Mental Floss

Nutmeg's Surprisingly Interesting History

Jill Harness

You probably already know that nutmeg is poisonous in large quantities, but did you know it can result in a psychedelic trip that was too intense for even William S. Burroughs? Also, did you know that the nursery rhyme "Peter Piper" was based on a sixteenth century pirate and horticulturalist who robbed spices from Dutch ships so he could cultivate the monopolized seeds in his own gardens?

These facts are only a small portion of the fascinating history of nutmeg, a tale that also involves war and slavery. Read more about the spice's dark past on The Quantum Biologist.