images for illustration purpose only

Nutmeg is a common, household spice often used in both sweet and savoury dishes. The versatility of this ingredient means that you can almost always find it in every kitchen. You can add it in your pancake batter, french toast or sprinkle a bit in any pie or tart of your choice. But don’t forget, it’s a spice after all and it lives up to its name. So be sure to add some to your savoury stews or casseroles. Nutmeg is even used in many Garam Masala mixes.

Nutmeg’s strong flavour shines through best when it is freshly grated from the seed itself instead of already crushed nutmeg that’s been tucked away in a packet or container for months. This is because nutmeg’s flavour is present in its oils which only gets incorporated if you grate it directly into a dish.

Mace is another spice from the Myristica fragrans plant with a very similar flavour profile to it’s sibling nutmeg. While nutmeg is derived from the seed of the fruit itself, mace is derived from the outer covering instead.

Due to its equivalent flavour profile, mace and nutmeg are interchangeable. This actually proves to be a huge benefit for those of us that are heavy-handed. Why? In large quantities, the spice nutmeg can act like a drug.

As much as it may sound like one, this phenomenon isn’t a myth. In fact, if you look at any recipe that even mentions the spice, nutmeg, it is always in very miniscule quantities. For example in a recipe for spiced peach cobbler, only ¼ of a teaspoon is called for. And in a recipe for Jamaican jerk pork, only ½ a teaspoon of nutmeg is required

But why so little? This is due to the fact that, when ingested in large amounts, nutmeg can become hallucinogenic. Which means this seemingly innocent spice can cause us to question reality by making us see things that aren’t actually there.

A large amount needs to be ingested in order for there to be any psychoactive effect. And although it takes several hours for a person to feel any different, the effects can last for several days. These effects can be attributed to the presence of myristicin in nutmeg, a psychoactive substance which is commonly found in spices.

It can cause nausea, eventual dehydration, convulsions (rapid uncontrolled shaking of the body), palpitations (rapid heart beat) and overall body pain. Other side effects caused by nutmeg intoxication include anxiety, confusion, headaches, dry mouth, dizziness, eye irritation, amnesia (memory loss), and delirium (decreased mental functioning). Nutmeg can also cause allergic reactions.

While an ingestion of nutmeg that’s large enough to cause intoxication is rare, it usually occurs due to accidental consumption by children or by intentional recreational use by adolescents, drug users and prisoners.

For those of you wondering the safest limit (as you should), more than 10 grams is the danger zone according to varying reports.

Imagine how different things would’ve been if there was a nutmeg challenge instead of a cinnamon challenge.

Last Updated on September 13, 2021

When U Cook

Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome recipes in your inbox, every day.

We don’t spam! Only one consolidated mail will be sent per day.

Oh hi there 👋 It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome recipes in your inbox, every day.

We don’t spam! Only one consolidated mail will be sent per day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *