Nutmeg is not just a spice. Over the years, nutmeg became appreciated as treatment against joint and digestive problems. But the uses for Nutmeg essential oil don’t stop there. They are so many that you’ll want to have this oil around the house all the time.
Before we get to the actual uses of this amazing essential oil, I will tell you a bit about its benefits and properties. But you will also find out about the precautions you need to take when using Nutmeg essential oil. Find out what happened to some of those who overdosed on nutmeg so you can be safe and still enjoy its benefits.
Moderation is the key when it comes to nutmeg, just as it is with all essential oils. After reading about the uses of Nutmeg essential oil, you will also find a few Aromatherapy blends with it. All that so you can put into practice all this newly-found knowledge.
The oil of Nutmeg is very powerful and beneficial to your health, and it deserves to be in the center of attention in many essential oil blends.
Did You Know?
- In ancient times, in Europe, nutmeg used to be the most expensive spice and medicine. It was considered useful in protecting against plague in the Elizabethan era.
Nutmeg Essential Oil Properties, Benefits and Precautions
Botanical name: Myristica fragrans
Texture: thin and light oil
Color: clear – pale yellow
Aroma: Strong spicy scent with a bit of sweetness in it.
There are many types of Nutmeg essential oils. Nutmeg grows in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Maluku Islands. But it can also grow in the Caribbean islands.
The nutmeg tree is an evergreen tree that measures around 10 meters (33 ft.) and can live around a hundred years if not more. Some of the oldest nutmeg trees are 800 years old, but those are rare. It makes fruits that resemble the apricots. It’s the seeds (nuts) of those fruits that yield the Nutmeg essential oil.
The kernel of the nuts is then dried and steam-distilled to get the essential oil. Its properties may vary a lot depending on factors like the soil, the temperature, and the altitude. But the time of picking and even the distillation process itself can change the properties of the oil. The utensils and recipients used to make and store the oil may change its quality too.
The main composition of Nutmeg essential oil contains monoterpenes and monoterpenols, but also terpenes.
- 65% – 90% monoterpenes (myrcene, sabinene)
They give the oil its antiseptic and analgesic qualities. That means the oil has powerful disinfectant and pain relieving abilities. Monoterpenes can also stimulate all the functions of the body, producing more energy.
- 2% – 10% other chemical compounds like: myristicin, elemicin, safrole, a-asarone, alpha and beta pinene, and limonene.
Safrole and myristicin have carminative (gas and flatulence prevention) and diuretic qualities (promote toxins elimination through urine).
They also have digestive and expectorant properties (promote mucus expulsion). There are also terpenes like alpha and beta pinene, and limonene. All three have antiviral and antitumor qualities. They can also act as stimulants that improve body functions, and decongestants that help with breathing.
Myristicin and elemicin are a concerning reason for some specialists. They can cause hallucinations and addiction. But new research shows that their toxicity is extremely low if used in moderate doses, for a little while.
Also, the use of Nutmeg essential oil hasn’t been able to show any side effects in people so far, as long as the dose is less than 5 grams per day. Anything above may cause psychedelic effects. The psychedelic effects alter one’s sate of consciousness.
Since the beginning of the 20th century until today, the consumption of raw nutmeg has made two victims. An 8 year old child ingested 14 grams of nutmeg powder and died. Then there was a 55 year old woman, who ingested nutmeg powder with flunitrazepam.
In all my research so far, only the nutmeg powder seems to cause serious intoxication and poisoning (or death). Poisoning effects may last around 2 days in the body.
The symptoms of nutmeg intoxication would look like:
- Excessive tiredness and the urge of immediate sleep.
- Convulsions, hallucinations and delirium.
- Nausea and headache.
Again, these symptoms may occur only when there’s an abuse of Nutmeg essential oil or powder.
The uses for Nutmeg essential oil may include the following benefits:
- A boost of the immune system.
- Protection against infections.
- It is beneficial in improving digestive problems like constipation, gas, indigestion etc.
- It is relaxing to the mind and body.
- It can soothe joint and muscle pains.
- It can improve breathing and protect against throat aches, flu and even otitis.
Precautions When Using Nutmeg Essential Oil
Nutmeg essential oil should not be used on:
- Children under 12 years.
- Pregnant women.
- Lactating or breast-feeding women.
- Limonene can cause allergies, so sensitive people should also avoid using it. Or, at least perform an allergy test before using Nutmeg oil.
- Nutmeg essential oil must be used in a small dose and always diluted.
- Seek the advice of a physician before considering taking Nutmeg essential oil internally.
- May cause abortions and hallucinations.
The uses for Nutmeg essential oil imply the purchase of 100% pure and organic oils. Buy your oils from trustworthy sources. And the product’s label must always contain the plant’s botanical name, the ingredients and the extraction method to make sure it’s good quality.
All these details, along with its storage in a dark glass bottle will prove that you’ve got a good quality essential oil.
Did You Know?
- The nutmeg tree starts producing nuts between 8 – 15 years.
15 Uses for Nutmeg Essential Oil
The safest ways to use Nutmeg essential oil is through local applications, inhalations and massages. This is how I’ve divided this chapter. Each method will have many uses and it will help you decide faster which one you prefer.
The safe dose, in local applications and massages, would be no more than 0.8% for oils that come from Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Sri Lanka). Use a maximum of 5% for the oils that come from the Asian Archipelago and the Caribbean Islands.
The oils from the Carribean area are lower in myristicin and safrole. These percentages are given by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young in one of their books.
Uses for Nutmeg Essential Oil in Local Applications
1. Cold sores and other types of herpes
Pour a drop or two on a cotton swab and apply directly on the cold sore or herpes. Make sure you don’t use Nutmeg oil undiluted on other portions of your skin. The oil may cause sensitization or dryness.
2. Mental and physical exhaustion
Apply 2 to 3 drops of undiluted Nutmeg essential oil on the spine, neck and solar plexus. You can do so in the evening and morning or just once. Be careful though! Don’t use it for long periods of time to avoid side effects like nausea, vomiting and convulsions.
3. Foot baths
Relax your feet after a whole day of standing at work or traveling. Pour 5 or 6 drops of Nutmeg essential oil in a bowl of warm water and dip your feet there until the water gets cold.
Massage your feet in that water so the oil can penetrate the skin and soles and help you relax. At the same time, such a foot bath can also protect against athlete’s foot and other fungi.
4. Sensitive or infected gums
Protect your gums with Nutmeg essential oil. You can either pour one drop on your toothpaste, or you can use a few drops in some water and gargle with it. That way you can protect and prevent any gum inflammations, canker sores or mouth ulcers.
5. Protect against warts
Use undiluted Nutmeg essential oil directly on the warts, daily until they come off. Be careful not to use on the healthy skin or you’ll risk burning or dryness.
Uses for Nutmeg Essential Oil in Inhalations
6. Protection against flu and other epidemics
Thanks to its antiseptic properties, Nutmeg essential oil may be inhaled or diffused into the room. That can help disinfect the air and kill all pathogens. You can either pour 2 or 3 drops on a cotton disc and inhale from it, or use an electric diffuser.
7. Motion sickness
With its distinct aroma, Nutmeg essential oil can be inhaled whenever you’re on the road. It can prevent nausea and vomiting sensations. Again, pour a few drops on a kerchief or cotton pad and inhale deeply. You could also make yourself an inhaler dipped in Nutmeg essential oil. It’s easy to carry around in a pocket and inhale from it.
8. Bronchitis and other respiratory problems
Nutmeg is soothing and at the same time it stimulates all the other organs to work properly. It can also act as a decongestant. Meaning Nutmeg oil helps in relieving the chest pressure and clears the lungs from mucus. That can also clear the nasal passage for a deeper and easier breathing.
9. Spasmodic cough
Among all the uses for Nutmeg essential oil this one is given by its expectorant and antispasmodic properties. It is good at helping the digestive tract, liver and the esophagus calm down. That may also cause a cough stoppage. Inhale a few drops from a cotton pad, diffuser, or an inhaler. You can also mix Nutmeg oil with Epsom salt and use in your bath water.
10. Anxiety, depression, lack of confidence, excessive emotions, stress
Diffuse a few drops of Nutmeg essential oil in a diffuser and relax for a few moments. That can be done everywhere: at home, on a bus, at work, etc. You could also use the inhaler for 2 in 1 effects: easy breathing and relaxation.
Uses for Nutmeg Essential Oil in Massages
11. Soothe digestive spasms and relieve gas
Blend Nutmeg essential oil with a carrier oil of your choice (Jojoba, Sunflower, Olive, etc.) and apply a few drops on the stomach area. Massage the mixture with clockwise movements, until it’s been absorbed completely.
12. Sprains and arthritis
Nutmeg oil can be used to relieve pain and inflammations, so it’s only natural you use it like that. Just make sure to always dilute it and don’t use more than 0.8% dilution for East Indian Nutmeg oils. Massage the joints and muscles with gentle movements and keep the area warm so the oils work faster.
13. Skin infections
You can make a simple blend from a few drops of Nutmeg essential oil and a carrier oil of your choice. Then, apply on the infection twice or three times a day. The infections can be fungal, viral or bacterial.
It’s one of the most common infectious diseases of the upper respiratory system. It’s contagious and it may happen to both children and adults. Dilute a maximum of 4 drops (for East Indian nutmeg oils) and 6 drops (for Caribbean nutmeg oils) in 2 tablespoons of carrier oil (10 ml).
Massage the upper back area and the spine with this blend. It can also be massaged into the soles of the feet for the same result.
15. Improve concentration and bring peace to your inner self
Blend Nutmeg essential oil with Rosemary and Sweet Orange in a carrier oil. Store in a roll-on bottle and keep it in a cool, dark place. Use on wrists, temples and wherever else you can feel its scent.
Did You Know?
- Sailors that crossed the Spice Route used to chew nutmeg to face the long sea journeys and avoid becoming depressed.
Aromatherapy Blends with Nutmeg Essential Oil
This chapter will give you a starting point if you want to use Nutmeg essential oil in your blends. I will give you the recipe for two Aromatherapy blends. One is for tooth decays and the other is to relieve your body and mind from exhaustion.
#1: Blend for Healthy, Decay Free Teeth
- Nutmeg essential oil: 3 drops
- Black Pepper essential oil: 1 drop
- Clove essential oil: 2 drops
- Grapeseed carrier oil: 1 Oz. (30 ml)
Mix well all the oils and shake vigorously every time you use it. You can use a drop or two of this mixture on a cotton swab and apply directly on the tooth decay. Do so as often as possible until you get to a dentist if the problem is beyond repairing. Otherwise, this blend can improve tooth decays and prevent them.
#2: Blend against Exhaustion
- Nutmeg essential oil: 5 drops
- Rosemary essential oil: 3 drops
- Black Spruce essential oil: 4 drops
- Sweet Almond carrier oil: 1 Oz. (30 ml)
Mix well all the ingredients and shake even better before each use. Keep the blend stored in the fridge or in a cool, dark place. You can apply a few drops of the mixture on your back, wrists, neck, and chest. It can be used twice a day, whenever you think fit, but especially in the evening.
The important thing to remember here is that Nutmeg is a very powerful and beneficial essential oil. Especially if it is used in a moderate dose. Please take into consideration that and remember the precautions when you’re dealing with nutmeg.
The uses for Nutmeg essential oil are so many that you can most definitely see how important this oil is. It can be added in just about every Aromatherapy blend to enhance their properties.
Whether you like to massage your blends or apply them directly on the problem, it’s your choice. You can also inhale Nutmeg oil, and still get great results.
Have you ever used Nutmeg essential oil, and if so what did you like most about it?