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J Med Assoc Thai. 2016 Jul;99 Suppl 4:S124-30.

Bioactivities of Ethanolic Extracts of Three Parts (Wood, Nutmeg and Mace) from Myristica fragrans Houtt.



Myristica fragrans Houtt. is one of the spices that has long been used for treatment of various disorders. M. fragrans is known as Chan-thet and its three parts i.e. wood, seed (nutmeg) and aril (mace), are ingredients in various Thai traditional remedies such as anti-pyretic, anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory remedies


To investigate the biological activities of ethanolic extracts obtained from wood, nutmeg and mace of M. fragrans according to the uses in Thai traditional medicine follow as: anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic and antioxidant activities.

Material and Method:

Three parts of M. fragrans (wood, nutmeg and mace) were macerated with 95% ethanol. The extracts were examined for anti-inflammatory activity by determination of inhibitory effect on LPS induced nitric oxide production release in RAW 264.7 cell lines, anti-oxidant activity by inhibitory effect on PMA-induce superoxide radical in DMSO differentiated from HL-60 cells, and anti-allergic activity by determining inhibitory activity of β-hexosaminidase release on RBL-2H3 cells.


The ethanolic extract of wood presented potent anti-inflammatory activity more than nutmeg and mace (IC50 values = 40.26+0.58, 65.42+4.95 and 75.40+4.14 μg/ml, respectively). Nutmeg and mace showed high anti-oxidant activity while wood showed moderate activity (IC50 values = 21.164+1.03, 28.897+0.39 and 71.830+1.33 μg/ml, respectively). The extracts obtained from the three parts (wood, nutmeg and mace) showed strong anti-allergic activity (IC50 values = 13.29+0.28, 20.90+1.03 and 12.95+0.89 μg/ml respectively).


The extracts obtained from wood of M. fragrans showed high anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic activities but moderate anti-oxidant. The extracts of nutmeg and mace presented high anti-oxidant and anti-allergic activities but less antiinflammatory activity. Therefore, extract of wood should be selected for treatment of diseases that related with inflammation while the extracts of nutmeg and/or mace should be used as an antioxidant. Finally, extracts of all 3 parts of M. fragrans could be used for allergy-related diseases because all parts showed potent activity in anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant roles. However, the further study should be performed in animal models for investigation of each activity of active compounds following bioassay guided isolation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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