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What poison tastes like cinnamon?

Myristica oil poisoning

Myristica oil is a clear liquid that smells like the spice nutmeg. Myristica oil poisoning occurs when someone swallows this substance.

This article is for information only. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual poison exposure. If you or someone you are with has an exposure, call the local emergency number (such as 911), or the local poison control center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States.

Poisonous Ingredient

Myristica oil (Myristica fragrans) can be harmful. It comes from the seed of a nutmeg.

Where Found

Myristica oil is found in:

  • Aromatherapy products
  • Mace
  • Nutmeg

Other products may also contain myristica oil.


Below are symptoms of myristica oil poisoning in different parts of the body.



  • Double vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Eye irritation



  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Brief euphoria (feeling of being drunk)
  • Delirium (agitation and confusion)
  • Drowsiness
  • Hallucinations
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Seizures (convulsions)
  • Tremors (shaking of the arms or legs)
  • Redness, flushing

Home Care

Get medical help right away. Do not make the person throw up unless poison control or a health care provider tells you to.

Before Calling Emergency

Have this information ready:

  • Person’s age, weight, and condition
  • Name of the product (ingredients, if known)
  • Time it was swallowed
  • Amount swallowed

Poison Control

Your local poison control center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What to Expect at the Emergency Room

Take the product to the hospital with you, if possible.

The provider will measure and monitor the person’s vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Blood and urine tests will be done.

Treatment may include:

  • Fluids through the vein (by IV)
  • Medicine to treat symptoms
  • Activated charcoal
  • Tube through the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)
  • Breathing support, including tube through the mouth into the lungs, and breathing machine (ventilator)

Outlook (Prognosis)

How well someone does depends on how much myristica oil was swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster medical help is given, the better the chance for recovery.

Hallucinations, anxiety and other psychiatric symptoms, and visual problems are most common in severe overdoses. Deaths have been reported, but only very rarely.

Alternative Names

Nutmeg oil; Myristicin


Aronson JK. Myristicaceae. In: Aronson JK, ed. Meyler’s Side Effects of Drugs. 16th ed. Waltham, MA: Elsevier; 2016:1156-1157.

Graeme KA. Toxic plant ingestions. In: Auerbach PS, Cushing TA, eds. Auerbach’s Wilderness Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 65.

Iwanicki JL. Hallucinogens. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 150.

Review Date 11/13/2021

Updated by: Jesse Borke, MD, CPE, FAAEM, FACEP, Attending Physician at Kaiser Permanente, Orange County, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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Menthol, Cinnamon Top the List of Dangerous Vape Flavors

Once again, e-liquid flavors are at the forefront of the tobacco conversation.

Popular e-liquid flavors have come into the limelight due to a recent study conducted by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The study analyzed six different flavors and the effects they had on cells. The flavors tested were caramel, cinnamon, fruit, menthol, sweet tobacco, sweet butterscotch and vanilla. They also tested the impact of varying levels of nicotine. According to the journal, menthol and cinnamon flavors have the potential to be harmful on a cellular level. Cinnamon and menthol “disrupted the ability of the cultured cells to form capillary-like tubular structures.”

This brings up the question asked by many.

are e-cigarettes harmful to your health?

Cinnamon Popular e-liquid flavors

This is one of the first studies of its kind, as no previous research has been done regarding flavor effects on endothelial cells. «Until now, we had no data about how these e-liquids affect human endothelial cells,» said Dr. Joseph Wu, author of the study. As a quick reminder, endothelial cells line the inside of all blood vessels in the body. These cells form a one-cell-thick layer called the endothelium that run throughout the body. Environmental Health News reports, “The cinnamon and menthol flavors were the most toxic to cells, even when there was no nicotine in the mixture.”

Aren’t these flavor found in other places too?

Notably, the flavors in this study are found in many food and beverage items.

It is not hard to find cinnamon gum, butterscotch candy, fruit flavored cake, or caramel flavored drinks in any store. There is some research that shows cinnamon and menthol to be troublesome in regular food products. In fact, The National Center for Biotechnology Information says that too much cinnamon can cause mouth sores. Additionally, Poison Control writes, “If a high-percentage menthol product is applied to the skin, irritation and even chemical burns have been reported.” The issue here is that the FDA has approved these flavors for ingestion, but now is scrutinizing them when it comes to inhalation from an e-cig.

Although reports have shown the detrimental effects of these flavors in food, vape products and e-cigarettes seem to be the target. With Senate Bills proposing the ban on flavored e-juice.

Menthol E-cigarettes and vape liquid flavor

The use of flavors is a huge piece of the e-cigarette puzzle. These flavors in vape e-liquids are meant to aid in the cessation of traditional tobacco products. Playing a role in the fight to quit smoking. As studies have proven time and time again that combustible cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals known to cause cancer. Ruthless e-liquids do not contain anything more than vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, nicotine and flavoring. The varying flavors of e-liquid, meant specifically for adults, facilitate a positive journey to becoming nicotine free.

The flavors under the microscope are found in many household items, from toothpaste and gum to nasal spray and essential oils. It’s no surprise that the popularity of these flavors have carried over to e-cigarettes and vape liquids. This begs the question — how dangerous are the flavors, really? At this point, we suggest being cautious of cinnamon and menthol flavors in all capacities until further studies are conducted. There are still many other flavors of e-liquid available that can help in the transition away from smoking altogether.

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