What was the typical dose of spice that an off-worlder might take to experience its beneficial and euphoric effects?

I don't mean someone like Piter DeVries, who obviously over-dosed, but a common person like Dr. Yueh, who commented that though the first taste reminded one of cinnamon, it never tasted the same twice.

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    normal people were 2 poor to even have it, rich people drank it or ate it as much as they could reasonably afford, average dosage ranges depending on your income. The emperor for example could afford far more then the Atridies and generally lived longer because of it.
    – Himarm
    Jul 30, 2016 at 22:21

1 Answer 1


This is covered in the end-notes for the novel Dune. Melange could cost as much as 620,000 solaris for ten grams although, presumably it was usually much much less expensive. Typical dosages for an addict (like Piter) could be as much as 2-3 grams per day.

Given that a Solari appears to be roughly as valuable as a US dollar (a few will buy a small doll or rent a taxi, a few hundred will engage the services of a prostitute for an hour) it can be assumed that a wealthy individual with an income of a million-plus solaris a year might be able to afford a decagram of spice annually, using less than one gram per month (or possibly giving themselves a few larger doses every quarter).

The average common citizen would never be able to afford even a single full dose, having to settle for highly adulterated spice coffee or nothing at all.

MELANGE: the “spice of spices,” the crop for which Arrakis is the unique source. The spice, chiefly noted for its geriatric qualities, is mildly addictive when taken in small quantities, severely addictive when imbibed in quantities above two grams daily per seventy kilos of body weight. (See Ibad, Water of Life, and Pre-spice Mass.) Muad’Dib claimed the spice as a key to his prophetic powers. Guild navigators make similar claims. Its price on the Imperial market has ranged as high as 620,000 solaris the decagram.

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    It's just that I have long had a suspicion that the math doesn't work. For example: the Baron claimed that a raid destroyed his stockpile--one would think of a stockpile to be in the thousands of kilos, and yet the planet produced only 10 billion Solaris a year, which when calculated using the 620,000 per decagram, comes out to less than 2000 kilos per year. This is more or less what the DEA captures on one good raid. How does the planet supply the entire universe with this quantity? Sep 18, 2016 at 23:17
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    @Cascabel - That's worthy of its own question.
    – Valorum
    Sep 18, 2016 at 23:19
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    In addition to this, there is the question of why does spice require so much processing, when it appears to be so prevalent in the air and food chain that newcomers become addicted within only a few months? Why should one harvester bring in the equivalent of only a decagram per trip. Somehow, the economics doesn't seem to add up. Sep 18, 2016 at 23:20
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    @Cascabel - Also worthy of its own question.
    – Valorum
    Sep 18, 2016 at 23:21
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    2 new questions, coming up. Thanks. Sep 18, 2016 at 23:23

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