Nutmeg as an antidepressant
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nutmeg as an antidepressant
03-23-15 Category: Addiction Treatment

nutmeg as an antidepressant

There are multiple treatments, thinking methods, medications and other means to fight depression. Due to the amount of research being devoted to treating mental disorders, some experts are getting creative and finding many different ways to combat depression. The latest finding involves nutmeg.

Researchers published a study in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine that stated that nutmeg or “myristica fragrans” has the ability to boost mood and exhibit antidepressant properties comparable to that of imipramine, which is medication used to treat depression. Specifically, nutmeg has the ability to reduce the immobility caused by severe stress and allow individuals to cope. The best part: there are no known side effects.

The Science
The study, an “Evaluation of the anti-depressant activity of Myristica fragans (Nutmeg) in male rats” and was done by researchers in the Department of Pharmacology at Al-Ameen College of Pharmacy in Bangalore, India. These researchers tested the effect of nutmeg and imipramine on healthy, adult, male Wistar rats in a swimming test, a reserpine reversal test, a haloperidol induced catalepsy test and pentobaritone sleeping time test. Scientists measured the ability of both substances to either reduce or protect against periods of immobility.

The researchers determined that nutmeg significantly reduced the immobility caused by the swimming test and the resperine test with a decrease that was comparable to that of imipramine. Nutmeg also severely inhibited the catalepsy (muscular rigidity) normally caused by haloperidol.

What to take away
The results of the study point to the fact that nutmeg has a better or equal antidepressant effect than that of imipramine. The bonus is that nutmeg is able to provide these benefits without side effects, whereas imipramine can cause dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, weight changes, sexual problems and others issues.

Nutmeg isn’t just an antidepressant either. Other studies have found that it provides different benefits when included in one’s daily diet. This includes having anti-tumor properties, inhibiting 90 percent of rotaviruses (which cause diarrhea) and possibly even improving sexual function.

Another added bonus is that nutmeg isn’t that hard to obtain, it’s available in any local grocer’s spice rack for purchase and it can be added to a latte, apple cider, a cookie recipe or even soup or stew if the recipe calls for it. People now have the power to add a natural antidepressant to a daily diet.

However, it is important to use nutmeg in moderation; too much of it can end up being toxic to humans. Around two to three teaspoons of nutmeg a day is a very high dose and should be avoided, as it can cause hallucinations and anxiety. Up to about half a teaspoon daily should suffice.

While nutmeg can be extremely helpful in improving mood and decreasing depression symptoms, it does not replace proper treatment that may include medication, therapy or a combination of both. If you or a loved one is in need of treatment for depression, please visit or call (866) 819-0427 for more information.

Written by Brianna Gibbons, Sovereign Health Group writer

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