(Myristica fragrans, Myristica officinalis, Myristica aromatica, Myristica omboinensis)

Family: Myristicacese

Description: Nutmeg is an aromatic, evergreen tree with dark-green leaves, yellow flowers without petals and yellowish fruits. The essential oil is steam- or water-distilled from the dried nutmegs.

Countries of origin: Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Grenada
Characteristics: Nutmeg has light, fresh, spicy top notes and deep, sweet, warm, woody undertones. It blends well with other spices, and also with clary sage, bay, mandarin, orange, geranium, lavender, rosemary, lime and petitgrain.

Main therapeutic properties: Analgesic, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, digestive, emmenagogue, stimulant, tonic.


Nutmeg is reputed to have psychotropic or psychoactive properties when it is ingested orally, meaning that it can affect mental activity and perception. In large doses it is toxic, causing convulsions and possibly death. However, in small amounts nutmeg is a useful addition to the range of essential oils for all external aromatherapeutic applications. It is very good in massage blends for muscular aches and pains, and for painful joints. It is also a good digestive stimulant and helps poor digestion, nausea and diarrhoea. Overall, nutmeg is gently euphoric, comforting and elevating.
Psychologically, it is uplifting and a good nerve tonic, helping to relieve chronic fatigue. Nutmeg is good for those who feel at the end of their tether.

It can be useful in meditations and mood perfumes for those who are both Nutmeg (Myristica officinalis) sleepy-tired and tired of life, and it inspires creativity and imagination.

Contraindications: Do not use during pregnancy. Use in moderation – no more than 3 drops in the bath, and no more than 1 per cent in massage oils. Do not use consistently over long periods of time.