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A Warning On Nutmeg


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I've never heard this before, guess I better be careful ;)

It takes a lot of nutmeg to feel the poison.

Toxicologists say that description is somewhat misleading, an overly romantic account of nutmeg’s generally unpleasant effects. It takes a fair amount of nutmeg — two tablespoons or more — before people start exhibiting symptoms. These can include an out-of-body sensation, but the most common are intense nausea, dizziness, extreme dry mouth, and a lingering slowdown of normal brain function. Dr. Gussow said nutmeg experimenters have compared it to a two-day hangover.

“People have told me that it feels like you are encased in mud,” said Dr. Edward Boyer, professor of emergency medicine and chief of the division of medical toxicology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. “You’re not exactly comatose, but you feel really sluggish. And your remembrance of events during this time period is incomplete at best.”

The main chemical culprit in nutmeg is calledmyristicin which forms naturally in the seeds (and in other plants, occurring in trace amounts in carrots). Myristicin belongs to a family of compounds with psychoactive potential that occasionally are used to make much stronger psychotropic drugs. It has beenincluded in recipes for MMDA. And it is chemically related to another compound, safrole, also found in nutmeg, which is sometimes used in the synthesis of the street drug Ecstasy.

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