Jatiphala, Myristica fragrans

Description of Plant

Jatiphala (Myristica fragrans) is a small aromatic evergreen tree growing up to a height of 5-13m. Jatiphala is an egg-shaped seed from Myristica fragrans fruit.

The leaves of this plant are smooth dark green whose upper surface is shiny. They are about 7.5-8.8 cm long and alternately arranged.

The flowers are small pale yellow in color and are usually single sexed.

The fruit of this plant are small scented smooth and oval, shaped. They are brownish lustrous in color. It is having hard covering which encloses mace, the outer covering on the nutmeg seed (Jaiphal). When the fruit get ripened, it get bifurcated and reddish dried lacy covering of nutmeg is exposed. The orange-yellow papery material the one that separates from the seed on drying is called Mace (Javitri in Hindi).

General Description

Jatiphala or Jaiphal is commonly called Nutmeg and is found to have various health benefits and it is a significant herb in Ayurveda. It is aromatic spreading plant and is a source of many oils, proteins, starch, minerals and resins. It is digestive, appetizer, aromatic and astringent. Ayurveda attributes various other efficacies to it like anti-inflammatory, anti-diarrheal, analgesic and kamottejak and shukrastambhak (sex-stimulant and averting premature ejaculation).

The principal constituents of jatiphala are a fixed oil, volatile oil 3% containing d- pinene, myristin, myristic acid and its ester, myristicin, fatty acids etc. Jatiphala has as element called mesin. It also comprises volatile oil, dehydrodisoeugenol, licarin – B and 3 more neolignans in the aril.

Camphene, engenol, isoeugenol, elemicin, limonene, myristicin, and pinenes, safrole, terpineol and terpine – obtained from oil.


  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
  • Superdivision: Spermatophyta
  • Division: Magnoliophyta
  • Class: Magnoliopsida
  • Subclass: Magnoliidae
  • Order: Magnoliales
  • Family: Myristicaceae
  • Genus: Myristica
  • Species: Fragrans


This herb is actually native to the Banda Islands of Indonesia. It is also cultivated in Grenada, India, Malaysia, West Indies and Sri Lanka. More than 72 species of the tree grows in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and North Eastern Australia. It is found distributed in India, in Madras State (Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Salem, Ramanathapuram, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari and Madurai districts). Some trees are also found in various localities like in Kerala, Assam and other States.


  • Hindi Name - Jaiphal
  • Sanskrit Name - Jatiphala, Jatiphalam, Jatikosha, Jatipatri, Jatipatra, Jaiphal, Jayapatri, Javitri
  • English Name - Nutmeg
  • Punjabi Name - Jaiphal
  • Urdu Name - Jauzbuwa, Jaiphal
  • Assamese Name - Jaiphal, Kanivish
  • Telugu Name - Jaji Kaya
  • Tamil Name - Jatikkai, Sathiccupi, Jadhikai, Jadhiccupi.
  • Bengali  Name – Jaiphal & Javitri
  • Kannada Name - Jaikai
  • Malayalam Name - Jathikai
  • Marathi and Gujarati Name – Jaipal
  • Arabic Name - Jeeyansibe

Ayurvedic Properties

Hindi / Sanskrit English
Rasa Tikta, Katu Taste Bitter, Pungent
Guna Laghu, Teekshna Physical Property Light, Strong
Virya Ushna Potency Hot
Vipaka Katu Metabolic Property (After Digestion) Pungent

Effects on Doshas

It balances Kapha and Vata Dosha.

Ancient Verse about Myristica fragrans

Ancient Verse About Myristica Fragrans

The Bhavprakash nighantu Twenty Eighth edition of 2010: verse 54-55, page no. 216-218.

The name and properties of Jaiphal are Jatiphala, Jatikosh and Malatiphala are its Sanskrit name. It is bitter in taste, piercing, and light and hot in potency. It promotes digestive fire. It treats Anorexia and is also a voice promoter. It manages Kapha and Vata Diseases, tastelessness of tongue, smelling feces, worm infestations, cough, vomiting, sinusitis and Heart Diseases.


The Bhavprakash nighantu with elaborated Hindi commentary by Padmashri prof. K.C.Chunekar, edited by Dr. G.S.Pandey: Twenty Eighth edition of 1998; verse 54-55, page no. 216-218.

Practical Uses of Myristica fragrans

Jatiphala is richly filled with medicinal properties that makes it to be useful herb and some of its properties are aphrodisiac, abortifacient, analgesic, expectorant, antibacterial, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, aarminative, digestive, emmenagogue, hypocholesterolemic, hallucinogen, narcotic and stimulant.

  • It is useful in Stimulating sexual desire.
  • it can Induce abortion.
  • It has quality to Relieve pain.
  • Also an active agent against bacteria.
  • It is also used against to arrest or prevent cancer
  • It has anti-inflammatory action and can reduce inflammation on body
  • It has Preventing action in the formation or causing the expulsion of flatulence and thus acts as a good digestive.
  • This herb encourages the secretion of sputum by the air passages which helps in the treatment of cough.
  • Also a good herbal agent that can stimulate or increase menstrual flow.
  • A useful herb that can lower levels of cholesterol in the blood
  • It can relieve pain within medicinal dose by reducing the senses, and induces profound sleep
  • The essential oil derived from Mace is considered to be a potent brain booster. It enhances the concentration and relieves stress.
  • Mace is an outstanding liver tonic.
  • It has property to dissolve kidney stones and prevents infection.
  • The herb is also advantageous for the heart as it stimulates blood circulation.
  • Mace's anti-inflammatory properties are useful in treating joint and muscle aches.

Part Used

  • Fruit
  • Seed
  • Seed coat
  • Oil


  • Dose of Nutmeg powder (Jatiphala) is 500 mg to 1 gram.
  • Dose of Mace (Javitri) is 250 mg to 1 gram.

Ayurvedic Product from Jatiphala by Planet Ayurveda

Atirasadi Churna

Atirasadi churna is a combination of herbs used for erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.


  • Nutmeg is found to be unsafe to use in pregnancy. It should not be used in pregnancy.
  • In high doses it is very toxic and has narcotic effects.
  • Its excessive dose can lead to symptoms like delirium, epileptic convulsions, giddiness, weak pulse and feeling of heaviness in chest.
  • It may cause allergy and trigger asthma.
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