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Myristica.

Botanical name:

The ripe seeds of Myristica fragrans, Houttuyn, deprived of their testa (Nat. Ord. Myristicaceae). Molucca Island; and cultivated in the tropics. Dose, 5 to 15 grains.
Common Name: Nutmeg.

Principal Constituents.—A fixed (25 to 30 per cent) and a volatile oil (Oleum Myristicae, 2 to 8 per cent). Dose of volatile oil, 1 to 5 drops.
Preparation.—Specific Medicine Nutmeg. Dose, 1 to 15 drops.

Action and Toxicology.—An aromatic stimulant and carminative in small doses; larger doses produce nervous sedation and are soporific. Death has resulted from large doses (more than three drachms), the chief symptoms being headache, coldness, and collapse, drowsiness and indisposition to muscular movements. Diuresis is apt to be increased, though in one case it was entirely suppressed.

Therapy.—External. An ointment containing the finely powdered nut, or the volatile oil sometimes proves obtundant to painful piles. Grated upon a larded cloth and applied warm we have found it to give prompt and grateful relief in soreness of the chest attending an acute cold or the beginning of acute respiratory inflammation. It may also be used as a spice poultice to the abdomen in painful bowel affections from cold. A liniment of oil of nutmeg (1) and olive oil (3) is regarded by some as an efficient parasiticide for mild types of ringworm.

Internal. Both the powdered nut and the oil are good carminatives and may be used to allay nausea, vomiting, and gastric pain, and to check flatulent colic and serous diarrhea. The grated nut is in frequent domestic use to flavor foods for the sick, and it and the oil in prescription pharmacy to aromatize sleeping mixtures.


The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.



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