Nutmeg Essential Oil
The nutmeg tree produces fruits that once ripe and opened, reveal an aril known as mace. Inside the aril are the nuts that we know as nutmeg.
Steam distilled Nutmeg Essential Oil is a warming oil that when used judiciously, it is a wonderful essential oil for use in helping to ease digestive complaints as well as muscular aches and pains. A little goes a long way for all essential oils, but this especially holds true for Nutmeg Essential Oil. It primarily contains monoterpenes, but also contains approximately 10% ethers including myristicine and safrole as well as the phenol methyeugenol. Although it is helpful for digestive complaints, I find that it can make me feel nauseous if I do not use it ever so sparingly. See the Nutmeg Essential Oil Safety Information section below for additional safety information.
Aromatically, Nutmeg Essential Oil is a warm, spicy essential oil that is sweet and somewhat woody. It blends beautifully with other essential oils in the spice family. It also blends well with floral, citrus and wood essential oils. It can add a beautiful, distinctive spicy characteristic to otherwise bland blends.
Nutmeg CO2 Extract Select possesses a beautiful, fuller aroma that you likely will find even more aromatically pleasing than the steam distilled essential oil.
Emotionally, Nutmeg Essential Oil can be a very stimulating essential oil. I've found it to be especially helpful in supporting my motivation and focus during especially challenging times. But again, a little goes a very long way. Robbi Zeck writes "When there is heaviness, sluggishness, a feeling of being conquered and unable to face the tasks ahead, Nutmeg stokes the fire, intensifies the energy and provides hearty warmth with its glowing heat." [Robbi Zeck, ND, The Blossoming Heart: Aromatherapy for Healing and Transformation (Victoria, Australia: Aroma Tours, 2008), 100.]
Common Method of Extraction
Plant Part Typically Used
Strength of Initial Aroma
Medium - Strong
Rich, spicy, sweet, woody. Similar to the cooking spice, but richer and more fragrant.
Nutmeg Essential Oil Uses
Gastrointestinal spasm, nausea, upset stomach, rheumatism, arthritis, muscular aches and pains, muscular injury, menstrual cramps, nervousness, tension. [Valerie Ann Worwood, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition (Novato, CA: New World Library, 2016, 609.]
Major Constituents of East Indian Nutmeg Oil:
Methyleugenol (reported for East Indian Nutmeg Oil)
See Essential Oil Safety for complete constituent list and for chemotype differences of West Indian Nutmeg Oil.
[B.M. Lawrence, Essential Oils 1988-1991 (Wheaton: Allured Publishing, 1995), 202. G.I. Simpson, Y.A. Jackson. Comparison of the Chemical Composition of East Indian, Jamaican and Other West Indian Essential Oils of Myristica fragrans Houtt. (Journal of Essential Oil Research 14, 2002), 6-9. Sources cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 366.]
Nutmeg Essential Oil Safety Information
Tisserand and Young warn that Nutmeg Essential Oil is potentially carcinogenic and can be psychotropic in high doses. They recommend a dermal maximum of 0.8% for East Indian and 5% for West Indian Nutmeg Oils. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 366-367.]
General Safety Information
Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. For general dilution information, read AromaWeb's Guide to Diluting Essential Oils. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. Before using this or any essential oil, carefully read AromaWeb's Essential Oil Safety Information page. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
Important Information About the Profiles
The essential oil information provided on AromaWeb is intended for educational purposes only. The references to safety information, constituents and percentages is generalized information. The data is not necessary complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The essential oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, essential oil color can vary based on harvesting, distillation, age of the essential oil and other factors. Profiles for several absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.
Essential Oil Book Suggestions
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