Nutmeg
Title: Nutmeg
Additional Names: Myristica
Literature References: Large tropical tree, Myristica fragrans Houtt., Myristicaceae, with fleshy edible fruit. The dried ripe seeds are widely used in cooking and in traditional medicine. The spice prepared from the seed's lacy red covering (aril) is known as mace. Habit. Molucca Islands; cultivated in Indonesia, West Indies. Constit. Seeds: 25-40% fixed oil; 5-15% volatile oils; triterpene saponins; sterols. Description of constituents: A. T. Weil, Econ. Bot. 19, 194 (1965). Extraction of oils with liquid CO2: C. B. Spricigo et al., J. Supercrit. Fluids 15, 253 (1999). Toxicity data: P. M. Jenner et al., Food Cosmet. Toxicol. 2, 327 (1964). Review of ethnobotany: C. Van Gils, P. A. Cox, J. Ethnopharmacol. 42, 117-124 (1994); of constituents and uses: A. Y. Leung, S. Foster, Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients, (Wiley-Interscience, Hoboken, 2nd Ed., 2003) pp 385-387; J. Gruenwald et al., PDR for Herbal Medicines (Medical Economics, Montvale, 3rd Ed., 2004) pp 594-595. Comprehensive description: B. Krishnamoorthy, J. Rema in Handbook of Herbs and Spices, K. V. Peter, Ed., (CRC Press, Boca Raton, 2001) pp 238-243.
 
Derivative Type: Fixed oil
Additional Names: Nutmeg butter
Literature References: Obtained by expressing the crushed seeds or by extracting with solvents. Constit. Trimyristin (84%), oleic acid (3.5%), resins (2.3%), linolenic acid (0.6%), other fatty acids.
Properties: Orange-red to reddish-brown, soft solid. mp 45-51°. Odor and taste of nutmeg. d 0.990-0.995. Sapon no. 172-179. Iodine no. 40-52. Acid no. 17-23. Partly sol in cold alcohol, almost completely sol in hot alcohol; freely sol in chloroform, ether.
Melting point: mp 45-51°
Density: d 0.990-0.995
 
Derivative Type: Volatile oil
CAS Registry Number: 8008-45-5
Additional Names: Oil of nutmeg
Literature References: Obtained by steam distillation from the dried kernals of the ripe seed. Constit. Monoterpene hydrocarbons (~88%) including camphene, pinene, sabinene; monoterpene alcohols; myristicin (4-8%); elemicin; safrole.
Properties: Colorless or pale yellow liquid; odor and taste of nutmeg. East Indian oil: d2525 0.880-0.910; nD20 1.4740-1.4880; angular rotation between +8° and +30°. Sol in 3 vols 90% alcohol. West Indian oil: d2525 0.854-0.880; nD20 1.469-1.476; angular rotation between +25° and +45°. Sol in 4 vols 90% alcohol. Keep well closed, cool and protected from light. LD50 orally in rats: 2620 mg/kg (Jenner).
Index of refraction: nD20 1.4740-1.4880; nD20 1.469-1.476
Density: d2525 0.880-0.910; d2525 0.854-0.880
Toxicity data: LD50 orally in rats: 2620 mg/kg (Jenner)
 
CAUTION: Ingestion of large quantities may cause intense thirst, nausea, anxiety, drowsiness, hallucinations, stupor, death (Gruenwald).
Use: As a cooking spice, flavoring in food and beverages. Nutmeg oil as fragrance in soaps, detergents, creams, lotions, perfumes. Fixed oil in candles.
Therap-Cat: Carminative.

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