A woman experiencing the effects of a nutmeg high

While nutmeg is known as a very common household spice, it can actually double as a psychoactive substance when taken in extremely high doses. This trend has led to reported emergency room visits over the years for nutmeg overdoses.

To make matters worse, people aged 13-20 was found to be the most common age group amongst those who overdosed, suggesting it is primarily young people abusing nutmeg. (1)

Here we break down what every parent needs to know about nutmeg and nutmeg high.

Nutmeg high

Nutmeg is a common household spice that is the seed of several trees of the genus Myristica.Nutmeg nuts used for drug use It’s use as a spice by humans goes back before recorded history.

Nutmeg is full of healthy minerals and vitamins, such as potassium, zinc, iron, and several vitamins. (2) So how is it a psychoactive drug?

Nutmeg contains the natural organic compound myristicin in small amounts within its essential oils. Myristicin is believed to be the compound that is responsible for the psychoactive effects of large doses.

Its hallucinogenic effects, however, are only achieved at doses much higher than the amount of nutmeg normally used during cooking. (3)

Nutmeg high effects

The effects of nutmeg/myristicin vary from individual to individual and depend on the amount consumed. The following effects were typically reported (4):

  • Auditory and visual hallucinations
  • Drowsiness
  • Delirium
  • Extreme thirst
  • Disorientation
  • Bizarre behavior
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
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What are the signs of nutmeg overdose?

Intentionally consuming extremely large amounts of nutmeg for the purposes of achieving a high is extremely dangerous.  In large quantities, it can cause severe poisoning. Roughly 30 minutes after consuming a large dose, the user typically has extreme gastrointestinal reactions. After a few hours into the high, the user can suffer from heart and nerve problems. (6)

The symptoms of overdose include the following (5):

  • Chest pain
  • Double vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/15563650.2011.561210
  2. https://foodfacts.mercola.com/nutmeg.html
  3. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Myristicin#section=Top
  4. https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@[email protected]+3516
  5. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002899.htm
  6. https://abcnews.go.com/Health/large-doses-nutmeg-hallucinogenic-high/story?id=12347815