A Straight Dope Classic from Cecil's Storehouse of Human Knowledge

Is nutmeg hallucinogenic?

August 12, 1988

Dear Cecil:

Reliable sources have informed me of the LSD-like properties of nutmeg. Eat sufficient quantities, they say, and you trip. One dude told me he washed down about 15 grams with OJ and a Skor bar and when he woke up, he was high. I followed the formula dutifully and nothing happened. What's the dope?

Dear James:

Elvis, Aerosmith, and now nutmeg. If you post-baby boomers are tired of this ancient history, don't blame me — you're the ones who keep bringing it up. According to Hal Morgan and Kerry Tucker, authors of a book called Rumor! (a splendid volume, if not quite as grand in scope as my own collected works), nutmeg does have hallucinogenic properties, if you eat enough. The high lasts about 24 hours. Unfortunately, the side effects include nausea, dehydration, and generalized body pain. Might as well stick to margaritas.

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