633-4. Spanish. No abstract available. PMID: 18201002
- Nutmeg and psychosis. Kelly BD, Gavin BE, Clarke M, Lane A, Larkin C. Schizophr Res. 2003 Mar 1;60(1):95-6. No abstract available. PMID: 12505144
- [Hallucinations after voluntary ingestion of nutmeg: an unrecognized drug abuse]. Servan J, Chochon F, Duclos H. Rev Neurol (Paris). 1998 Oct;154(10):708. French. No abstract available. PMID: 9846344
- Hallucinogenic effects of nutmeg in adolescent. Fras I, Friedman JJ. N Y State J Med. 1969 Feb 1;69(3):463-5. No abstract available. PMID: 5253304
- [SYMPTOMATOLOGY OF NUTMEG POISONING]. AKESSON HO. Nord Med. 1965 Jul 8;74:662-4. Swedish. No abstract available. PMID: 14306345
- Acute nutmeg intoxication 006833
- Acute Nutmeg poisoning hallucinations 002375
- Black pepper overdose 005395
- Hallucinations from nutmeg 006832
- Nutmeg poisoning 001442