Wintertime brings forth the use of warming scents and Nutmeg is one of the leaders. We love it in pies, cakes and to aromatically fill our homes with traditional scents. Nutmeg essential oil is a warm, spicy oil that is somewhat woody with just a hint of sweetness. As essential oils go, Nutmeg has many uses and benefits and is a very powerful oil both in aroma and therapeutic effect. It is known as a “hot” oil as a little goes a long, long way. We use a skin-friendly amount of Nutmeg essential oil in our Clove Nutmeg soap, plus a small amount of the spice on top.
Nutmeg oil is made up of a large percentage of MONOTERPENES. A compound of known therapeutic potential, the monoterpene content has been used in science due to anti-tumoral properties. This does NOT mean they cure tumors, it means they have properties that in controlled research situations have slowed tumor development and growth. A great deal of cancer research surrounds nutmeg essential oil.
However, since it is such a powerful oil, Tisserand and Young in their book Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 366-367.] warn against that it is potentially carcinogenic and can have psychotropic effects in high doses. Considered the premier authority on essential oil safety, Tisserand and Young suggest a dermal (skin) maximum of 0.8% in a diluted carrier for East Indian Oil and a 5% maximum for West Indian ). In other words, never use Nutmeg essential oil full strength on the skin nor should it be ingested as such.
Tisserand and Young warn that Nutmeg Essential Oil is potentially carcinogenic and can be psychotropic in high doses. Digestive upset and pain have been reported by those ingesting the oil. Tisserand and Young recommend a dermal maximum of 0.8% for East Indian and 5% for West Indian Nutmeg Oils. Reading Tisserand and Young’s full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young].
If you are looking for the Nutmeg scent to perfume your home, the CO2 extract is actually a better choice. This advanced extraction method creates a fuller aroma that is more aromatically pleasing.