Seed, Steam Distilled, Sri Lanka
Nutmeg is a powerful oil that acts as a circulatory stimulant making it useful for sluggish digestion and menstrual cramps. It is also helpful for diarrhea and can be used during labor. It has expectorant effects and is also an anti-bacterial. Nutmeg can also help calm and relax the body.
Our Nutmeg essential oil has spicy aromatic goodness in aces with its light, fresh, sweet, warm, spicy-woody aroma. It brings to mind all the many uses, especially gourmet, of nutmeg’s grated or powdered version highly esteemed ever since the ancient civilizations of India and Egypt.1 Myristica fragrans essential oil is distilled from the dried kernels of the fruit of this evergreen tree that originated in the Moluccas (historically known as the “Spice Islands”) of Indonesia. The trees are now found in various parts of Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, and the Caribbean (especially Grenada).2,3
There are several grades of dried nutmegs of East Indian origin (preferred for their higher aromatic value and richer body4); these grades contain various percentages of essential oil5, but those that are “broken and wormy … [are of] the quality most suitable for distillation because of the low content of fatty oil.”6 “Most of the fixed (fatty) oil has been devoured by the worms, while the strongly aromatic volatile oil remains intact, thus there is a much better yield of volatile oil”; the fixed oil quite tenaciously retains the volatile oil in distillation and it is very difficult to remove the volatile oil from the fixed oil7 – so we can thank the worms for their cost-saving appetites! (Not to worry – the long, involved drying process of the kernels prior to distillation removes these little critters.)
Please be aware that Nutmeg essential oil contains myristicin, a phenol constituent that when used in excess (for example, inhalation) can over-stimulate the heart and at worst cause deliriousness and convulsions or induce numbness.8
Aromatic Profile: Light, fresh, warm, sweet-spicy body note that is rich and very aromatic with a terpene-like top note; has a warm, woody dryout.
Appearance: Water-white, clear, transparent, mobile liquid.
Use: Aromatherapy, Natural Perfumery.
Blending Suggestions: Dilute well and add drop by drop to your blends until the desired effect is achieved.
Blends Well With: Balsam of Peru, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Clary Sage, Cistus, Clove and other spice oils, Cypress, Frankincense, Galbanum, Geranium, Labdanum, Laurel Leaf, Lavandin, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Melissa, Nagarmotha, Oakmoss, Orange, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Tonka Bean, Vetiver. In perfumery, use nutmeg “to add warmth and intrigue; many of the spices … bring their best when below the threshold of conscious detection.”9
Safety Considerations: Debilitating in high doses; potentially carcinogenic due to the presence of safrole and methyl eugenol, however “anticarcinogens are present in higher concentrations, and the existing data suggest either that the oil is not carcinogenic or that it is anticarcinogenic.”10 We also suggest that nutmeg essential oil be avoided in pregnancy due to the myristicin content; this compound “has been shown to cross the placenta causing an increase in the fetal heartbeat.”11 To be used with caution or avoided by those taking prescription medications.12 Myristicin (inhaled or topical) is believed to be especially toxic to cats.13 Dilute before using. A patch test should be performed before use for those with sensitive skin.
1 Sellar, Wanda. The Directory of Essential Oils, 1992, p. 114.
3 Wikipedia, Nutmeg.
4 Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin, 1960, p. 443-4.
5 Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils, Vol. V, 1952, p. 60.
6 Ibid, p, 67.
7 Ibid, pp, 71-2.
8 Sellar, Wanda. The Directory of Essential Oils, 1992, p. 115.
9 Lawless, Alec. Artisan Perfumery or Being Led by the Nose, 2009, p. 80.
10 Tisserand, Robert and Rodney Young. Essential Oil Safety, 2nd ed., 2014, pp. 367-8.
11 Price, Shirley and Len Price. Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, 2nd ed., 1995/1999, p. 334.
12 Tisserand, Robert and Rodney Young. Essential Oil Safety, 2nd ed., 2014, p. 606.
13 Ibid, p. 605.
The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. The information presented here is for educating our customers about the traditional uses of essential oils and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You are responsible for understanding the safe application of these products. If you have any questions, please call or email us for further information.