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Nutmeg is a seed derived from the same species as mace (Myristica). (

Nutmeg is included in an assortment of remedies listed in the Pharamcoepia, ranging from a plaster, to a compound tincture. In the Compendium, the majority of entries that included nutmeg were cookery items for the sick.

British Pharmacopoeia 1867

Preparations of Nutmeg

Warm Plaster / Emplastrum Calefaciens [1]

  • cantharides in cparse powder (4 oz), expressed oil of nutmeg (4 oz), yellow wax (4 oz), resin (4 oz), soap plaster ( 3 ¼ lb), resin plaster (2 lbs), boiling water (1 pint)

Pitch Plaster / Emplastrum Picis[2]

  • burgundy pitch (26 oz), common frankincense (13 oz), resin (4 ½ oz), yellow wax (4 ½ oz), expressed oil of nuteg (1 oz), olive oil (2 fl oz), water (2 fl oz)

Compound Mixture of Iron / Mistura Ferri Composita[3]

  • sulphate of iron (25 grains), carbonate of potash (30 grains), myrrh (60 grains), refined sugar (60 grains), spirit of nutmeg (4 fl drachms), rose water (9 1/3 fl oz)
  • dose: 1-2 fl oz

Volatile Oil of Nutmeg / Oleum Myristicae [4]

  • “Oil distilled in Britain from nutmeg… Colourless or strawyellow, having the odour and taste of nutmegs.”
  • used in the preparations of: Pilula Aloes Socotrinae, Spiritus Ammoniae Aromaticus, Spiritus Myristicae

Expressed Oil of Nutmeg / Oleum Myristicae Expressum[5]

  • syn: myristicae adeps, 1864
  • “A concrete oil obtained by means of expression and heat from nutmegs… Of an orage colour, firm consistence, and fragrant odour like that of nutmeg.”
  • Used in the preparations of: Emplastrum Calefaciens, Emplastrum Picis

Aromatic Spirit of Ammonia / Spiritus Ammoniae Aromaticus [6]

  • Carbonate of Ammoia (8 oz), Strong solution of ammonia (4 fl oz), volatile oil of nutmeg (4 fl drachm), oil of lemon (6 fl oz), rectified spirit (6 pints), water (3 pints)
  • dose: ½-1 fl drachm

Compound Spirit of Horseradish / Spiritus Armoraciae compositus[7]

  • horseradish root, scraped (20 oz), bitter-orange peel, cut small and bruised (20 oz), nutmeg, bruised (1/2 oz), proof spirit (1 gallon), water (2 pints)
  • dose: 1-2 fl drachms

Spirit of Nutmeg / Spiritus Myristicae [8]

  • Volatile Oil of Nutmeg (1 fl oz), rectified spirit (49 fl oz)
  • dose: ½ - 1 fl drachm
  • used in preparations of: mistura ferri composita

Compound Tincture of Lavender / Tinctura Lavandulae Composita [9]

  • sun: spiritus lavandulae comositus
  • oil of lavender (1 ½ fl oz), oil of rosemary (10 minims), cinnamon bark, bruised (150 grains), nutmeg, bruised (150 gains), red sandal wood (300 grains), rectified spirit (2 pints)
  • dose: ½ - 2 fl drachms

A Compendium of Domestic Medicine, 1865

Remedies Containing or to be used with Nutmeg

  • Acid, Citric: spirit of nutmeg is in the “Saline Mixture” to treat inflamed and sore throats[10]
  • Alum, Common: powdered nutmeg is included in “Alum Pills, For Spitting Blood”[11]
  • Ammonia, Sesquicarbonate: spirit of nutmeg included in “Diaphoretic Draught”[12]
  • Bark, Canella: nutmeg used in the making of usquebaugh (whisky), most likely included for flavour[13]
  • Quinine, Sulphate of: spirit of nutmeg is included in a formula ordered by Dr. Copland, used in the treating of dyspepsia when accompanied with hepatic derangement.[14]

Diseases Treated with Nutmeg

General Diseases

  • Flatulence: nutmeg can be eaten along with other spicy fruit and carminatives[15]

Infantile Diseases

  • Hooping or Chincough: for young children (2-3 years old) the hands, soles of the feet, spine, and pit of the stomach can be rubbed with oil of nutmeg, or other stimulating liniments.[16]

Prescriptions Containing Nutmeg


  • Aromatic Chalk Mixture: spirit of nutmeg[17]

Aperients and Cathartics

  • Aperient Mixture (Another): spirit of nutmeg[18]


  • Refrigerant Draught: spirit of nutmeg[19]

Cookery for the Sick that includes Nutmeg

  • Panada, made in Five Minutes: a scrap of nutmeg is boiled in white wine, sugar, lemon-peel, and bread crumbs.[20]
  • Chicken Panada: nutmeg is grated into the pounded white meat along with lemon-peel.[21]
  • Caudle: nutmeg is added to a fine smooth gruel, that also contains sugar, wine, and lemon-peel[22]
  • Caudle (Another): nutmeg is added to the gruel that has had an egg yolk beaten into it, along with sugar, wine, and water. “It is very agreeable and nourishing”[23]
  • To Mull Wine: nutmeg and sugar are added to the wine and boiled[24]
  • To Mull Wine (Antoher): grated nutmeg and a piece of cinnamon are boiled in wine[25]
  • Ground Rice Milk: nutmeg is boiled in milk that contains ground rice, cinnamon, and lemon-peel[26]
  • A Draught for Cough and Debility: Nutmeg is scraped into a mixture containg egg, milk, capillaire or vinegar, and rose water[27]
  • Egg Wine: nutmeg, sugar, water, and white wine are boiled together, and then slowly added to a beaten egg, returning the mixture to the saucepan and heating.[28]


  1. General Medical Council of Great Britain, British Pharmacopeia, (London: Spottiswoode & Co.,1867), 105
  2. GMCGB, 108
  3. GMCGB, 210-11
  4. GMCGB, 225
  5. GMCGB, 225
  6. GMCGB, 294
  7. GMCGB, 295
  8. GMCGB, 297
  9. GMCGB, 335
  10. Savory, John. A Compendium of Domestic Medicine (London: John Churchill and Sons, 1865), 1.
  11. Savory, 15
  12. Savory, 16
  13. Savory, 28
  14. Savory, 123
  15. Savory, 233
  16. Savory, 274
  17. Savory, 309
  18. Savory, 311
  19. Savory, 333
  20. Savory, 336
  21. Savory, 337
  22. Savory, 339
  23. Savory, 339
  24. Savory, 340
  25. Savory, 340
  26. Savory, 342
  27. Savory, 344
  28. Savory, 346

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