This section is from the book "The London Medical Dictionary", by Bartholomew Parr. Also available from Amazon: London Medical Dictionary.
cortex aromaticus, aromatic bark).
Mace, the middle bark, of nutmegs, enveloping theii shell, of an oily nature, and of a lively red colour when fresh, growing paler from age. It is dried in the sun upon hurdles, fixed one over another, which gives the appearance of fractured edges, and sprinkled with sea water to prevent its crumbling in carriage. It hath a pleasant aromatic smell, and a warm, pungent, bitterish taste. Its qualities are similar to those of nutmeg; but mace is warmer, more bitter, less unctuous, and sits easier on weak stomachs; yielding, by expression, a more fluid oil, and, in distillation with water, a more subtile volatile one.
The essential oil of mace is moderately pungent, very volatile, of a strong aromatic smell, like the mace itself, thin, limpid, and of a pale yellow colour, with a portion of thicker and darker coloured oil at the bottom. There are three kinds in the shops, though expressed from the nutmeg. The oil of mace is often prescribed as a carminative and antispasmodic. As such it relieves often in colics, and sometimes in nephritic cases. Externally applied, it sometimes relieves vomiting and hiccough. Its internal dose seldom exceeds five or six drops. See Nux M.oschata. See Lewis's Materia Medica.