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Allspice

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  • Botanical: Pimenta dioica
  • Family: Myrtaceae
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Allspice

Botanical

Pimenta dioica

Family

Myrtaceae

Known as

Allspice, Jamaica pepper, kurundu, myrtle pepper, pimenta, newspice, Nelkenpfeffer, Jamaikapfeffer, Neugewürz, Englisches Gewürz, Viergewürz, Wunderpfeffer, Gewürzkorn

Old Use

culinary; medicinal

Collection Times

July and August

Parts Used

fruit, shell

Medicinal

antiseptic, anxiety, corns, digestion, indigestion, neuralgia, neuritis, nervousness, rheumatism, gastric acidity, neurasthenia

Mind & Nerves

anxiety, neuralgia, neurasthenia, restlessness

Respiratory System

cough

Stomach & Intestinal

digestion, gastrointestinal, gastric inflammation, indigestion

Skin & Hair

corns

Properties

antiseptic, antipyretic, anti inflammatory, stimulant

Description

A tropical, evergreen tree, usually 7-10 m tall, but sometimes reaching 20 m, with a smooth, grey bark. Individual trees are functionally dioecious (plants are either male or female) although individual flowers are structurally hermaphrodite (have male and female parts within the same flower). The small, white flowers are held in compound inflorescences and are followed by green berries that turn purple when ripe. 

Properties & Uses

Allspice is used to flavour a variety of dishes, including meat stews, sausages, pickles, cakes and puddings, and is also added to medicines. It is an important component of pimento dram, a Jamaican alcoholic drink, and liqueurs such as Benedictine and Chartreuse. An essential oil is distilled from the berries and leaves and used in soap, perfumes and aromatherapy.

Allspice is also used in traditional medicine to treat digestive disorders and as a remedy for corns, neuralgia and rheumatism. The oil has antioxidant, bactericidal and fungicidal activity, and is a stimulant and purgative. The wood is used for making walking sticks and umbrella handles. 

Cautions

May cause allergic reactions in hypersensitive individuals. 

Distribution

Pimenta dioica occurs naturally on hillsides of rainforests in Central America and the Caribbean, and has also been reported from Venezuela. 

Constituents

eugenol, menthyl eugenol, cineol, phellandrene and caryophyllene. 

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.