Phytochemistry and pharmacologic properties of Myristica fragrans Hoyutt.: A review
Myristica fragrans is known as “nutmeg”, its extracts and essential oil are important in drug development with numerous pharmacological activities in South Africa, India and other tropical countries. For a long time, M. fragrans has been used in traditional medicines as a carminative, stimulant, narcotic, emmenagogue and abortifacient. Nutmeg is also prescribed for the treatment of many diseases, such as rheumatism, muscle spasm, decreased appetite and diarrhea. M. fragrans has recently been shown to have antioxidant, anticonvulsant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antibacterial and antifungal activities. Trimyristin, myristic acid, myristicin, safrole and elimicin are reported from nutmeg. Due to the easy collection of nutmeg and being widespread and also remarkable biological activities, it has become both food and medicine in tropical countries especially in India and China. This article presents comprehensive analyzed information on the botanical, chemical and pharmacological aspects of M. fragrans.
Key words: Myristica fragrans, Myristicaceae, phytopharmacology, essential oil.