Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

The perils of nutmeg


This time of year nutmeg is frequently used in baking and added to beverages such as eggnog and mulled cider. While fine in small quantities, nutmeg can actually be toxic in larger amounts (1). As a child I remember my mother insisting we only put a very small pinch of nutmeg on our eggnog as her father was a doctor and had warned her of the dangers of excessive consumption. I’m not sure if it’s widespread knowledge that over-consumption of nutmeg can lead to hallucinations, illness, and in some cases even death so I thought that I would bring it to your attention.

Nutmeg is the seed of the Myristica tree. The covering of the nutmeg seed is another spice “mace”. Despite many claims regarding the health benefits of nutmeg there is no evidence to support the use of nutmeg for treatment or prevention of any illnesses. Especially considering the risks associated with excess consumption of nutmeg, it’s probably best to limit your nutmeg consumption to the occasional treat.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people see food and nutrition from a different perspective and understand that nutrition and health are not necessarily a result of personal choice.

3 thoughts on “The perils of nutmeg

  1. I had no idea! And, to think, I almost put nutmeg on Cat’s oatmeal this morning!


  2. I think it would take quite a bit to have any harmful effect. A little sprinkle should be fine. When in doubt, go with cinnamon :)


  3. I totally know about the hallucination thing! I never experienced it first-hand but I remember in university hearing about people taking spoonfuls of the stuff to get “high”


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