In the 1800s, Connecticut peddlers would travel south to peddle goods made in small factories around the state. The best way to increase their profit margin was to slip a few pieces of prized nutmeg -- and a few fake wooden ones to match -- in their bag. It didn't take long to expose the fraud, earning us the nickname of the Nutmeg State, known by all as clever, if ethically challenged, people.
It turns out nutmeg punches greater than its weight.
It’s been said to protect against plague and as an aphrodisiac. It has been prescribed to treat cholera, GI disorders, and flatulence. Women at one time would take large amounts to induce abortion. It’s also a sedative and in larger doses, a hallucinogenic.
It also has a long and storied history as the source of a bloody battle, a drug used by prisoners, and a toxin when taken in large doses. So be careful with that eggnog. It may not be the rum that's making you high.
- Walter Woodward - Connecticut State Historian
- Ron Jenkins - Professor of Theater at Wesleyan University and producer of a play, “Islands: The Lost History of the Treaty That Changed The World”
- Wayne Curtis - Author of And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World in 10 Cocktails
- Leon Gussow - Medical editor of The Poison Review; writes a monthly column, “Toxicology Rounds,” for Emergency Medicine News
Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.