- 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., -30°C).
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 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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