Antibacterial Activity of Nutmeg Oil


Indonesia is one of the largest producer of nutmeg oil  (Myristica fragrans). This essential oil has a lot of usefulness for food and pharmaceutical industries, however antibacterial activity of Indonesian nutmeg oil  has not been investigated yet.  Antibacterial activity   Myristica fragrans oil from two areas respectively (Sulawesi and Central Java) were investigated.  The essential oils was extracted using water and steam distiller and then its antibacterial activity against pathogenic bacteria (gram-positive bacteria : Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermis, and gram-negative bacteria :  Shigella Dysenteriae, Salmonella Typhi) was examined.  Resistance pattern was studied by in vitro disc diffusion method   using essential oil concentration   20%, 40%, 60%, 80% and 100%.   The result showed that the two essential oils inhibited all bacteria. The highest inhibition zone on Central Java nutmeg oil was on 60% concentration of the oil (12.96 16.79, 13.46 and 16.50 mm for S. aureus, S. epidermis, S. dysenteriae, S. typhi respectively), while on Sulawesi nutmeg oil was on 100% concentration (18.84, 16.54, 17.84 and 12.54 mm for S. aureus, S. epidermis, S. dysenteriae, S. typhi respectively).


Keywords: Antibacterial activity; Nutmeg oil; Central Java; Sulawesi

[1] Winn, P. 2010. Slavery and cultural creativity in the Banda Islands. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 41(3): 365–389.

[2] Nurdjanah, N. 2007. Teknologi Pengolahan Pala. Badan Penelitian dan Pengembangan Pertanian, Balai Besar Penelitian dan Pengembangan Pasca Panen Pertanian.

[3] Chomchalow, N. 1996. Spice Production in Asia - An Overview. Unpublished paper presented at the IBC’s Asia Spice Markets ’96 Conference, Singapore, 27-28 May 1996.

[4] Surburg, H. and J. Panten. 2006. Common Fragrance and Flavour Materials. WILEYVCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

[5] Peppard, L. 1985. The application of mass spectrometry in beer flavor studies. J Inst. Brew 91: 16-24.

[6] Lee, K.Y.M., A. Paterson and J.R. Piggott. 2000. Perception of Whisky Flavour Reference Compounds by Scottish Distillers. Journal of Brewing Institute 106 (4): 203-208

[7] Olajide, O.A., F.F. Ajayi, A.I. Ekhelar, S.O. Awe, J.M. Makinde, A.R. Alada. 1999. Biological Effect of Myristica fragrans (nutmeg) extract. Phytother Res. 13: 344-345

[8] Dorman, H.J.D. and S.G. Deans. 2004. Chemical composition, antimicrobial and in vitro antioxidant properties of Monarda citriodora var. citriodora, Myristica fragrance, Origanum vulgare ssp. Hirtum, Pelargonium sp. And Thymus zygis Oils. J. Essent. Oil. Res., 16: 145-150.

[9] Lima, R.K., M.D.G. Cardoso, M.A Andrade, P.L. Guimares, L.R. Batista, and D.L. Nelson. 2012. Bacterial and Antioxidant activity of essential oils from Myristica fragrans Houtt and Salvia microphylla HBK. J Am Oil Chem Soc 89: 523–528. DOI 10.1007/s11746=011-1938-1.

[10] Pelczar, M. J. dan R.D. Reid. 1972. Microbiology. Mc Graw Hill Book Co., New York.

[11] Dean, S.G. and G. Ritchie. 1987. Antibacterial properties of plant essential oils. Int J. Food Micobiol. 5: 165-180.

[12] Takikawa, A., K. Abe, M. Yamamoto, S. Ishimaru, M. Yasui, Y. Okuba and K. Yokoigawa. 2002. Antimicrobial activity of nutmeg against Eschericia coli O157. J Biosci Bioeng 94: 315–320.

[13] Can Başer, K.H. and F. Demirci. 2007. Chemistry of Essential Oils. In Berger R.D. (ed). Flavour and Fragrances, Chemistry, Bioprocess and Sustainability. Springer, Germany.

[14] Maya, K.M., T.J. Zachariah, and B. Krishnamoorthy. 2004. Chemical Composition of essential oil of nutmeg (Myristica fragrans Houtt.) accessions. Journal of Spices and Aromatic Crops 13(2): 135-139

[15] Lanchashire, R.J. 2002. Natural products in Carribean folk medicine. Essential Oil Research. 14:6-9.

[16] Purseglove, J.W., E.G. Brown, C.L. Green. 1981. Spices: Nutmeg and Mace Vol I. Longman Inc. New York