A picture of Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)

Simon’s Nutmeg (High) Guide

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When people think about nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), usually Christmas dishes and other home baked sweets come to mind. Not many know, that it has intoxicating properties. Nutmeg is in fact a deliriant, and although cases of its use are not common, it is recognised by toxicologists as one of the more interesting spices in the kitchen.

To most people, the effects of nutmeg resemble poisoning more than an actual high.

Nutmeg is a popular for its culinary uses. However, it is also cultivated, albeit less widely, for its psychoactive properties.

The spice we call nutmeg is derived from the Myristica fragrans, an evergreen tree native to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas, Indonesia.
It is also cultivated on Penang Island in Malaysia, in the Caribbean, especially in Grenada, and in Kerala, a state in southern India.

Another popular kind of spice, mace also comes from the Myristica fragrans tree. Nutmeg is the seed of the tree, while mace is the dried “lacy” reddish covering or aril of the seed.

They both have the psychoactive ingredient, myristicin which is responsible for nutmeg’s mind-altering effects.

On the picture, there is a Myristica fragrans tree.
Nutmeg, Myristica fragrans tree



Interesting facts about nutmeg:

Numerous influential figures reportedly experienced with the nutmeg high in different contexts. The examples include:

The famous equal rights activist Malcolm X – he writes in his autobiography, that when in prison in 1946, prior to his conversion to Islam, he was introduced to the psychoactive effects of nutmeg by his cellmate in the Charlestown prison. He recalls: “I first got high in Charlestown on nutmeg. My cellmate … bought from kitchen worker inmates penny matchboxes full of stolen nutmeg … stirred into a glass of cold water, a penny matchbox full of nutmeg had the kick of three or four reefers.”

Renowned writer and “psychonaut” William S. Burroughs reported in his famous Letter From A Master Addict To Dangerous Drugs, published in the British Journal of Addiction in 1956, to have taken nutmeg once. It is in fact probably the only psychoactive substance that he tried only once.

Legendary Jazz Saxophonist Richard “Bird” Parker and his band were regularly experimenting with getting high on nutmeg –  Richard Rudgley reports in his Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances. It was a cheap and legal high at the time (and still is).
The band usually took it with milk or Coca Cola.



Hallucinogenic foods (The Guardian)

Letter From A Master Addict To Dangerous Drugs (William S. Burroughs)



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Nutmeg guide




Nutmeg – legal status


Nutmeg is legal in every country in the world, except for Saudi Arabia, where it is recognised as “haram” for its psychoactive properties. However, even there, there’s no full-blown ban on it, but the country does have restrictions on importing nutmeg in place. It can be only shipped into the country mixed with other spices, and the mix can only contain as much as 20% of the seed.

Moreover, in 2011 the Fatwa (Islamic edict) Centre at the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments in Abu Dhabi issued an edict in response to a question by an Emirati woman through its website – Alkhaleej daily reported. She was concerned, whether using nutmeg in the kitchen was irreconcilable with the teachings of Islam. The authority’s response was, that although there is nothing wrong with using it as a spice in small amounts, “it is better and religiously safer to avoid using nutmeg altogether”.



The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Import Guide No 01: Banned and restricted products

Muslims urged to avoid nutmeg in food (Emirates News 24/7)



Buy nutmeg


The local grocery store could do the trick. However, there is an entheogen shop that sells special nutmeg made just for people to get high on.

It is said that this variety contains more of the active ingredient (myristicin) than what’s found at grocery stores.

You can buy nutmeg here:

Buy nutmeg /shipped from the US/

/Don’t forget, freshly ground nutmeg works the best. Even if you buy yours at a grocery store, don’t buy pre-ground nutmeg./




Main active ingredient


The myristicin compound - the psychoactive ingredient of Nutmeg, Myristica fragrans
Nutmeg, Myristica fragrans psychoactive ingredient

The main active ingredient of nutmeg, responsible for the nutmeg high is myristicin.

It is a strong deliriant an anticholinergic.



The effects of nutmeg – the “nutmeg high”


In large doses, raw nutmeg has psychoactive effects, which are associated with one of its chemical components, myristicin – a recognised deliriant. This causes the so-called nutmeg high.

However,  the effects are usually unpleasant and are, in most cases accompanied by nausea, headaches and a heavy body load.

Effects of nutmeg can include:

  • excited and confused state of mind
  • headaches
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • bloodshot eyes
  • memory disturbances
  • hallucinations (reportedly rather unpleasant ones, such as visual distortions and paranoid ideations)

On some occasions, nutmeg highs were said to have been at least partly positive experiences. However, in the vast majority of reported cases its effects are rather disturbing and very few people give nutmeg a second try.



Dangers of Nutmeg


Nutmeg poisonings are relatively rare. Toxicologists say, that most cases reported are the result of a child sampling a spice jar left open somewhere in the kitchen or experimentally minded youngsters between the age of 15 and 20 getting high on nutmeg.

Source: A Warning on nutmeg (New York Times) 


Nutmeg poisoning can also lead to hospitalisation, depending on the weight and overall health of the individual taking nutmeg, as well as the amount and the form in which it is consumed.

The toxic dose of nutmeg is reported to be 2-3 tablespoons. Dangers of nutmeg poisoning, apart from the the majority of reported experiences under nutmeg being bad, or semi-bad trips are:

  • liver damage,
  • tachycardia,
  • vomiting,
  • convulsion,
  • even death, although there are very few reported cases.

There has been at least one reported case of deadly nutmeg poisoning. In 2001, an 55 year old woman was said to have died because of myristicin poisoning.

Source: Nutmeg (myristicin) poisoning–report on a fatal case and a series of cases recorded by a poison information centre


Also, myristicin poisoning is potentially deadly to some pets and livestock, and may be caused by culinary quantities of nutmeg harmless to humans. For this reason it is recommended not to feed eggnog to dogs.



Nutmeg health benefits


Nutmeg, when consumed in non-toxic doses has plenty of health benefits. The most commonly recognised are:

Improves digestive health – Nutmeg, in powder form retains its fibre content, therefore helps the digestive system by promoting peristaltic motions of the intestinal muscles.

Improves oral health – Nutmeg has plenty of antibacterial components which can improve oral hygiene by killing bacterias, such as the ones that cause halitosis. It also generally boosts the immunity of your gums and teeth.

Helps insomnia – Traditionally, nutmeg was – amongst many other things – a folk-remedy for sleeplessness. Nutmeg has a high content of magnesium, an essential mineral in the body that reduces nerve tension, and even stimulates the release of serotonin which creates a feeling of relaxation or sedation.

Blood circulations and kidney problems – Nutmeg is also said to improve blood circulation in general, and remedy kidney infections.



Nutmeg tea and extract – methods of consumption, preparation


Nutmeg is reported to be a rather unpleasant legal high and is mostly used by people who can’t afford better or want to experiment with something new (most people don’t give it a second try, though).

However, if your really feel devoted to trying it, at least do it the right way.  The most common way is to prepare a nutmeg tea.

“Grind 6 nutmeg nuts (approx. 30g or 1 ounce) into a powder. I use a coffee grinder. If you don’t have strainer just break the nuts into large chunks using a mortal & pestle. I recommend grinding.

Now chuck this into 750 ml of water (3 cups) and simmer without boiling over a stove for 1 hour. The water will be reduced by about 30% so your end result will be approx. 500 ml of tea.

After the one hour strain the nutmeg out and let the tea cool. Then sweeten w/ honey (play around with this to see what you like best) and drink.

Note: **IMPORTANT** Do not cool the tea down to where it is noticeably cold (test it with your finger). If it is noticeably cold, and there is a white precipitate on the sides of your cup re-heat the tea and re-dissolve the white precipitate. You will only get minimal effects if you don’t pay attention to this.

Sources: Getting nutmeg is very easy, but getting it cost effectively might be a bit trickier. Get only whole nutmeg, don’t waste your time with the pre-ground stuff. If you get your nutmeg at the supermarket it will probably be about $5 / 1.5 oz. This is ok I guess, but if you search out your local herb stores you can find prices (at least in my area) that are about $1/ oz.

Effects: They begin within 15 minutes and last (estimated) 3 or 4 hours. It is very similar to cannabis.”

Source: Nutmeg Tea and Drink Recipes on Erowind.org – they have a few more recipes, if you want to check them out!

My method is much simpler. The problem when consuming nutmeg in quantities required to get high is the extremely bad taste. So, what I recommend is to buy baker’s yeast (very cheap, and healthy, plenty of B vitamins) and encase the nutmeg within little yeast balls and swallow them. You can put them in pills, capsules as well if you happen to have a capsule maker at home.


My own encounter with nutmeg was a rather unpleasant one (extremely unpleasant, in fact). Therefore I can only cite experiences of others, who claim to have had a nice (or at least tolerable) high on the tea prepared from the spice. Many reported an effect very similar to that of cannabis.


The above recipe contains tips for the dosage too. However, on forums and blogs, other recipes sometimes include a smaller amount. It is probably wiser to start with a smaller dose than 6 nuts.



Buy Nutmeg

The local grocery store could do the trick. However, there is an entheogen shop that sells special nutmeg made just for people to get high on.

It is said that this variety contains more of the active ingredient (myristicin) than what’s found at grocery stores.

You can buy nutmeg here:

Buy nutmeg /shipped from the US/




Nutmeg trip reports


Most of the trip reports out there talk about an experience that is more weird and interesting than pleasant. Also, in almost all cases, a strong hangover, lasting multiple days is reported.

“The Experience – Well I started feeling rather wacky… spacey, dizzy, confused, not really terribly pleasant, but tolerable (also I experienced a dry-mouth relievable by sipping on cold water throughout the rest of the night until I went to bed). I felt these symptoms increase with a slight hallucinogenic edge. Watching TV was a bit odd, things seemed a little distorted, textures were slightly enhanced or distorted. Nothing extreme. Around 12 hours later (midnight) I was thoroughly messed up (but not really hallucinating) and a bit tired. I decided I would go to bed, but instead of really sleeping I experienced more of a half-waking dream. The ‘dream’ consisted of rapidly changing rather random imagery of various things vaguely strung together in my brain’s half-assed attempt to make sense of it all.

The following morning I ‘awoke’ (meaning I felt as though I was only ever about half-asleep). I was dizzy as hell and could not coordinate myself very well. I experienced cotton-mouth and cotton-eyes, they were dry and itchy feeling. I had decided that my sinuses and uvula (that dangly thing in the throat) did not exist, which made my dry mouth much more tolerable. 🙂

That entire Saturday I felt bizarre, experiencing slightly tweaked vision, a strong headache, and all standard strong flu like symptoms excluding mucus and muscle-aches. (like a high fever) I didn’t have the presence of mind to actually check for a fever, I just assumed it was an effect. 4 or 5 hours after I woke up I decided that it was unpleasant and wanted it to end. I never got panicky about it, rather slightly impatient for the effects to end. “

Source: Erowin trip report on nutmeg: “Moderately Negative”



“This was a very interesting high. I remember parts of it very well, however other parts are very vague. Oh well. It was interesting. The positives of the drug were minimal other than a nice body buzz. It felt alright, nothing to write home about though. I got some other people to try this as a result of my use. They reported similar results.

The negatives of this drug outweighed the positives, in my opinion. The taste of the nutmeg is still terrible. Through my experiments on this day, I determined that eating it with mustard is the easiest way and I’ve yet to find anything better. The mustard’s cool, yet sharp taste masks the rancid flavour of the nutmeg quite well. “

Source: Erowid trip report on Nutmeg: Sleep Walking

My nutmeg trip report.



If you find this nutmeg guide useful please give it a “+1”:

Thank you! It helps my website a lot.


Share your own trip report in the comment section below (to ensure anonymity don’t use your real name or real email address when submitting trip reports)!

Some of the information presented here might be outdated or incorrect (check “last updated” below). Make sure, that if you are planning to try out any of the substances to research them yourself as well.

I’m 100% committed to safe and responsible legal high consumption. If you have a few minutes to spare please read my blog post about responsible and safe legal drugs use.


Nutmeg is only one of the legal highs included in Simon’s legal high guide, check out the others as well.

If you are only interested in legal deliriant, then check out Simon’s Legal Deliriant Guide for more (coming soon).

Last updated: 2015. 11. 11.

Simon's Nutmeg Guide
Article Name
Simon's Nutmeg Guide
A guide to nutmeg - not in the culinary sense. I explain the pros and cons of getting high on nutmeg. I also include short excerpts from publicly available nutmeg high trip reports, so you will have an idea of what you can expect.

One thought on “Simon’s Nutmeg (High) Guide”

  1. this was very interesting and as someone who is relatively new to this (and hasn’t tried nutmeg) i have a few questions i’m hoping someone could answer for me.
    the effects of a nutmeg high sound to me a lot similar from a high someone would get on dph, which i actually kind of like sometimes as it’s a cheap high that passes time for me. and also because i take prescribed fluxotine which makes the experience a bit more pleasant. anyways, if anyone has tried both, would they be able to tell me more about how the highs compare and contrast?
    my other questions would be; does this really last for two to five days as i’ve heard? and if so how delirious does it make a person, would it be okay to try it on a friday assuming i’d have to go in to work monday?
    are there any reports i can see to know if it’s okay to mix this with my prescribed prozac? and finally what would a minimum dosage be?

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