Allspice Medicinal Herb is Used as  Tonic and Purgative

allspice or pimento

Allspice (Pimenta officinalis) is a medicinal herb which got its name because it has the flavor of all spices put together and especially the scent of juniper berries, cinnamon as well as cloves.  The pimento tree is native to the Caribbean regions. It is usually picked green and dried in the hot sun.

It is another great plant on the herbs list which is used to flavor cakes, porridge, soups and puddings. I remembered my grandmother having the seeds stored somewhere in the cupboard because every Saturday was soup day and that was one of the main ingredients used in her soup. It was one of her best spices in the kitchen.  In addition, the pimento trees were grown at the back of our home, so to be in possession of the seeds were no problem for us. It was so easy and I miss those days!!

Seen in the list of culinary herbs,  it gives every soup a nice flavor.   The ground powder is widely used in jerk recipes, especially jerk chicken.  It is a very good and favorable seasoning and that is the reason that many individual try to have it in their possession at all times.  Currently, Jamaica benefits commercially from pimento.

This herb is widely known as pimento in Jamaica and it plays a great part in traditional Jamaican recipes. The common names are Bayberry tree, Bay leaf, Pimento, Bay rum tree, Jamaica pepper, Black pepper as well as wild Cinnamon. To some, the tree is known as pimento and the berries are referred to as allspice.

The medicinal properties are antiseptic, digestive, stimulant, tonic, anesthetic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiac and antimicrobial.  The constituents are volatile oil, vitamins A, B1, B2 and C, tannin, resins, beta carotene, minerals and gum.

Health benefits

A tea made from the leaves is used for chills, colds, flu, pneumonia, painful menstruation, fever and also stroke. It is believed that the leaves held in the mouth for a period of time will discourage smoking which will eventually stop smoking habits. This can be done as often as the need arise. The tea can also used to relieve muscular aches and pains in regards to arthritis and rheumatism in addition to neuralgia.

The therapeutic essential oil will benefit the mind, body as well as the soul and this has been utilized for hundred of years now.  Therefore any mental and physical ailment may be treated with this oil from this medicinal plant, especially in aromatherapy.

It is an ingredient in certain deodorants and the volatile oil from allspice plant has a faint antimicrobial agent referred to as eugenol which is a part of the phenylpropanoids chemical substances.  Eugenol is utilized in medicine as anesthetic as well as antiseptic and it is also used in essential oils, perfumes and flavorings because of its spicy aroma which is similar to that of clove.

Allspice is a natural preservative

It is also a natural preservative and therefore a tincture can be made by adding an ounce of seeds to a pint of brandy, pure rum, or vegetable glycerine. This can be used as medicinal benefit for the pains associated with the arthritis and rheumatism as well as other aches and pain. Take one teaspoonful to a cup of warm water, sweetened with honey.

Also, boil fresh berries in water until the mixture is thick enough to be spread on a linen cloth, then apply it to the affected area, that is, where the pain is centered.

Homemade pimento liqueur

Pimento liqueur is also made most times by the rural folks and this can be used to treat upset stomach as well as diarrhea and to be used as an exhibition at 4 H Clubs.

  • 2 qrts. ripe pimento (allspice) berries
  • 4½ lbs sugar
  • 3 qrts. water
  • 1½ qrts rum
  • ¾ lb cinnamon sticks
  • 1 part lime juice

Put berries in the rum and lime juice for three days. Break cinnamon and boil in two quarts water. Strain and boil sugar for approximately ten minutes. Squeeze out the berries, then add the syrup when it is cold. Strain through a clean thin cotton material, then bottled and used accordingly.

Even a novice will find this herb appealing.  You do not have to be an expert to use it, so be reminded that allspice can add flavor to any meal you so desire. 

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Updated October 29, 2015




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