Jaiphal Nutmeg – Myristica fragrans Uses, Dose, Side Effects

Jaiphal – Nutmeg is an aphrodisiac, digestive tonic, very useful even with external application in case of headache, useful in cough, cold, asthma and more. 
Botanical Name- Myristica fragrans Henlt.
Family- MYRISTICACEAE (Jatiphala kula)

Hindi Name- Jaiphal
English Name- Nutmeg
Urdu – Jauzbuwa, Jaiphal
Telugu Name- Jaji Kaya
Tamil Name- Jatikkai, Sathiccupi, Jadhikai, Jadhiccupi.
Bengali –Jaiphal& Javitri
Kannada name- Jaikai,
Malayalam name – Jathika
Marathi and Gujarati Name – Jaipal

Vernacular Names


Sanskrit Synonyms

Malatiphala, Malatisuta – A fruit having fragrans (Jati or Malati means Jasmine, symbolic to fragrance.)
Majjasaram – The kernel of seed is the essence part of the plant.
Sugandha – Fruit has good aroma
Puta – The fruit is in the form of a shell
Madashounda – It is used after consuming alcohol


Myristica fragrans is most commonly used as Nutmeg.
Myristica malabarica is a common adulterant, it is also called Bombay Nutmeg.
In some places, Myristica dactyloides (M. Laurifolia Hook f. & Thoms) is used as Jaiphal.


Grows in South Indian states like Karnataka, Kerala and Tamilnadu
Tree with slender branches
Leaves – Coriaceous, elliptic oblong or lanceolate Nerves – pale yellow brown
Flowers – Ellipsoid, Male flowers are seen in supra axillary racemes
Fruit – Ovoid, sub globose or pyriform
Useful part – Seed and Aril

Chemical composition

Myristica fragrans chemical composition:
Beta Pipene, Alpha Terpinene, Safrole, Methyl Eugenol, Myristicin, Elemicin, Trimyristin, Dihydro-disoeugeneol, Myristic acid, Epicatechin, Cyanadin, Nectandrin B, Verrucosin, Lignans and neolignans etc.
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna Vijnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)

Part used, dosage

Part used: Seed, seed coat, oil.
Dosage – Curna (powder) – 250 mg to 1 grams in divided dose per day.
Taila (Oil) – 7 – 15 drops

How to take Nutmeg?
For daily use, for adults, just 250 – 500 mg (one – two small pinch) along with honey or ghee can be taken in the morning, after food.
If you are using it in your diet, as a spice, then there is no need to take it additionally.

Sanskrit verse

Nutmeg benefits

Medicinal qualities

Myristica fragrans medicinal qualities:
Rasa – Taste – 
Tikta (Bitter), Katu (pungent)
Guna (qualities) – Laghu (lightness), Teekshna (piercing, strong, penetrative)
Vipaka – Katu – Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Ushna – Hot potency
Effect on Tridosha – Balances Kapha and Vata Dosha.
Pharmacological action – Aphrodisiac, stomachic, Stimulant, Analgesic, Appetizer, carminative

Nutmeg benefits

Nutmeg has water absorbing, drying up, sputum absorbing qualities. Hence, as you can find below, it is very useful in clearing throat, cough, asthma, Irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. 
Laghu – light to digest
Trushnapaha – relieves excess thirst
Vaktra Kledahara – relieves excessive sliminess and moisture of mouth
Vaktra Daurgandhyahara – relieves bad breath problem
Artijit – useful in throat pain
Vata Atisara – Useful in relieving diarrhea associated with bloating and abdominal pain
Mehaghna – Useful in diabetes and urinary tract infection
Vrushya – aphrodisiac.
Deepana – improves digestion strength
Hrudya – cardiac tonic, good for heart
Rochana, Ruchikrut – improves taste, appetizer
Teekshna – Piercing, strong
Grahi – absorbent, bowel binding, useful in IBS, diarrhea
Krumihara – useful in intestinal worm infestation and infected wounds
Kasahara – relieves cough, cold
Vamihara – relieves nausea and vomiting
Shwasahara – useful in asthma, COPD and other respiratory diseases
Trushnahara – relieves excessive thirst
Shoshahara – relieves emaciation, dehydration
Peenasahara – Relieves allergic rhinitis
Hrudruja – relieves cardiac pain
Varnakrut – improves skin tone and complexion
Vishapaha – natural detoxifier, anti toxic
It helps to induce sleep.
It is used for the treatment of low sperm count (Oligospermia). 


Nutmeg to improve singing voice: Swarya, Kanthamaya – used in throat disorders and to improve voice quality. It helps to clear the throat of excess sputum.
Nutmeg is an essential ingredient in making Tambula Pan – Ayurvedic way of betel chewing.
Its paste is applied over the forehead to relieve headache and over painful joints to relieve pain


Jatipatri – Javitri is the rind / skin of nutmeg fruit. It has the following medicinal qualities.
Katutiktha – Pungent and Bitter in taste
Surabhi – Fragrant
Kaphanashini – Alleviates kapha
Hrudya – cardiac tonic, good for heart
Vatakaphapaha – Balances Vata and Kapha Dosha
Ruchikrut – improves taste, appetizer, useful in anorexia
Varnakrut – improves skin tone and complexion
useful in cough, asthma, intestinal worm infestation, cleanness of the mouth and treats jadya.

As per Ayurveda Mahodadhi

It appeases the vAta and kapha doShAs.
Jatiphala is a good digestive carminative and acts as a cardiac tonic.
It eliminates the bad odor [halitosis] from the oral cavity.
Liquefies the mucus accumulated in the throat and relieves the throat pain.
Provides and improves the taste perception of the food.
Indicated in indigestion due to its carminative property.
Is capable of providing relief from fever and vomiting caused by the vata kapha doshas.

Nutmeg essential oil

Jaiphal oil is
Samuttejana – stimulant
Agnida – carminative, improves digestion strength
Jeerna Atisara – useful in diarrhea, dysentery
Adhmanahara – relieves bloating
Akshepa – useful in convulsions, epilepsy
Artinut, Shulanut – relieves pain, abdominal colic
Amavatahara – useful in rheumatoid arthritis
Balya – improves strength, immunity
Dantavrana – relieves toothache
Vrananut – heals wound
Its oil is applied externally over the penis as a remedy for erectile dysfunction.

Jaiphal in pregnancy

There is much hype and hoopla about usage of spice during pregnancy. Nutmeg in safe during pregnancy, if used in little quantities of half to one gram during pregnancy. Only a very high dose is not recommended during pregnancy. For that matter, anything in excess is bad. The same rule is good in this case as well.

Jaiphal for cold in infants

A very tiny piece of nutmeg can be used in preparing food in babies above 9 months to treat cold and cough.
In children above 2 years of age, it can be used in a small quantity.

Jaiphal for pimple

A paste of nutmeg made with water or milk is applied externally to treat pimples and acne scar.
Ground nutmeg powder made into a paste with Sandalwood, Kumkumadi taila, olive oil etc can be used for face

Jatiphal for depression

Jatiphal is an aphrodisiac, useful to induce sleep and calm the mind. It is also very good to relieve depression. N-hexane extract has been proven experimentally for antidepressant activity

Nutmeg with Ashwagandha

Can Nutmeg be taken with Ashwagandha? 
Dr JV Hebbar 
Nutmeg and Ashwnagandha have many common effects on health. 
1. Diabetes – Nutmeg is useful in diabetes for controlling blood sugar levels. It is explained as Mehaghna – useful in diabetes and urinary tract infections. 
Ashwagandha has hypoglycemic effect (1), it reduces blood sugar levels. It improves muscle strength and reduces stress, enabling a diabetic patient to take up exercise and to live a stress-free life. 

2. Liver and heart – Nutmeg has been studied for liver protection and antioxidant activities (2). Ayurvedic text, Sodhala Nighantu explains nutmeg as hrudya – congenial to  heart. 
Ashwagandha is also a very good antioxidant and is studied to improve cardio-respiratory endurance in cyclists (3). For a person who has undergone any type of heart surgery, Ashwagnadha can be useful to strengthen the heart muscles. 
Click to read: Ashwagandha Withania somnifera Uses, Dose, Side Effects, Research

3. Sleep and stress – Ashwagandha is useful in treating anxiety and depression. Nutmeg is known to relieve stress and is useful to improve quality of sleep. This combination can be useful in this regard as well.
Click to read: Ayurvedic Herbs To Improve Sleep: Chronological List 

4. Aphrodisiac activity: Ashwagandha is very well known to improve vigor and stamina. Nutmeg also has a similar purpose. In olden times, nutmeg was an essential ingredient in tambula – a betel leaf recipe, consumed after meals. One of the effects of this recipe is aphrodisiac and energizing the sense organs. In sexual disorders caused due to performance anxiety, this combination can be useful (4). 
Read related: Tambula – Pan Chewing: Right Method, Benefits, Contra Indications

How to take it? 
Special care is to be taken. For an adult, the dose of nutmeg is between 50 – 70 mg per day. Dose of Ashwagandha is 1-3 grams, once or twice a day. 
100 grams of Ashwagandha can be mixed with 2 grams of nutmeg powder. This is mixed thoroughly. This powder mix, 1 – 2 grams at night can be consumed for a period of 2 – 3 weeks, based on your Ayurvedic doctor’s advised. It can be mixed with half a teaspoon of ghee and swallowed with lukewarm water. 
Why ghee? Because both are hot in nature and can cause some stomach disturbance due to an increase of Pitta dosha in some people. Ghee balances Pitta dosha.
Why lukewarm water? Because whenever oil or ghee is consumed, for its better digestion, lukewarm water is preferred.  


Anti convulsant activity of nutmeg oil
Anxiolytic activity
Anti-bacterial activity

Side effects

Myristica fragrans side effects
In high doses it is not recommended to be used. Nutmeg is unlike other nuts. So, even if you have nut allergies, it is quite safe to use nutmeg in your diet.
Overdose may cause convulsions, palpitation, weak pulse, hypothermia, disorientation, giddiness, nausea and vomiting.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Ayurvedic medicines

Ayurvedic medicines with nutmeg as ingredient:
Jatiphaladi Churna – 
used in the Ayurveda treatment of digestive and respiratory conditions.
Dadimavaleha –  to relieve diarrhea and dysentery.
Nasika Churna – used in the treatment of chronic rhinitis, headache, bad breath etc..
Mrita Sanjivani Gulika – used in Ayurveda treatment of later stages of fever, high grades of fever, epilepsy.


Myristica beddomomei
Myristica attenuata


Myristica malabarica
Myristica argentea

Spices, mace, ground

Rasa – bitter, pungent
Guna – light, piercing, sharp
Veerya – hot
Vipaka – pungent
Effect on Dosha
Vata balancing
Pitta increasing
Kapha balancing

Systemic Action

External – Leaf has analgesic and anti-inflammatory, stimulant, Anti microbial, prevent bad body odor. External application is beneficial in Headache, Joint inflammation etc. Liniment prepared out can be used in skin diseases. In erectile dysfunction external application of its oil is beneficial. In chronic non healing wounds its powder can be used for sprinkling. In rhinitis its oil can be applied on the head. Oil also possesses Antimicrobial property.

Nervous system – Indicated in diseases due to vitiated vata dosha. Indicated in conditions like Epilepsy, Insomnia, Tremor, Pain etc. Overdose can cause intoxication.

Digestive System – Can be used as a mouth freshener. carminative, Digestive, Liver stimulant, Absorbent, Anthelmintic. Indicated in Diarrhea, Loss of appetite, Malabsorption syndrome, Liver disorders, Helminthiasis, Abdominal distension, etc. Prevent excessive thirst sensation. Helps to stop vomiting. Water boiled with Jati powder is useful in Enteric fever, which helps to prevent diarrhea, vomiting, weakness etc. It can be applied on umbilical areas in Diarrhea conditions.

Circulatory System – Cardiac stimulantRespiratory system – Expels out excessive kapha dosha. Indicated in cough, Hiccough and other respiratory illness.
Reproductive system – Aphrodisiac, prevents premature ejaculation. Also indicated in Dysmenorrhea.
Tapakrama – Antipyretic, Especially indicated in fever associated with digestive issues
Satmikarana – Beneficial in weakness after diarrhea and Mal absorptive conditions.

38 comments on “Jaiphal Nutmeg – Myristica fragrans Uses, Dose, Side Effects

  • Safia

    27/11/2014 - 1:15 am

    is this safe for HCV patient who has asthma as well?

    Reply to comment
  • sundaram

    27/11/2014 - 5:29 am

    it would have been better if method of taking along with dosage and timing of taking is also given for guidance

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      27/11/2014 - 10:18 am

      Thank you very much for the feedback.
      I have added that info to the article. (after part used and dosage). I will make sure to include this information in every herb that I cover in future.

      Reply to comment

    27/11/2014 - 11:17 am

    Name of Jaiphal in Malayalam as per this write up is Jaikai but in our locality it is Jathikai. From where did you get the name Jaikai is not known. We call Nutmeg as Jathikai.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      27/11/2014 - 9:19 pm

      Hi, Thanks for the feedback. I have included Jathikai in the Malayalam name.
      I referred Dravya Guna Vijnana by Prof. PV Sharma and Illustrated Dravyaguna by Dr JLN Shastri.

      Reply to comment
  • Janak

    27/11/2014 - 3:10 pm

    Your articles are always very informative. very nice and keep doing the same

    Reply to comment
  • sudharsini

    30/11/2014 - 6:29 pm

    In children above 2 yrs….. The dosage for cold is not mentioned Dr. Plz let me know the dosage frequency and how to take it.

    Reply to comment
  • austereseeker

    02/12/2014 - 6:45 pm

    Thank you for this information. I knew about the traditional use as sedative– the other uses were new for me.

    Reply to comment
  • sima

    02/12/2014 - 8:20 pm

    Hi, Dr,a very very very useful knowledge you are giving to worldwide. There are people who have this knowledge but refused to share. But you are really a good job to human beings who actually don’t understand more on ayurvedic medicines. Thank you so much as God will bless you with good health and wealth.
    Please,can you share your knowledge on how and do they have medicines for diabetics people. Thanks again.
    Sima Singapore.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      26/12/2014 - 7:46 pm

      Hi, there are many Ayurvedic medicines for Diabetes, starting from Amla powder, Triphala powder for pre-diabetes to Nisha katakadi kashayam etc. But the medicine and dose has to be fixed based on patient’s age, blood sugar level, dietary habits etc. Please consult an Ayurveda doctor in person.

      Reply to comment
  • Gaurav

    18/12/2014 - 7:38 pm

    I’d like to know the differences between Nutmeg and Jatamansi…is one stronger than the other? thank you.

    Reply to comment
  • Gaurav

    18/12/2014 - 7:43 pm

    Is nutmeg slow acting? i.e. it takes a few hours after ingestion to start having the (sleep inducing for example) effect? If so, I’m curious what property makes it so.

    Reply to comment
  • Karim Bux Shaikh

    15/07/2015 - 7:48 pm

    Dear Doctor sahib!!
    I’m Karim Bux Shaikh from UMARKOT, Sindh.
    Your efforts are no doubt very much informative and beneficial for common people. Hope you will feel very much relaxed and happy after sharing such valuable knowledge.
    Keeping in view the long list of health benefits, can this herb be made part of daily use for life long?? If so, what dosage??
    Do please reply…

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      13/08/2015 - 10:23 pm

      Thank you. This can be used daily in a very small dose of 250 – 500 mg

      Reply to comment
  • sujaya

    10/02/2016 - 6:36 pm

    what is the effect of nutmug on hypertension?

    Reply to comment
    • Dr Malini Bhat

      13/02/2016 - 12:50 pm

      Madam, Nutmeg is at once a stimulant and a sedative — it soothes the body while exciting the body systems. It is the sedative effect that may help to lower temporarily high blood pressure, as in times of stress, but it is not an effective replacement for prescribed blood pressure medications. The mineral content Potassium in nut meg is a vasodilator, which relaxes blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure and lowering the strain on the cardiovascular system.

      Reply to comment
  • rohi

    06/05/2016 - 2:42 pm

    Hi, can we use it during periods, as my period are 10 to 12days long.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      02/06/2016 - 4:49 pm

      Hi, nutmeg is not recommended in your case, as it can slightly increase Pitta and worsen bleeding.

      Reply to comment
  • Priya

    21/08/2016 - 5:23 pm

    Hi. My granny usually gives a very small quantity of jaikai with ghee to my infant son who is of 4 months age. She says it helps in increasing body mass n immunity. Is this safe?

    Reply to comment
  • Ramesh Nigam

    30/09/2016 - 9:34 am

    It is always a pleasure going through your write ups, while it is still more interesting to find you replying queries for our knowledge. May He bless you.

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    05/12/2016 - 9:03 pm

    It is used in the treatment of PE.

    Reply to comment
  • tamar

    13/01/2017 - 5:36 am

    Hey is this used for increase of fertility at night time during menstration. I am told to use a few grams in a glass of milk. Is this ok

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      05/02/2017 - 6:47 pm

      Half a gram at night, with a glass of milk is fine to use.

      Reply to comment
  • tamar

    13/01/2017 - 5:41 am

    How do you use this to increase fertility without it aggravating your doshas

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      05/02/2017 - 5:54 pm

      1 gram at night, after food with a cup of milk.

      Reply to comment
  • Anjali Chugh

    15/02/2017 - 7:43 pm

    Hi sir, i have pain in the middle portion below chest. How i can take nutmeg for this. Earlier i used to hv severe pain in upper abdomen but now the pain is consistent in that middle portion. Thanks in advance

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    21/08/2017 - 5:55 pm


    Reply to comment
  • Pradeep singh

    26/09/2017 - 4:47 pm

    Dear Sir,
    On January 2016 I had taken two Pices of netmeg with the milk at the time of sleeping. When in the morning I wakeup, I felt to much power in my body but I was unable to move my hand or body. My mind was almost in coma.
    I was listening to someone but unable to understand what he/she was saying.
    how ever I recover from that but now I feel that my remembering power is decrease. I always feel sleepy.
    Kindly Help me if you feel that is it related with this Indecent.

    Reply to comment
  • Abu

    15/10/2017 - 5:47 pm

    Thank you for your valuable time and advice Dr. I wish you great success in every field you try your hand with.

    Reply to comment
  • Luiza Misquitta

    24/10/2017 - 3:18 pm

    My son is 2 yrs old, I scrape fresh nutmeg to his bedtime porridge or milk everyday (just a pinch). Is that ok ? Or should I give it every alternate day? Also if I steam the nutmeg with rice do I just steam a piece or feed him entire nutmeg in one day ? Thanks

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      25/10/2017 - 5:15 pm

      1. It is fine to give it on alternate days.
      2. steam a piece of it.

      Reply to comment
  • C

    17/06/2018 - 9:25 pm

    Hello Dr Hebbar, is jatipatri (the outside of nutmeg) the same as “mace?” The red part. Can a person concurrently use jaiphal in spice amounts, plus the oil on knees, without it becoming too much? And, other medicine systems say up to 7g for an adult is usually tolerable. Is that right from your experience? Thank you!

    Reply to comment
  • C

    08/07/2018 - 7:23 pm

    Okay thank you!

    Reply to comment

    02/10/2021 - 1:05 pm

    it’s really informative for all people,plz continue for other herbs

    Reply to comment

Leave a reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Easy Ayurveda Video Classes

Buy Online Video Courses

Buy Easy Ayurveda Books