Jaiphal Nutmeg- Benefits, uses, properties, side effects

Jatiphala or Jaiphal also known as nutmeg is a herbal drug used for cough, impotency, eye sight and also diseases of gastro-intestinal tract, like diarrhoea, flatulence indigestion etc. It has been also used as spices and fragrance.


Botanical Name:

-Myristica fragrans.

Myristica means sweet sented drug;
fragrans means: aromatic.



Classical Categorization :

  • Charaka Samhita : Not mentioned
  • Sushruta Samhita: Not mentioned
  • Bhavaprakasha Nighantu: karpooradi varga


  • Jati kosha
  • Maltiphalam
  • Maltisutam
  • Jati sutam
  • Shalukam
  • Madashondam
  • Jatishringam
  • Puta
  • Somnasa phala
  • Sumana phala
  • Majasarm
  • Jatisaram

Common names:

Latin- (Myristica fragrans)मिरिस्टिका फ्रेग्रेन्स 
Sanskrit names- jatiphala/जातीफल ( नंधयुक्त फल ), जातिकोष (सुगन्धिकोषयुक्त) मालतीफल;
Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bangali -jayaphal;
Tamil, telgu, kannada, malayalam -Jajikai(जाजिकई);
Arbi- jojabuwa(जौजबुवा);
फ़ारसी –जौजबुया;
English- name Nutmeg tree

External morphology:

It is a moderate sized, usually deciduous aromatic, ever green tree.
Bark- black having lanceolate spots on the outside and red juice on underside.
Leaves- elliptic or oblong-lanceolate, thinly coriaceous, shiny above, dull beneath. Flowers-aromatic yellow.
Fruit – yellow broadly pyriform or globose, pericarp fleshy, splitting into 2 halves at maturity. By saprating outer hard splited part we get reddish jatiphal along without its cover javitri or mace. Mace is used in spices in india specialy Kerala.
Seeds-  oblong, obtuse, testa shiny, aril yellowish red, irregularly lobed, extending to the apex of seed. 

Seed is known as Jatiphala (jaiphal) andits aril (seed-coat) is Jatipaffi (Jevitri) which are used as Nutmeg and Mace respectively

Distribution/ Habitat:

It is native of the Eastern Moluccas and cultivated in
Malav Peninisula.
Cultivated in hotter parts of India upto 750 m with a rainfall of 150-300 cm/annum.
It is cultivated in Southern India as a spicious tree in
certain localities (where the climate is sufficiently hot and
moist); in Malay Islands, Singapore, Penang and Ceylon.

Chemical composition :

Jaiphal contains a light yellowish coloured 5-15% volatile oil which is active ingredient and also contains a 25-40% fixed oil, from this a viscous oily substance is obtained which is known as nutmeg butter. Yellowish soaps are also made by this.

Seeds(nutmeg) yield 2.08% volatlle oil, fixed oil, protene, fat, starch, mucilaginous matter and alkalines.

Dry ripe seeds contain 5 to 75% of a volatile oil and 25 to 4O% of a fixed oil.

Dry leaves contain 1.56% essential oil consisting of 80% a-pinene and 10% myristicin.

Seed-coat (mace), alike seed (nutmeg), yields volatile oil,8-17% fixed oil, resin, fat, sugar and mucilaginous matter.

Fixed oil extracted from the seeds is named ‘Butter of Nutmeg’ that contains myristin, myristic acid, and an aromatic oil.

Aromatic oil (component of Nutmeg Butter) contains myristicin and myristicol.
Seeds-coat also yields an yellowish aromatic oil (smelling like seed-coat itself) which contains a chemical substance macene.

Overall – pinene, Alpha-terpinolene, safrole, methyl eugenol, myristicin, elemicin, trimyristin, dehydro-d’isoeugenol, myristic acid, epicatechin, cyanadin, nectandrin B, verrucosin, lignans and neolignans etc. are found in this

Rasapanchaka :

  • Rasa: tikt, katu;
  • Guna: Laghu, Tikshana
  • Virya : Ushana
  • Vipaka : Katu
  • Dosha Karma: Kapha vata shamaka

BAMS students Also read trick to learn raspanchaka of plants

Action and Properties:


Grahi, Rocana-pachana-drpana
Kaphanihsaraka; kaphaghna; Svarya;
Vrsya-artavajana, Kusthaghna
Jvaraghna, katupoustika
Kandughna, Tvachya-Varnya
Krmighna, Trsnanigrahaqa
Vedanasthapana, Aksepahara
Vatahara, Nidrajanana
Madaka (excess dose).

Roga :

Atisara-grahani, Visuchika
Trsna, vamana, Agnimandya-ajirna
Mukhavairasya, Vistambha
Yakrdvikara, Anidra, Sula-
Pinasa, kasa-svasa, hikka, yaksma
Klaibya- kamasaitya-Dhvajabhanga,
Vipadika-Amavata, krimiroga
Visa, Prameha
Pinasa, kasa-svasa, hikka, yaksma

Therapeutics uses:

Jatiphala is an esteemed herbal drug for diseases of

Gastro-intestinal tract, particularly in diarrhoea and its allied complaints including dyspnea,loss of appetite, flatulence , colic, diarrhoeal chronicity, overthirst, vomiting, choleric diarrhoea and also worms affections;
a powder of the seeds is given as single drug, and it is in combination with other drugs is uscd in other forms; some formulations of the drug are frequently prescribed and important in treatment of diarrhoeal complaints.

It is useful in cough, cold, asthma, rhinitis, pthisis,cholera, thirst, vomiting, nausea, impotency, sexual frigidity, eyesight weakness (visionary abonormalcy),spleen and liver obstruction. Nerrous disorders, headache, skin and pigmentary ailments and worms.

Seeds are carminative, stomachic and they are useful in flatulence, nausea anct vomiting. The oil obtained from dried kernels are useful as aperient ancl carminative.

The seeds paste is topically applied to headache, joints pain, skin affections, abodminal troubles (e.g. on umblicus region in case of diarrhoea and colic) and other ailments.

The oil prepared with seeds is externally applied to male genital organ (as an aphrodisiac for promoting erectability) fond other parts as stimulant, joints rheumaric complaints and various other diseases.

Externally the seed powder or in any other suitable form, it is used in various formulations suggested for skin affections maintaning skin health (specially face complexion).
Seeds powder is dusted over foul ulcers

It is aphrodisiac, anodyne, anthelmintic, astringent, cardiac, carminative, deodorant, digestive, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, narcotic, opirthalmic, stimulant, stomachic and tonic.

Use In children:

In the diseases of children, the seeds is rubbed on stone-slate or its paste (in proper dose) is (mixed with water, lukewarm water, mother’s latex etc. suitably) is orally in infantile diarrhoea, diarrhoeal and bowel complaint with fever, cough, cold and chest complaints and other infantile troubles, since it is a household remedy for infantile ailments.

MACE (Jatipatri)

The medicinal properties ancl utility of another raw drug MACE (Jatipatri or jatikosha) are almost similar to that of main drug nutmeg (jatiphala), but it is specifically stomachic appetizer, anodyne or analgesic and promotor to skin health (pigmentation) and to check foul smell of mouth; and it has lesser action on intestinal tract (as astringent in comparison to nutmeg).

Part Used:

Seed (Jatiphala), Aril (jatikosha, jatipatri) oil


  • Powered 0.5 to 1 gm
  • Oil 1-3 drops

Aamika Prayoga:

1. Yuvana pidika : External application of jaiphal, chandana, Maricha is useful.
2. Vipadika: Jatiphala kalka is applied.
3. Visuchika : Cold infusion of jatiphala shall be given.
4. Aamavata : Oil of jatiphala and olive oil are mixed and applied externally.

Note: The quality of mace is similar to that of nutmeg, but it is especially the rochana, varshya, and vednasthapan. The grahi is less.

Formulations (Yoga):

1. Jatiphaladi churna
2. Jatiphaladi vati
3. Jatipatraadi kwatha
4. Lavanga chatusama

Other Varieties

Two other varieties are Myristica malabarica (Ramphal) and Myristica canarica. These are also look like myristica fragrance.
This variety, known as Rampatri (seeds) and Ramphal (fruit) obtained from botanical source Myristica malabarica Lam. It’s trees occurs in evergreen forests of konkan Ghats, kanara, and Malabar (up to 1,000 ft.) in Southern India.

Ramphal also known a jungli jatiphal also used in place of orignal jaiphal. Many times they circulate in market mixed with jaiphal to gain more profits. The main difference between jaiphal and Ramphal is that, Ramphal is odourless more longer and less wide, Soft, and They are inferior to japhal in guna (quality)

Altered effects:

It is a magic drug when used properly but In excessive dose it may show toxic effects to brain. It is a powerful narcotic drugs. As it agitates the brain activity, in excess dose it may cause convulsions like epilepsy. So used with precautions and in proper dose.

Refrence classical texts:

जातीफलं रसे तिक्तं तीक्ष्णोष्णं रोचनं लघु। कटुकंदीपनंहृद्यं स्वर्यं श्लेष्मानिलापहम् ॥

Kaiyadeva Nighantu, Osadhi Varga,1327.

निहन्ति मुखवैरस्यमल दौर्गन्ध्यकृष्णता। कृमिकासवमिश्वासशोथपीनसहृद्रुजः।।

Kaiyadeva Nighantu, Osadhi Varga,1328.


(जातीफलस्य त्वक् प्रोक्ता जातीपत्री भिषग्वरैः) जातीपत्री कटुस्तिक्ता लघूष्णा रुचिवर्णकृत् । कफकासवमिश्वासतृष्णाकृमिविषापहः।।

Kaiyadeva Nighantu, Osadhi Varga, 1329.

जातीपत्री लघुः स्वादुः कटुष्णाः रुचिवर्णकृत् । कफकासवमिश्वासतृष्णाकृमिविषापहा

Bhavaprakāsa Nighantu, Karpūrādi Varga, 57.

जातीपत्री कटुस्तिक्ता सुरभिः कफनाशनी। वक्त्रवैशद्यजननी जाड्यदोषविकृन्तनी॥

Rāja Nighantu, Candanādi, Varga, 76.


जातीफलं रसे तिक्तं तीक्ष्णोष्णं रोचनं लघुः । कटुकं दीपनं ग्राहि स्वयं श्लेष्मानिलापहम् ॥

निहन्ति मुखवैरस्यं मलदौर्गन्ध्य कृष्णतः ।कृमिकासवमिश्वास शोषपीनसहृद्रुजः॥

Bhăvaprakāša Nighantu, Karpūrādi Varga, 54-55.

जातीफलं कषायोष्णं कटुकण्ठामयार्त्तिजित् । वात अतिसार मेहघ्रं लघु वृष्यं च दीपनं॥

Raja Nighantu, Candanādi Varga, 78.

Jatiphal tailam:

तैलं जातिफलोद्धूतं समुत्तेजनमग्रिदम् । जीर्णातिसार शमनामाध्मानाक्षेपशूलनुत् ॥ आमवातहरं बल्यं दन्तवेष्टव्रणार्त्तिनुत्

Ayurveda Sangrahah

जातीकोशोऽथ कर्पूरं जातीकटुकयोः फलम् । …..तिक्तं कटु कफापहम्॥ लघु तृष्णापहं वक्वकलेददौर्गन्ध्यनाानम्।

Suśruta Samhita, Sutra. 46.

Vyang rog

जातीफलस्य लेपस्तु हरेद्वयङ्गञ्च मालिकाम् ।

Bhavaprakasha, Ksudrarogadhikāra, 61-42,

राजयक्ष्मारोगे जातीफलाद्य चूर्णम्:

Bhāvaprakāša, Rājayakshmādhikāra, 11/50-83.

क्षुद्ररोगान्तर्गतं मुखनीली शमनार्थ जातीफलकल्क लेपः

”जातीफलकल्कलेपो नीली व्यङ्गादि नाशनः।”

Chakradatta, Ksudraroga Chikitsa, 55-50.

Atisaar (diarrhoea)

जातीफलं सविश्वं जलघृष्टं शीतमेव दातव्यम्। बध्नाति पथ्ययुक्त्या मलं द्रवीभूतमह्वाय ॥

Siddabhaisajya Manimālā, 4-141.

तथा जातीफलं पिष्ट्वा नाभौ दद्यात् प्रलेपन। दुर्निवारमतीसारं वारयत्यनिवारितम्॥

Bhaisajya Ratnavali, Atisara, 30.

जातीफलं त्रिदशपुष्पसमन्वितञ्च जीरञ्च टङ्कणायुतं मुनिभिः प्रणीतम्। एतानिमाक्षिकसित्तासाहितानि लीढ्वाः सामातिसारमखिलं गुरुमाशु हन्ति॥

Bhaisajya Ratnavali, Atisāra, 35.


पिष्ट्वा जातीफलं लेपाद् निहन्ति विपादिका। तद्वत् सर्जरस क्षौद्रतिलतैल समन्वितः॥

Bangasena, Kuştha, 118.


‘जातीफलस्य लेपस्तु हरेत् व्यङ्गञ्च नीलिकाम्।’

Bhāvaprakāsa, Chikitsa, 61-42.

”व्यङ्गेमुखे जातीफलस्य बाह्यत्वचाऽथवा सन्ततमेव लिप्म्।”

Bhāvaprakāsa, Chikitsa, 61-42.

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