Everything about Nutmeg is exotic and mysterious. Its history is full of adventure and bloodshed. When I smell it, I am cast back to Tash and my grandmother's kitchen when she drew her egg custard out of a crisp white paper bag.
I'm not sure if you have these pies in the States, so I'll add a link to a recipe. However, the cooks amongst you should give this one a try. Freshly grated Nutmeg is the secret to it being wonderful.
I am a nutmeg snob. Ready-ground Nutmeg properly offends me! So brace yourself; I get a bit carried away when I start talking about Nutmeg essential oil.
My poor kids roll their eyes when I talk about Nutmeg because they know how excited I'll get to tell them the story of the Island of Banda Run. I adore the weirdness of how nutmegs and Manhattan came to be connected.
I got so excited this time that I started to regale it, but as it came out of my fingers, I knew I had typed this before, and yes, indeed, it's already on our product page for Nutmeg essential oil, so I am quite disappointed not to tell the story again. However, this was probably my first real understanding of how damaging European white men have been to our world over time.
That a bird could foil their efforts may have been the beginning of my understanding that one does not need to be human to be clever. It fills me with sheer joy. A true life fairy tale in line with the fact that Nutmeg can alter reality.
What is Nutmeg Essential Oil Good For?
Traditional usage of Nutmeg has always been as a digestive tonic. But, just like mint goes with greasy lamb to break down the fats, Nutmeg is wonderful with milk and dairy products. It not only alleviates indigestion but also calms flatulence too. In addition, it has been found to have gastroprotective properties, especially relieving colic and gastric spasm.
These are not well enough supported by clinical studies to be cited as having medical status. However, its stimulant effect seems to move the energy along to shift blockages; counterintuitively, it is one of the strongest agents against diarrhea.
It heals the mouth and is protective against many oral bacteria. In addition, it is a powerful preventative against halitosis.
It has even been used to treat tremors, infectious diseases, and even the plague. It is warming for rheumatism, and in Peru, medicine men soak Nutmeg into pork fat to make massage treatments for paralysis. (De Feo, 1992) (Abourashed, 2016) (Leung, 3rd edition)
Its analgesic abilities have been demonstrated in rodent trials. Rat's paws were injured, and it was proven that Nutmeg reduced their inflammation via the COX-2 pathway, which aspirin also works upon and reduces the pain neurotransmitter, Substance P. (Zhang, 2016)
It's a wonderful remedy for aches and pains generally and, despite its heat, is gorgeous in the bath. Remember that essential oils won't disperse in water. So regardless of how much water you have in your tub, one drop of oil sitting on the water's surface will still be 100% dilution.
As such, we must dissolve this one. I just put it into a teaspoon of honey, or a bit of milk, because I'm not a fan of how slippery the bathtub gets when you use a carrier oil. You certainly could use a tablespoon of the carrier, though.
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More Treasures of Nutmeg Essential Oil
Nutmeg extract is seen to be antifungal, hepatoprotective, and have antioxidant properties. Rodent research suggests it may even have radioprotective properties. (Sharma, 2007)
Rodent trials in 2008 suggested Nutmeg essential oil may have antiepileptic properties, especially against grand mal and partial seizures. (Wahab, 2008)
As you're probably coming to grasp, we associate spices with amazing antimicrobial activities. For example, nutmeg constituents myristicin, myristic acid, and trimyristin have dramatic effects against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, including streptococcus mutans, which cause dental cavities.
Nutmeg is also shown to have anti-larvicidal properties and is repellent to various species of mosquitoes, hairy caterpillars, and aphids.
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What is Nutmeg Essential Oil Good for Emotionally and Mentally
In sufficient amounts, Nutmeg has psychotropic properties. These are often reported as hallucinations, feelings of unreality, euphoria, and delusions. Previously it had been proposed that these effects may be attributed to the constituent Myristicin or how these convert to amphetamine-like compounds during conversion. Instead, Myristicin affects the central nervous system (CNS) by enhancing the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, similar to mescaline in Peyote.
Users tend to report breaking the boundaries between the senses, such as hearing colors and seeing music. That said, Myristicin's psychotropic effects have only been investigated at the most surface levels. They require further investigation, especially since the so-called amphetamine-like metabolite(s) have recently been questioned. (Leung, 3rd edition)
Indeed, because it is inexpensive and legal, it can sometimes be used as a replacement for marijuana. (Weil, 1966)
There has also been quite a lot of negative publicity around this psychoactive component of the essential oil, which then turned into what we call "Nutmeg-gate" in the industry because aromatherapists have used the oil for a long time just laughed at the sheer panic it caused.
Yes, Nutmeg is psychoactive. That's what makes it helpful for stimulating people who are depressed and motivating people who are lethargic, but for it to be a risk, you'd have to use it a tremendous amount. These levels would far exceed the 0.8% maximum dilution recommended in Essential Oil Safety for Health Professionals by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
The amounts required for nutmeg toxicity are huge and are mainly connected with consuming about ten whole nutmegs rather than using the oil. Sadly, most of the casualties of it have been boys under the age of ten who have been smoking it, which frankly makes my nose sting just thinking about it!
While there have been some accidental deaths, these have been connected with other substances being used concurrently. Most overdoses have been intentional and probably within a prison environment (unsubstantiated), which is very sad because you'd have to be desperate, wouldn't you?
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These Myristicin amphetamine derivative compounds are structurally related to the drug compounds MMDA and MDMA, which are used in various psychiatric therapies.
For ease, I'll copy and post a section from my book The Professional Stress Solution:
I use small amounts of Nutmeg in inhalations to emulate similar effects.
How Does Nutmeg Affect The Emotions?
Rodent trials also suggest that the antidepressant nature of Nutmeg essential oil may be down to interactions on the adrenergic receptor (interacts with adrenal hormones)as well as the serotonin and dopaminergic receptors. In addition, it was shown that nutmeg aids (rodent) learning and memory.
However, other trials have suggested that nutmeg extract (this time a hexane extraction, not an essential oil) might have an anxiogenic component (meaning that it makes anxiety worse) again through the serotonergic receptors and probably through the GABA receptor too. (El-Alfy, 2009)
Its stimulant actions are wonderful for people who are worn out and worn down. I always use Nutmeg to support the pituitary and adrenal glands, especially for men who have started to experience sexual dysfunction because of depression and stress. I always think the spiciness of Nutmeg is a bit like a pair of jump leads on a car's flat battery. It jump-starts them with a jolt. I call Nutmeg essential oil "the tinder box."
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How to Use Nutmeg Essential Oil
Ok, let's get a bit more practical then.
How Does Nutmeg Essential Oil Make You Feel?
Spicy, darkly, and intimately, as if you have just returned from a long time away. Think Argentine Tango. It's romantic, but there is a tension, a spark, a responsiveness. You can feel the passion, the fire beginning, and the connection is returning.
What Does Nutmeg Essential Oil Blend Well With
First and foremost, fruits and other spices, as you would expect, will give you a kind of Christmas heat. Then, to make a lovely passionate blend, use sweet-smelling flowers like jasmine, ylang ylang or rose. It's gorgeous with woods like cedarwood and sandalwood and rich, heavy resins like myrrh.
It's an inherently masculine fragrance that works well in chypre and oriental perfumes, beard oils, and aftershaves.
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Safety of How to Use Nutmeg Essential Oil
Use a very light hand. It's a sharp pungent fragrance, so start with one drop, finish your blend, then add one more drop at a time.
Maximum dilution is 0.8%. In Layman's terms, that's just under 1 drop to a teaspoon of carrier oil. Safest to add another teaspoon to be on the safe side.
Contraindications of Nutmeg
Stay away below the maximum dilution of 0.8%. Remember how stimulating it can be. Higher levels can cause tachycardia and nausea.
It is safe after 16 weeks of pregnancy and during breastfeeding; however, it's not conducive to that "calm in my belly" vibe. It's one I would avoid during pregnancy purely from an energetic standpoint. Instead, use tiny dilutions while breastfeeding. Essential oils do pass through to breast milk and may make a pleasant way to alleviate colic. I can't stress small dilutions enough here.
Nutmeg essential oil has a blood thinning capacity, so use it with caution if you are on blood thinning medication or have a blood clotting disorder.
I love this blend for people who have been too busy to indulge their time with their partners. Life is so exhausting and can wear out the physical body and libido. This is a great blend of emotional blockages that have started to form.
Safety: Not suitable for use during pregnancy.
A beautiful rollerball for those times when work seems depressingly never-ending. Apply to pulse points and t the back of the neck. I like to put a bit on my hands and inhale it, to lift and inspire my senses.
Safety: Not suitable for use in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
Chase away the grayness and get some color in your life.
Safety: Not designed for topical use.
Inspiration and Creativity Diffuser
Some professions depend on you being able to come up with lots of new and interesting material, which can be hard to do when you have the rent man knocking at the door. So this blend is great as a way to lose all those worries about producing and to get on and do it.
- 3 drops Nutmeg Essential Oil (Myristica Fragrans)
- 2 drops May Chang Essential Oil (Litsea Cubeba)
- 1 drop Sandalwood Essential Oil (Santalum Album)
Safety: Not designed for topical use
Long term Stress
I love using Nutmeg with citruses. It just lifts the whole demeanor and refreshes the spirit. The orange oils work best for this. Mandarin is excited, enthusiastic, and chatty. Cedarwood is like a gateway that refuses to let negative thoughts get in. The whole thing feels rejuvenating and supportive.
Method of Use: Use twice a day. Rub into the pulse points and back of the neck to feel stranger, rejuvenated, and fortified.
Beautiful warming nutmeg essential oil, so soothing for the body and inspiring for the mind. It is so relevant at a time when most of us are worn out, waning, and operating at less than 100%. It helps to reconnect couples and families and improve connection and inspiration from life. It's a truly brilliant oil that can only be experienced by spending time with it.
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