Myristicin and Elemicin

  • found in nutmeg and mace, two common spices that are produced from the seed and aril, respectively, of Myristica fragrans, a nice lookin' tree with green leaves that is native to tropical southeast Asia and Australasia
  • are responsible for the psychedelic action of these spices
    • about 1-2 teaspoons of spice can really mess you up: euphoria, visual hallucinations, psychosis, and feelings of impending doom and unreality PLUS impressively potent nausea, vomiting, and tremors (and lots of other stuff)
    • nutmeg was at one point used therapeutically at doses of nine teaspoonfuls daily to control diarrhea associated with thyroid cancer
    • makes sense since both compounds structurally resemble mescaline
  • apparently myristicin is a moderately effective antibacterial agent, which would potentially make it a useful natural preservative
Narasimhan B, Dhake AS. Antibacterial principles from Myristica fragrans seeds. J Med Food. 2006 Fall;9(3):395-9.

5 chemically inspired comments:

Anonymous said...

...not forgetting that intravenous nutmeg is incredibly toxic!

Anonymous said...


CND said...

Best symptom ever. Or worst.

Ursa said...

Who puts nutmeg in an IV? That's making me laugh. I'm now imagining someone with a spicerack, shaking things into the IV line... (;

Anonymous said...

Not to mention being pretty interesting precursor material for the al/hg shit.

Pretty neat. pihkal. all that.

simple hydrocarbons have me unable to talk, whew golly.