Myristica fragrans, Nux Moschata
|Type||Seed or ground spice|
Nutmeg is the seed or ground spice of several species of the genus Myristica. Myristica fragrans (fragrant nutmeg or true nutmeg) is a dark-leaved evergreen tree cultivated for two spices derived from its fruit: nutmeg, from its seed, and mace, from the seed covering. It is also a commercial source of an essential oil and nutmeg butter. The California nutmeg, Torreya californica, has a seed of similar appearance, but is not closely related to Myristica fragrans, and is not used as a spice. Indonesia is the main producer of nutmeg and mace.
If consumed in amounts exceeding its typical use as a spice, nutmeg powder may produce allergic reactions, cause contact dermatitis, or have psychoactive effects. Although used in traditional medicine for treating various disorders, nutmeg has no scientifically confirmed medicinal value.
From Middle English notemege, notemuge, a partial translation of Medieval Latin nux muga, a variant of Medieval Latin nux muscata (“musky nut”). Compare also Old French nois mugede.
- IPA(key): /ˈnʌt.mɛɡ/
- Rhymes: -ɛɡ
nutmeg (countable and uncountable, plural nutmegs)
- An evergreen tree (Myristica fragrans) cultivated in the East Indies for its spicy seeds.
- The aromatic seed of this tree, used as a spice.
- (uncountable) The powdered