Citation: Crash Test Junkie. "Over the Counter Visions: An Experience with Nutmeg (exp26428)". Erowid.org. Apr 23, 2006. erowid.org/exp/26428
My friend, Kappa (not real name) and I had heard about the psychoactive properties of nutmeg for some time, but had never fully understood what people were talking about until we tried whole cloves. Before that, we had done the ground powder, about four tablespoons apiece, once or twice, and found it to be a mildy interesting buzz, but nothing we would comfortably call 'psychedelic' or even really worth the trouble. After more reading, Kappa got the idea to chew whole cloves, and did a couple the weekend before, finding them to produce a stronger buzz than the powdered stuff. He said that the day after eating them, he had had a buzz that lasted all the way into the evening, a warm and relaxing glow all through his body. With my interest piqued, we decided to set Saturday night aside and eat five cloves apiece and write and record all that happened.
We went to the local natural food store and picked up a jar of unground Eithiopian Nutmeg, with about twelve or fourteen whole cloves in it for about six dollars, and some vanilla ice cream to wash them down. Whole cloves taste incredibly nasty, way worse than when they are all ground and dry, and ice cream turns out to be a good antidote to wash them down. We were all set for the great experiment. With my folks out of town for the weekend, we had the whole house for a couple of days. It turns out we would need every hour of those two days.
We chewed three cloves apiece, right after dinner, thinking it would probably be best to eat them not on an empty stomach. (We had read that some people had died eating more than two cloves of nutmeg, but I figured if it was that dangerous, they would say something on the jar. Still, we excrcised a little caution, and didn't take the whole dose all at once.) A couple hours later, we felt nothing physically -positive or negative- and capped of the dose with two more apiece. We hung around, watching tv and smoked a bowl, as Kappa explained to me the complicated absorption process of Merisdicen, the psychoactive in nutmeg. Apparently, it is absorbed in the later part of the digestive process, so it can be four to eight hours before effects are felt. Weary from waiting and feeling like I wasted six bucks, I drifted off to sleep.
I woke up with a start in the middle of the night, and immediately a big grin came over my face. THIS was more like it. My body tingled, a warm, thick buzz radiated from the base of my skull, and everywhere I looked, the natural sort of distortions of my vision were exagerated, with red and blure dots flying all over the place, hovering around everything I focused on. When i closed my eyes, pictures would race in and dissapear, often accompanied by fleeting sounds: A yellow bus with writing on its side, an old horse with a body the texture of stone, only blue, wearing bells beneath a starry sky while a horn honked and i could peripherally hear my name being whispered. I remember feeling like the rapidity and vivid nature of the visions should have freaked me out a little, as often they would on acid or less frequently on shrooms, but the deep state of relaxation and sedation that my body was in made any kind of anxiety impossible. I was in a perfect hypnogogic state, hanging somewhere between reality and unconciousness, watching the tireless subconcious play out in my visual cortex. It was wonderful, and frankly, a total suprise. I had ingested a spice, for crying out loud!
I couldn't believe the strength and the vivid nature of the visions whatsoever. I had experienced plenty of crazy sights on acid and this stuff was absolutely of the same caliber, but far less frightening, even somewhat soothing. It had been about ten hours since we ingested the cloves; I grabbed my tape recorder and turned it on, and got up to see where my buddy was. I found him sitting on the couch, staring at the wall. We both looked at eachother with wide, giddy eyes and nodded. Nutmeg!
At some point in the pre-dawn hours I experienced the most vivid halucination experience I have ever had, on anything, before or since.(This is no small statement, as I have done LSD, mushrooms, speed, -I stayed up for five days on speed till I hallucinated and heard things talking-, as well as plenty of other stuff, but nothing will ever compare to this hallucination.) Kappa and I were sitting on the couch staring at the white wall, watching all sorts of abstractions come and go, and describing them to each other, when a massive, gentle face Coa-lesced from the twittering red and blue and green shapes. It was dynamic, vibrating with energy, and it appeared to float proud of the wall by a foot or so, gazing right back at us with a sweet, angelic expression. I said 'Kap, do you see that? Do you see that, man?' He replied, 'My god, TOTALLY, look at it smile!' I said 'You see that floating face?' and he was like 'Yes, I do. Look! It's coming towards us!'
My heart raced as the thing expanded till it was about ten feet high, and began to slowly float through the room towards us. We kept up the banter between us as it approached, and i could hear the radio in the kitchen playing a violin piece that seemed to be climaxing along with the vision. 'I can almost touch it!' I wanted to yell with exultation, but I was speaking in a loud whisper, reaching my hand out to the face. 'Don't pop it!' Kappa said, and I dropped my hand instanly, instantly saddened by the suggestion. The music from the kitchen reached a frenetic crecendo, and the face broke up into an orgasm of teeming colored bubbles, like billions of particles swarming out into entropy, and I heard my friend go 'Whew!' As the little dots dispersed, I looked over at him, and the couch next to me was empty. I was sitting all alone in my living room. My heart felt like it dropped down to my feet and bounced back up into my ears, and i called out to my buddy. He answered -from the basement below me.
The impossibility of sharing a vision did not even occur to me at the time. I had been so wrapped up in the dreamy nature of what I was experiencing that my disbelief of it did not have time to form. Nutmeg is a powerful hallucinogen, but also a powerful sedative, and there was a real sort of narcotic undercurrent of apathetic bliss to the whole trip. Only when I recognized that I had been talking to myself did I try to analyse the situation clearly, and even then it was impossible. The tape recorder was running the whole time and only caught us talking a couple of times. Even when i was on the couch thinking I was talking to Kappa, i was sitting in silence. The only thing i said was something I thought HE said: 'Whew!'
Now I've done alot of stuff, and I should definitely mention that I am more sensitive to psychedelics than most people I know; I get the visual stuff pretty easily for some reason. I also know that the power of suggestion is strong, and many people have told me that I WANTED to trip so bad, that that's why it was so intense. Whatever. I know that that was the most powerful and coercive and incredible halucination I've ever had, and it was off the spice rack at the grocery store.
I'll end with some cautionary advice. The next day after our trip, we slept for about sixteen hours, and shit real dark and black. After the next couple trips we took, the post-trip knockouts got really long, going to like twenty hours, with us waking up feeling very hungover and nauseus. I think the toxic properties of the nutmeg were wearing us down, so we stopped doing it. SThe most Kappa ever did at one time was Eight cloves, but that seems pretty crazy to me, even though he loved it.
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