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Is Nutmeg Effective for Insomnia?


When it comes to the natural impact of herbs, spices and other organically grown agents on the human brain, few people know more about this subject than the eminent New Age American scholar Dr. Andrew Weil. From a very early point in his studies, he was intrigued by the possible use of nutmeg as a stimulant rather than some sort of reductionist treatment for insomnia.

However, other experts have since proposed that nutmeg can indeed be a helpful, sleep agent, if properly administered. In the book “The Yoga of Herbs”, authors David Frawley and Vasant Lad suggest that nutmeg can greatly calm the mind at nighttime. Scientifically speaking, nutmeg helps reduce vata in the colon and nervous system. The spice can be added to warm milk, or applied in the form of a nutmeg facial mask.

Vicious Sleep Cycle

As the stress of modern urban existence has increased and the impacts of the economic, worldwide recession have compounded, people are working more, sleeping less and generally being subjected to great amounts of technological stimulus. It’s also a vicious cycle; people who have trouble sleeping drink caffeine the following morning to wake themselves up, but that caffeine in the system then keeps the up at night. As far as nutmeg is concerned, the age-old combination of the spice with warm milk remains the easiest and cheapest form of this spice’s insomnia treatment application.

Nutmeg for Insomnia History

The use of nutmeg as a sleep-inducing agent has been mentioned in many home remedy books, reaching all the way back to the days of the Industrial Revolution, when home remedies were in fact the cutting edge of medical science. In the 1897 book Herbal Simples Approved by Modern Uses of Cure, author William Thomas Fernie preached the power of nutmeg in tea and other substances a sleep agent. The history of the spice reaches back to the West Indies and Indonesia, where it was also used in this fashion long before the Victorian age.


Resources – “The Use of Nutmeg as a Cycotropic Agent”, 1966, Retrieved November 18, 2010 from

Yoga Plus Magazine – “Getting the Sleep of Your Dreams”, November-December 2006, Retrieved November 18, 2010 from

ABC News – “Stress, Bad Bedtime Habits Cause Insomnia”, July 25, 2009, Retrieved November 18, 2010 from

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