- Pimenta officinalis L.
- Myrtle family
Parts Usually Used
Allspice is the dried berry of the pimento, an evergreen tree growing
to 40 feet in height; it bears opposite, leathery, oblong to oblong-lanceolate
leaves whose pinnately arranged veins show prominently on the underside.
Small white flowers grow in many-flowered cymes in the upper leaf
axils from June to August. The fruit is a fleshy, sweet berry which
is purplish-black when ripe. The berries used for allspice are collected
when they have reached full size but are not yet ripe. The name comes
from the berry's taste, which has been described as a combination
of cloves, Juniper berries, cinnamon, and pepper.
Grows in the West Indies, South America, Central America, and Mexico.
Aromatic, carminative, stimulant
Legends, Myths and Stories
Allspice tastes like a blend of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, but
is actually a single spice ground from the under-ripe dried berry
of a tropical, evergreen myrtle tree, native to the West Indies and
Central America. Smith's Dictionary of Economic Plants states: "In
Jamaica the berries are highly spoken of as a substitute for tobacco,
being odoriferous, but they require a long pipe to smoke them, when
they afford a treat unknown in smoking tobacco."
Pimento water and oil of pimento are helpful for flatulent indigestion
or simple flatulence; the oil is used for hysteria. Taken with a laxative,
the oil lessens the tendency toward griping.. As an ointment or a
bath additive, allspice is said to have some anesthetic effects. Also
used for rheumatism and
Formulas or Dosages
Pimento water: combine 5 parts crushed berries
with 200 parts water and distill down to half the original
volume. A dose is from 1-2 fluid ounces.
Oil: a dose is from 2-5 drops. For flatulence,
take 2 or 3 drops on sugar.
Powder: a dose is from 10-30 grains.
Plaster: boil crushed berries in water until the mixture is
thick enough to spread on a linen cloth.