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terpene profile_ Myristicin|Myristicin|nutmeg|myristicin infographic


Terpene Profile: Myristicin

Myristicin is a terpene that naturally occurs in essential oils like nutmeg. It can also be found in common spices like fennel and parsley, as well as in foods including carrots and parsnips.

Although in large quantities, myristicin may have psychoactive properties, the above-mentioned botanicals all contain extremely low concentrations of the terpene. Because of this, the average person doesn't have to worry about unintentionally experiencing psychoactive effects. When used as a psychoactive drug, myristicin serves as an anticholinergic, blocking the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from binding to its receptors in nerve cells, consequently inhibiting parasympathetic nerve impulses. 1

In addition to its potential psychoactive properties, myristicin is known to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. Because of this, the terpene has some medicinal uses. 2

Uses for Myristicin myristicin

Alleviates Stress

Essential oils that contain myristicin are an effective way to promote relaxation. Researchers have found that myristicin has anxiolytic effects, meaning it provides stress and anxiety relief. 3

The best-known essential oil that contains myristicin is nutmeg oil. This oil has a rich, slightly sweet smell. Myristicin can also be found in parsley seed, perilla seed, and fennel essential oils.

Improves Sleep Quality

It's important for adults to get at least seven hours of restful sleep at night, and a lack of good-quality sleep can have serious health consequences. Thankfully, aromatherapy can help many adults get a good night’s sleep.

Myristicin is an effective sleep aid for a number of reasons. As mentioned above, this terpene is an anxiolytic, meaning it can alleviate stress. Many users have reported that essential oils containing myristicin are highly soothing, allowing them to fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply.

Strengthens Immune System

Your immune system is your body's primary line of defense against illnesses and infections. The weaker your immune system, the more susceptible you are to illness. If you have a strong and healthy immune system, you will be able to remain in good health.

Parsley oil, which contains myristicin, has a positive effect on immune cells, which produce antibodies. Regular aromatherapy with parsley essential oil has been shown to boost immune system function, allowing for better overall health. 4

Other oils that contain myristicin, like nutmeg oil, also have antiseptic properties. Place a few drops of nutmeg or parsley oil in a diffuser before going to bed at night to reap these immune-strengthening benefits while you sleep.

Relieves Nausea

Nutmeg oil has a distinct aroma that many people are drawn to. This scent has also been shown to can quickly relieve nausea and even prevent vomiting.

Individuals that experience car sickness and other types of nausea can benefit greatly from essential oils that contain myristicin.

Remedies Respiratory Symptoms

Nutmeg essential oil has been shown to be an effective decongestant. The myristicin in the oil acts as a stimulant, allowing the body to clear mucus and relieve pressure in the chest. Studies have found that this essential oil is also effective against oral pathogens. 5

Additionally, aromatherapy with nutmeg essential oil can clear the nasal passages, leading to deeper and clearer breathing.

Improves Memory

Animal studies have found that myristicin can improve learning and memory in mice of all ages. These same studies discovered that myristicin has the ability to reduce the symptoms of memory impairment. 6

The majority of studies involving myristicin and memory used nutmeg essential oil, which contains a high concentration of myristicin.

myristicin infographic


Using myristicin-containing essential oils, like fennel, parsley seed, and nutmeg essential oils can provide a range of health benefits when incorporated into your daily routine.

Classification: Phenylpropene

The chemical formula for myristicin: C11H12O3

Molar mass: 192.21 g/mol

Melting point: -20°C (-4°F; 253.2 K)

Boiling point: 276.5°C (529.7°F; 549.7 K)

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