Myristica-Nutmeg.-The kernel of the seed of Myristica officinalis. Cultivated extensively in the Banda Islands of the Malayan Archipelago.

Characters.-Oval or nearly round, about an inch in length, marked externally with reticulated furrows, internally greyish-red with dark-brownish veins. It has a strong peculiar odour, and a bitter aromatic taste.

Substance resembling Nutmeg: Areca, without odour.

Composition.-Nutmeg and mace contain about 30 per cent. of the officinal concrete oil, 4 to 9 per cent. of the officinal volatile oil, starch, etc. The concrete oil is a compound of (fluid) glycerides of oleic and butyric acids, and the solid glyceride of myristic acid, C14H18O2, a little volatile oil, and resin. The volatile oil of nutmeg consists chiefly of a terpene, and an oxygenated oil, myristicol.

Preparations.

1. Mvristicae Oleum Expressum

Mvristicae Oleum Expressum. The concrete oil, obtained from nutmegs by expression and heat. Orange-coloured, with the odour of nutmeg.

From Myristicoe Oleum Expressum are prepared: Emplastrum Calefaciens and Emplastrum Picis.

2. Myristicae Oleum

Myristicae Oleum. The volatile oil distilled in Britain from nutmegs. Colourless, fragrant. Dose, 2 to 6 min.

From Myristicoe Oleum is prepared:

Spiritus Myristicae,-1 in 50. Dose, 30 to 60 min.

Nutmeg and the volatile oil are also contained in many preparations of more important drugs.

Action And Uses

The solid oil has the local stimulant action of volatile oils, and is used as an inunction, or in plasters, to relieve the pain and swelling of chronic rheumatism, etc. The volatile oil resembles its many allies, and is chiefly used for culinary purposes.