Myristica fragrans Houtt.

Myristica fragrans Houtt.                                                          

Botanical Name:        Myristica fragrans Houtt.Myristica fragrans Houtt.

Kingdom:                      Plantae

Order:                            Magnoliales

Family:                          Myristicaceae

Genus:                            Myristica

Sindhi Name:              Jafar

Local Name:                Jaifal

English Name:            Nutmeg

Part Used:                     Fruit, leaves, and seeds

Description a dioecious, moderate sized, evergreen, and aromatic tree. It has a sticky red sap. Fruit is fleshy and light greenish yellow with red color seeds inside1.Leaves are ovate. Flowers are yellow in color, fleshy, and aromatic while buds are green1,2.Description


M. fragransis found in tropical South-East Asia, Molucas Islands in Malaysia,Nilgiris, Kerala, Karnataka, and West Bengal1,3.

Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases


MyristicafragransHoutt. (Nutmeg) is boiled in water, and water is used to wash affected areas for the treatment of scabies in District Umerkot (Sindh).


Soak seeds of TerminaliachebulaRetz. (ChebulicMyrobalan), Berberis vulgarisL. (European Burberry), Withania Coagulation Dunal. (Vegetable rennet), seeds of Cassia fistula L. (Golden shower), and M. fragrans overnight, a tablespoon of this wateris taken after boiling and sieving for the treatment of pyoderma in District Naushehroferoz (Sindh).

 Chemical Constituents

Seeds of M. fragranscontain an active constituent myristicin and some volatile oils such as pinene, camphene, and sabinene. Seed coat contains resorcinols, malabaricones B andC, and phenylpropyl derivatives2,3.Dipentene, elemicin, safrole, eugenol, isoeugenol,neolignan, erythrosurinamensin, diaryl phenyl propanoid, virolane, allylbenzene, and propylbenzene derivatives and methyl eugenolwere also important constituents isolated from this plant2,5,6.Fruit pericarp contains lignans and neolignans6.

Chemical Structure:

Myristica fragrans

Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/ Scientific studies:

M. fragrans is act as stimulant, carminative, and astringent. It is helpful in the treatment of dysentery, pain, sickness, leprosy,dyspepsia, lungs and heart diseases,sciatica,and peptic ulcer.External application is recommended in rheumatism. Fruit is crushed to make a paste and applied on teeth for recovering from dental caries and pyorrhea1,2.Seeds are roasted and used against diarrhea and dyspepsia3. Powdered nutmeg mixed with PyrusmalusL. (Apple)juice or Musa acuminate L. (Banana) juice, is used against diarrhea, caused by indigestion of food. Infusion of nutmeg is mixed with tender coconut water and used as a remedy in cholera. Nutmeg is used alone or in combination with other herbs for various skin diseases,such as, ringworm and eczema2.

M. fragrans exhibits analgesic, anticancer, antiedemic, antioxidant, antiparasitic, antiseptic, antitumor, carminitve, larvicide, hypocholesteromic, sedative, and stomachic properties7.M. fragransexhibits insecticidal, fungicidal, and bactericidal properties1.MyristicafragransHoutt.also activates hepatic detoxification3.


  1. Umberto Quattrochi, F. L. S. (2012), CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants, p.237, V. 5, CRC Press, U. S. A.
  2. Pullaiah, T. (2006), Encyclopedia of World Medicinal Plants, 3, 1389-1390, Regency Publishers, New Delhi, India.
  3. Khare, C. P. (2012), Indian Medicinal Plants, p. 428-429, Springer Science Puiblishers, New Delhi-110058, India.
  4. Muchtaridi, Subarnas, A., Apriyantono, A., and Mustarichie, R. (2010). Identification of compounds in the essential oil of nutmeg seeds (Myristica fragrans) that inhibit locomotor activity in mice. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 11(11), 4771–81.
  5. Daniel, M. (2006), Medicinal Plants Chemistry and Properties, p. 75, Oxford and IBH Publishers, New Delhi, India.
  6. Sajin, K., Francis, Suresh, E., and Mangalam, N. (2014), Chemical constituents of Myristicafragrans fruit, Natural Product Research (Impact Factor: 1.23). 07/2014.
  7. Duke, J. A. (2002), Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, IIndEd, CRC press, New York, Washington, DC, U. S. A.