Thursday, 30 April 2015




This article is a revision of the previous edition article by Christopher P. Holstege, volume 3, pp 276–277, © 2005, Elsevier Inc.


Nutmeg is a common household spice that is sometimes ingested in large amounts for its hallucinogenic properties. The essential oil contains a mixture of compounds; myristicin and elemicin are thought to be responsible for the intoxicating effects of nutmeg. Presentation after acute ingestion mimics anticholinergic toxicity, sometimes with miosis. There may be alternating periods of delirium and obtundation. There is no antidote and supportive care is recommended. Death due to nutmeg ingestion alone is unlikely in humans, and most symptoms clear without sequelae in 24 h.


  • Anticholinergic;
  • Elemicin;
  • Eugenol;
  • Herb;
  • Mace;
  • Miosis;
  • Myristicin;
  • Nutmeg;
  • Safrole;
  • Spice


Mark Smith completed a BS in Biochemistry at Indiana University. He has also completed an MS in Neurobiology and Anatomy at Northwestern University. He earned an MD at University of Kentucky School of Medicine, and currently is pursuing a residency in Emergency Medicine at University of Rochester Medical Center.