Nutmeg and Mace

Nutmeg, the ground spice that goes into cookies, eggnog, and pumpkin pie, contains a drug called myristicin that may be converted in the body to one of the amphetaminelike psychedelics.

Someone told me you could get high by eating nutmeg. So one night I choked down a whole can, which was over an ounce. After three hours, I felt light and dreamy. It was a little like a light dose of pot. However, the next morning, I had a splitting headache, my heart was racing, and my mouth was really dry. I got dizzy whenever I managed to stand up. It lasted all day. I would never eat nutmeg again. I don't even like the taste of it in food anymore.

— twenty-two-year-old man, carpenter

Nutmeg is the seed of a tropical tree. The outer covering of this seed is ground into a similar spice, called mace, that often flavors cakes. Both nutmeg and mace have a long history of use as psychoactive drugs, especially by people who can't obtain better ones.

To get high on nutmeg or mace you have to eat a lot of them: from a tablespoon up to a whole spice-can full. In that quantity these spices taste awful. I'hey are also fairly toxic and regularly leave people with heavy hangovers the next day. The effects are variable, ranging from mild feelings of floating to full-blown delirium. Most people who try nutmeg out of curiosity do not come back for a second try. Frequent users are usually found only in certain prisons or other situations where more desirable drugs are unobtainable.

Some Warnings About Deliriants

1. Delirium is an abnormal condition of the brain in which mental function is temporarily deranged. A delirious person doing anything other than lying still in a safe place is a good candidate for a serious accident.

2. Never take deliriant drugs by yourself. Make sure someone not under the influence of the drug is there to watch out for you.

3. If you must experiment with jimsonweed or other nightshades, use the root rather than leaves or seeds.

4. Do not experiment with Amanita muscaria or Amanita pantherina without good advice about dose and preparation from an experienced person in the area where the mushrooms grow. Smoking the dried colored peel of these mushrooms is the mildest way of taking them.

5. If you eat nutmeg or mace in an effort to get high, be prepared for a terrific hangover the next day.

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