Health Guide


What is it?

Mace is a tree where two spices, nutmeg and mace, are found. It is an herbal medicine sometimes used to treat diarrhea (loose stools), flatulence (passing gas), hemorrhoids, nausea, rheumatoid arthritis, pain, and inflammation (redness, tenderness, and swelling). It may also be used for depression, schizophrenia, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis (hard blood vessels) and to prevent tooth decay (cavities).

Other names for Mace include: Muskatbuam, Myristica, Myristica fragrans, Myristicae semen, Nuez moscada, Nux moscata.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you.

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breast feeding
  • have other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much mace you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking mace. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take mace without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Medicine for depression or Parkinson's disease (isocarboxazid (Marplan(R)); phenelzine (Nardil(R)); selegiline (Eldepryl(R), Emsam(R), Zelapar(R)); tranylcypromine (Parnate(R)))(18) .
  • Dietary supplements that contain safrole which comes from sassafras (basil, camphor, cinnamon, sassafras)(19)


  • Before taking mace, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Side Effects:

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash.

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Fast heart beat, anxiety (nervousness), seeing double, dry mouth, or very thirsty (2,3,11,14,17)
  • Hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there) (7,3,8,16)
  • Headache, dizziness, or drowsiness (2,3,10,11,14,17)
  • Stomach upset (6,10,11)


1. Anon: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 4th ed. Therapeutic Research Faculty, Stockton, CA; 2002.

2. Anon: Nutmeg. Lawrence Rev Nat Prod 1981; 2:15-16.

3. Anon: The Pharmacology of nutmeg. Lawrence Rev Nat Prod 1984; 5:13-14.

4. Barrowman JA, Bennett A, Hillenbrand P et al: Diarrhea in thyroid medullary carcinoma: role of prostaglandins and therapeutic effect of nutmeg. Br Med J 1975; 3:11-12.

5. Fawell Wn & Thompson G: Nutmeg for diarrhea of medullary carcinoma of the thyroid (letter). N Engl J Med 1973; 289:108-109.

6. Hentschel H, Greyer H & Stein U: Ingestion of nutmeg (Mace) (abstract). EAPCCT XX International Congress, Amsterdam, Netherlands; 2000.

7. Lavy G: Nutmeg intoxication in pregnancy. A case report. J Reprod Med 1987; 32:63-64.

8. Mack RB: Toxic encounters of the dangerous kind. NCMJ 1982; 43:439.

9. McGuffin M, Hobbs D, Upton R et al (eds): American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1997.

10. Painter JC, Shanor SP & Winek CL: Nutmeg poisoning-a case report. ClinToxicol 1971; 4:1-4.

11. Sangalli BC & Chiang W: Toxicology of nutmeg abuse. Clin Toxicol 2000; 38:671-678.

12. Schlemmer RF Jr, Garnsworth NR, Cordell GA et al: Nutmeg Pharmacognosy (letter). N Engl J Med 1973; 289(17):922.

13. Shafran I: Nutmeg toxicology. N Engl J Med 1976; 294:849.

14. Shafran I & McCrone D: Nutmeg and medullary carcinoma of the thyroid (letter). N Engl J Med 1975; 293:1266.

15. Sherry CJ, Ray LE & Herron RE: The pharmacological effects of a ligroin-extract of nutmeg (Mace). J Ethnopharmacol 1982; 6(1):61-66.

16. Truitt EB Jr, Callaway E, Braude MC et al: The pharmacology of myristicin: a contribution to the psychopharmacology of nutmeg. J Neuropsych 1961; 2:205-210.

17. Venables GS, Evered D & Hall R: Nutmeg poisoning. Br Med J 1976; 1:96.

18. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R et al (eds): American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1997.

19. Anon: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 4th ed. Therapeutic Research Faculty, Stockton, CA; 2002.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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