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nformation @ a Glance

  • Myristicin, or methoxysafrole, is a benzodioxole with slight MAO-inhibiting properties. Myristicin is a colorless oil that generally does not crystallize, even at extremely low temperatures (i.e., -30C). Myristicin is mostly stable upon storage, but still subject to gradual changes in composition.
  • Myristicin is a clear, mobile, colourless oil that does not normally freeze even at very low temperaturers, although a recent report describes its purification by repeated crystallization at -30 deg c.
  • Myristicin is a phenylpropene, a natural organic compound present in small amounts in the essential oil of nutmeg and to a lesser extent in other spices such as parsley and dill. It is insoluble in water, but soluble in ethanol and acetone
  • Myristicin is insoluble in water and only slightly soluble in ethanol. The best solvents for extracting myristicin are benzene and diethyl ether.
  • Myristicin is found elsewhere in nature, notably in black pepper, carrots, celery, dill weed, parsley, and parsnip. Myristicin is almost completely processed in the body within 48 hours of ingestion. This long processing period may help to explain the extraordinary length of nutmeg's effect.
  • Nutmeg contains more than 15 different compounds, and myristicin is the most abundant component of the nutmeg seed.
  • Myristicin, the main component of nutmeg, has been implicated to have the following adverse effects: detachment from reality, tachycardia, flushing, hypotension, drowsiness, confabulation,
    gagging, vomiting, ileus, paresthesias, numbness, blurred vision, hypothermia, and sweating.
  • Myristicin has usually been isolated from natural oils by fractional distillation, as it is crystallized only with difficulty even at very low temperature.
  • Comparing the chemical structures, it is seen that myristicin and elemicin closely resemble the structure of mescaline and certain amphetamine derivatives except for the absense of an amino group.
  • A more recent gas chromatography-olfactometry analysis of volatile compounds from leaves demonstrated that 14 different components contribute to parsley aroma; among them, myristicine, myrcene, linalol, and 2-methyl butanoate were the most important.

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