Don’t Go Nuts on Nutmegs! This Oriental Spice Might Make You Dizzy

Don’t Go Nuts on Nutmegs! This Oriental Spice Might Make You Dizzy

Are you wondering how long does it take for nutmegs to kick in? Holiday season is arriving soon and so is the nutmeg problem. It might seem like an innocent spice you sprinkle over your eggnog or apple pie. But some people go a bit too overenthusiastic and add a spoonful. Unbeknownst to many, nutmeg is quite a powerful spice. So much so that you can remain passed out for days!

While some might get affected accidentally, most people deliberately try to get intoxicated with nutmeg. Nutmeg truly has many therapeutic benefits and there is wide spread use of it in the medicine sector. There are many rewards of ingesting it, but too much of it is just not worth the risk. Wondering how long does it take for nutmegs to kick in and how much of it is safe? Well, it depends on many things. Read more to find out!

More Than Just a Spice 

Before we dive into its psychedelic properties, let’s explore why it is so powerful. Nutmeg is basically a seed and originated in South-east Asia. It quickly was shipped to most continents and it’s a common spice in all cuisines and culture. Even though nowadays we use nutmeg for mostly culinary purpose, its special side effects were discovered centuries ago.

In fact, back in 12th century, it was solely used as a drug. It quickly escalated to become a deadly weapon, as nutmeg was being used prisoners to escape the horror. We’re not kidding; nutmeg was creating havoc similar to Scorsese’s “Shutter Island”. When people finally realized the potential hazard of using too much nutmeg, it slowly started to take back the original role- a spice. 

There is no doubt that nutmeg has something hallucinogenic in it. We now know it has an ingredient called myristicin, a naturally occurring compound having mind altering effects. Too much myristicin can cause you to have psychedelic experiences similar to LSD. The chemical can affect your whole nervous system and might even become deadly. So if you are feeling tipsy from too much nutmeg, blame myristicin and your judgement.

How long does it take for nutmegs to kick in? 

Nutmeg reaction varies from person to person. It depends on factors like your age, health condition and tolerance level. There is still not much information available about this and not much research was done on this. However, based on the experience of many people, it takes at least 25 grams of nutmeg to cause intoxication. Depending upon how much you took, it will start to kick in 12 hours or longer.

You might be wondering why there’s such hype about a drug that takes 12 hours to act! Well, hold on. If someone is taking it with the purpose of getting high, they’ll not even know it’s too much. In fact, many people overdose without realizing it. And it takes a long time to become normal again, the intoxication can last up to 2 days! Sadly, intoxication is not the only concern here.

Side-Effects of Nutmeg Is Nasty

Now you know how long it takes nutmeg to kick in-almost half a day and a very lengthy hangover period. But, wait, there’s more. It also has some nasty side-effects. The irony is that it takes only 30 minutes or an hour for the side-effects to show. What are these side-effects and how bad are they? Let’s find out.

Nausea is common

The first symptom of the nutmeg overdose is the vomiting. Nausea starts to kick in after 30 to 1 hour of ingesting nutmeg. If you have existing gastrointestinal issues, beware. Even the smallest amount can negatively affect the stomach. Almost 90% of people reported that they experience nausea and diarrhea. 

Extreme Lethargy

The first side-effect you will definitely experience is the lethargy. Nutmeg is very slow in working- it kicks in slow and it stops slow as well. The lethargic feeling can last up to 10 to 48 hours, depending on your age and health. It also depends on how to take it in. Inhaling or smoking will give the most intense and severe effect while simply ingesting it gives the slowest effect. 

Heart patients, Stay Away!

Too much of any spice can be bad for people with heart ailments. Nutmeg is no exception and it might even be more severe. It causes irregular rhythms which might even be fatal. People who have unrecognized heart problems are in higher risk.


It takes hours for the hallucination to start.  This has become the reason many try to take in. The only catch is that nutmeg kicks in after it’s done with you. All the physical side effects start before the psychedelic recreation can even begin. Not worth the reward!


How Much Nutmeg is Too Much?

Any more than two teaspoons if nutmeg can actually cause a poisoning. How much is two teaspoons? It’s roughly 25 grams. That means more than 3 nutmegs is a big no. Again, it might vary depending on how your body breaks it down. The science behind it is very unclear, but depending on the reports too many nutmegs can cause fatality and even death.

There are not many recorded deaths about nutmeg, so maybe it is far too stretching. But it certainly has the potential. While there is debate how much nutmeg is deadly, there is absolutely no doubt that you should stay away from “Cinnamon Challenge”. It calls for swallowing a spoonful of cinnamon and some bubbleheads mix another spoonful of nutmeg –making it the recipe for disaster. 

Final Words

Don’t plan your funeral right away, there’s still hope left. It is still just a spice and its very rare case to die from it. If you fear that you’ve swallowed too much, immediately visit the hospital. Nutmeg is one of those oriental spice better left for culinary expertise. If you’re trying it out for any other purpose, be sure to remember how long does it take for nutmegs to kick in and the side-effects to begin. It’s better to stay away from using too much of it- accidentally or not!

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