Home Herbal Monograph Nutmeg, Mace

The plant is a native of Moluccas, now cultivated in many tropical countries of both hemispheres. In India, it is grown in Tamil Nadu.

Morphology Description (Habit)

M.fragrans is a dioecious or occasionally monoecious evergreen, aromatic tree. The bark is greyish black; the leaves, elliptic or oblong-lanceolate and coriaceous; the flowers, in umbellate cymes, creamy yellow and fragrant; the fruits, yellow, broadly pyriform or globose; the seed, broadly ovoid, albuminous, with a shell-like purplish brown testa and covered by a red, fleshy aril. The dried kernels constitute the nutmeg of commerce. Mace is the dried fibrous aril covering the testa.

Principal Constituents

Nutmeg: A fixed oil, a volatile oil and starch.
Mace: the volatile oil (Oil of Mace) and amylodextrin.


Nutmeg is reported to be an expectorant, vermifuge, aphrodisiac, and as a nervine used by psychiatrists. It is used in tonics and electuaries and is recommended for the treatment of inflammations of bladder and urinary tract.
Mace is used in folk medicine for the treatment of rheumatism. It has anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties.