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Table of Contents
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 85

Biological monograph: Myristica fragrans

School of Biotechnology, Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Date of Submission22-Apr-2020
Date of Acceptance07-May-2020
Date of Web Publication14-Jul-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Roopesh Jain
School of Biotechnology, Rajiv Gandhi Proudyogiki Vishwavidyalaya, Airport Bypass Road, Gandhi Nagar, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/MTSM.MTSM_8_20

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How to cite this article:
Jain R, Tiwari A. Biological monograph: Myristica fragrans. Matrix Sci Med 2020;4:85

How to cite this URL:
Jain R, Tiwari A. Biological monograph: Myristica fragrans. Matrix Sci Med [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Dec 3];4:85. Available from: https://www.matrixscimed.org/text.asp?2020/4/3/85/289734

Myristica fragrans is a tree indigenous to India, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka, and is widespread in Asia, Caribbean, and South America.[1] The tree is 10–20 m tall and its seed is the source of spice nutmeg, whereas mace is obtained from the aril. The chemical composition of the seed includes 4-terpineol, citronellol, elemicin, isoeugeunol, limonene, linalool, methoxyeugeunol, methyl eugeunol, myrislignan, myristicin, sabinene, safrole, terpinolene, fatty acid trimyristin, α-myrcena, α-pinene, α-terpinene, α-terpineol, α-thujene, β-asarone, β-ocimene, γ-terpinene, and macelignan in the rhizome.[2]

The common names comprise – English: Nutmeg; Hindi: Jaiphal and Javitri; Sanskrit: Jatisasya and Jatiphala; Assamese: Jaiphal and Kanivish; Bengali: Jaiphala and Jaitri; Gujarati: Jaiphala and Jayfar; Kannada: Jadikai, Jaykai, and Jaidikai; Kashmiri: Jafal; Malayalam: Jatika; Tamil: Sathikkai, Jathikkai, Jatikkai, Jadhikai, and Jadhikkai; Telugu: Jajikaya; and Urdu: Jauzbuwa and Jaiphal.

Nutmeg seeds have been used in traditional medicine as a general tonic for the brain, heart, and for general and sexual debility. Their pharmacological properties include aromatic stimulant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-emetic, antipyretic, antispasmodic, analgesic, aphrodisiac, carminative, digestive, orexigenic, and sedative. The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India mentions the following therapeutic uses of seeds of M. fragrans: Atisara (diarrhea), Swasa (asthma), Chardi (vomiting), Kasa (cough), Pinasa (chronic rhinitis), Grahani (irritable bowel syndrome), Mukharoga (diseases affecting the oral cavity), and Sukrameha (spermaturia). The use of M. fragrans is reported in the Unani Pharmacopoeia of India in different medications such as Jawarish Pudina Wilaiti and Jawarish Bisbasa. It is also reported in the Siddha Pharmacopoeia of India.

Nutmeg is considered as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) according to the Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 (Sec. 182.10 and Sec. 182.20) in the United States. The acute oral LD50 of nutmeg oil in rats has been reported to be 2620 mg/kg.[3] Nutmeg aqueous extract showed no lethal effect at least up to a dose of 1000 mg/kg body weight in rats, indicating that LD50 if any should be higher than this dose.[4] In a clinical study, nutmeg gel has shown good efficacy as pulpotomy medicament over a follow-up of 12 months.[5] A single-blind, randomized controlled 3-month study reported the efficacy and safety of arils of M. fragrans for the subjective improvement of mixed urinary incontinence symptoms and for the improvement of women's health-related quality of life.[6]

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There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Ibrahim MA, Cantrell CL, Jeliazkova EA, Astatkie T, Zheljazkov VD. Utilization of nutmeg (Myristica fragrans Houtt.) seed hydrodistillation time to produce essential oil fractions with varied compositions and pharmacological effects. Molecules 2020;25. pii: E565.  Back to cited text no. 1
Abourashed EA, El-Alfy AT. Chemical diversity and pharmacological significance of the secondary metabolites of nutmeg (Myristica fragrans Houtt.). Phytochem Rev 2016;15:1035-56.  Back to cited text no. 2
Al Jumaily EF, Al-Amiry MH, Assad JI. Hepatotoxic activity of essential oil from nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) against tetrachloride-induced hepatic damage in mice. IOSR J Pharm Biol Sci 2012;2:1-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
Kareem MA, Gadhamsetty SK, Shaik AH, Prasad EM, Kodidhela LD. Protective effect of nutmeg aqueous extract against experimentally-induced hepatotoxicity and oxidative stress in rats. J Ayurveda Integr Med 2013;4:216-23.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Mali S, Singla S, Sharma A, Gautam A, Niranjan B, Jain S. Efficacy of Myristica fragrans and Terminalia chebula as pulpotomy agents in primary teeth: A clinical study. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent 2018;11:505-9.  Back to cited text no. 5
Najeeya AG, Sultana A. Efficacy of mace (Arils of Myristica fragrans Houtt) plus PFMT on symptoms in mixed urinary incontinence: A randomized placebo-controlled trial. Integr Med Res 2018;7:307-15.  Back to cited text no. 6


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