Nutmeg contains psychoactive ingredients similar to those of MDMA drugs
aromatic nutmeg on a dark stone background.
  • Nutmeg has many health benefits. But it contains two psychoactive compounds, myristicin and elemicin, which both get converted to MDMA and Mescaline in the body respectively 
  • MDMA and Mescaline are psychoactive drugs that have relaxing effects. 
  • Very high doses are associated with hallucinogenic effects and intoxication
  • Nutmeg, when consumed in small doses, have beneficial effects as a relaxant and as a brain activity stimulant
  •  However, care should be taken when consuming higher doses as it can be toxic and can cause serious harms, similar to those associated with MDMA and Mescaline drugs
  • Other food items that have calming effects are salmon, dark chocolate and chamomile

In our previous article, Psychoactive Drugs 1, we explored the use of the psychoactive drug Ritalin among professional workers and students. Ritalin is often taken to enhance levels of concentration. However, Ritalin can be addictive and can lead to dependency symptoms if taken regularly in high doses. Moreover, when stopped, withdrawal effects might ensue. Therefore, we identified natural food items that could boost your concentration levels instead. Such food items were walnuts and omega 3 fatty acids as they include good levels of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that plays a key role in cognitive functions such as in memory, concentration, focus and behavior in both children and adults.

However, to be able to achieve a high level of productivity and to be able to “get things done”, you also need to feel relaxed, well and happy. There are a number of psychoactive drugs that can help to stabilise your mood and to increase your serotonin levels. Such drugs are MMDA and MDMA. But are these really the only options you have? Not really, mother earth always finds a way to surprise us! One way earth does that is by the natural replacing of these two drugs! Nutmeg is a fruit that can induce similar effects to those felt when taking MMDA and MDMA! 

But before we explain how Nutmeg really does that, let’s first explore what does being “relaxed” really mean? 

Serotonin – The Happy Hormone & Tryptophan

Serotonin is a chemical messenger that is thought to produce relaxing effects. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid (must be taken in food) and may act as a precursor for the synthesis of serotonin. It is combined with with a chemical reactor called tryptophan hydroxylase in a biochemical conversion to make serotonin. You may take tryptophan in the supplement to increase the serotonin level in the body, but a more natural approach would be to obtain it from natural food sources. Several tryptophan-containing foods may stabilize your mood by increasing your serotonin levels. Some of these are cheese, pineapple, egg, tofu, beans, lentils, beef, spinach and salmon.

Instead of using drugs, there are several other natural food sources that can be taken to stabilize your mood by also increasing your serotonin levels. One of those is Nutmeg, a fruit that can induce similar effects to MMDA and Mescaline drugs.

What Are MMDA & MDMA Drugs?

MMDA and MDMA are compounds that create feelings of happiness, wellbeing, relaxation, and also help to release tension and anxiety. 

MMDA (3-methoxy-4,5-methylenedioxyamphetamine; 5-methoxy-MDA) and MDMA (3,4-Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine) are both psychoactive drugs with a close resemblance in their structure.

MMDA can be produced in the body by the metabolism of myristicin, a compound found in Nutmeg. It creates feelings of happiness, wellbeing, and relaxation. MMDA helps to mitigate feelings of nervousness and stress. MDMA, also known as ecstasy or molly, is also a psychoactive drug that can help to release tension and anxiety.

Yes, MDMA Can be a Relaxant, But Does Prolonged Exposure to The Drug have Negative Side Effects on Your Health? 

Excessive and regular exposure to these drugs can have psychobiological effects, according to a research conducted by Buchanan and his team. An Internet-based strategy was used in a research conducted on 209 volunteers, 117 of whom were enrolled via an MDMA discussion bulletin board. Both negative and positive effects of taking MDMA were reported.

Five of the major themes that appeared to be positive motives for the use of ecstasy in descending order were:

  • Improved outlook on life, self-understanding
  • Improved relationships
  • Increased sociability
  • Improved psychological functioning
  • Improved healthiness.

On the other hand, negative consequences of using ecstasy on a regular basis were reported. It can lead to negative psychobiological effects. In the same research, psychological problems were identified the most common negative side effect. The likelihood of reporting psychological problems increased for the group that had lifelong exposure to the drug. 

Mescaline Drug, What is it? 

Mescaline Can Be Synthesized from Elemicin, A Compound Also Found in Nutmeg. It is Known to Produce Relaxation Effects. 

Mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine) is another naturally occurring psychoactive alkaloid drug. It can also be synthesized from elemicin, a compound found in nutmeg. The usual human dosage is 200 to 400 milligrams of mescaline sulfate or 178 to 356 milligrams of mescaline hydrochloride. It is known to produce relaxation effects. Even though most of the takers report positive effects, certain case studies mentioned in the Drug and Society book by Hanson, mentioned that mescaline can also produces negative effects. Such effects are muscle relaxation effects (sedation) along with other negative symptoms such as an increase in body temperature, anxiety and visual hallucination. 

It was mentioned in the same book that the average mescaline dose to cause hallucination and physiological effects was 300 to 600 milligrams. This is equal to around 20 peyote mescal buttons, another mescaline-containing plant. Furthermore, a lethal dose is 10 to 30 times of that which induces behavioural changes in human beings. 

How Do MMDA and Mescaline Drugs Produce Their Effects

MMDA and mescaline produce their effects by the release of serotonin into the neuronal synaptic cleft. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for the feelings of wellbeing and excitement. It does also have other biological functions.

MDMA and mescaline stimulate the serotonin (5-HT2A) receptors, which are thought to be responsible for the behavioural effects seen with taking those drugs. Such effects are relaxation and a sense of satisfaction. Hallucinegens are believed to be psychoactive compounds that stimulate the serotonin (5-HT2A) (mode stabilizers). 

Nutmeg, What Is It & How Does It Induce Its Psychoactive Effects? 

MDMA Can Be Produced in The Body By The Metabolism of Myristicin, A Compound Found in The seed of Nutmeg. 

Claimed by physicians to be a cure to the black plague in the seventeenth century, nutmeg and its spices are of high interest among both researchers and the public alike. This is due to their highly differentiated natural nutritional profile. It is the seed of a fruit that grows on the Myristica fragrans. The oil of which is an essential oil that contains compounds such as myristicin and elemicin. The tree that bears the seeds (nutmeg) grows up to 20 meters and can be found in India, Srilanka and Indonesia.

MDMA can be produced in the body by the the metabolism of myristicin that is found in nutmeg. Furthermore, Mescaline can be synthesized from elemicin, another compound found in nutmeg. MDMA and Mescaline are both psychoactive drugs. This could be the explanation for why hallucinogenic effects occur when nutmeg is consumed in larger quantities.

Nutmeg spices have multiple uses in the food and beverage industry. They are used in several food items, beverages (e.g., Coca Cola), and in sweets as a natural food flavourer. Some of these recipes are Applesauce Raisin Cake, Anchovy Spread, Banana Ketchup, Pumpkin Banana Bread, Spinach Pie, and Jamaican Jerk Sauce.

Interestingly, nutmeg spices can also help you to fight against stress and to feel more comfortable and relaxed.

What’s more exciting than the natural food you eat, instead of the marketed drugs to feel relaxed. Instead of reaching for drugs, a slight change in your nutrition by adding some of those spices to your diet can help you when dealing with anxiety and stress. 

What Psychoactive Compounds are Found in Nutmeg?

Myristicin and Elemicin, metabolised in the body into MDMA and Mescaline respectively, are both found in the seed of Nutmeg. These two compounds produce synergistic effects when taken together.

There are two psychoactive drugs in nutmeg (the only plant species that contains two different ones).


The first one, called myristicin, is found in the seed of the nutmeg. Myristicin is present in minor amounts in nutmeg oil and other spices such as dill and parsley. It is capable of producing psychotropic effects similar to MDMA compounds because of its chemical structure. Nutmeg produces relaxing effects in the body after the conversion of its myristicin content into MMDA by metabolism.


Elemicin is the second psychoactive ingredient in nutmeg. Elemicin has been used as a precursor to synthesize mescaline drug.

These two compounds produce synergic effects, thus eating the two compounds together is thought to be far more potent than either one alone. The effects of nutmeg consumed are attributed mostly to myristicin, where 1-7 hours following ingestion include feelings of well-being, satisfaction, happiness, light-headedness, and relaxation.

How Much of the Nutmeg Could be Consumed?

Nutmeg, When Consumed in Small Doses, Have Beneficial Effects as a Relaxant and as a Brain Activity Stimulant

Myristicin is most frequently consumed as part of the nutmeg seed. 400 milligrams would be present in roughly 15 grams of nutmeg powder. However, symptoms of intoxication may appear at doses greater than 5 grams due to the presence of different psychoactive compounds (elemicin and myristicin) in nutmeg. In fact, the minimum dose of nutmeg that can cause psychogenic effect is 5 grams which contains 1 to 2 mg of myristicin. In other instances, 1 to 2 mg of myristicin is considered toxic. Very high doses might even cause death. So lots of care must be taken when consuming Nutmeg and other myristicin containing plants such as peyote mescal buttons. 

Finally, Are Nutmegs Any Better than MDMA? What should I Eat instead to Feel Relaxed? 

Apart from all the risks accompanied with consuming large doses of nutmeg, it has many health benefits. Nutmeg has antioxidant and anticancer properties, it can kill harmful bacteria, alleviate pain and help fight inflammation. It is also reported to strengthen cognitive functions. Its consumption also has many benefits to your hair and skin.

However, care should be taken when consuming large quantities of nutmeg due to its potential psychobiological side effects. Pregnant women should be extra careful as large quantities were historically used to end pregnancies. 

Very small amounts of nutmeg are beneficial. They act as destressing agents, stimulate your brain activity and help your blood circulation due its minerals rich content. Its destressing properties can be helpful in fighting depression and stress well. 

Other food items that have relaxing effects are salmon, chamomile, and dark chocolate. Also keeping a good level of exercising and staying hydrated combined with good diet and nutrition will keep you away from needing to hopefully ever considering MDMA or MMDA again unless clinically advised!

Did you know that Dark Chocolate also helps to boost your concentration levels? Read our article Psychoactive drugs 1: Can Food Be Used Instead of Ritalin?  to learn more about its focus boosting effects.