Essential Oil of the Week: Allspice
I will continue Tijon’s Essential Oil of the Week segment with the allspice essential oil. Per usual I will discuss its roots and its benefits so that you can start utilizing all of the amazing things that nature has to offer. Why spend thousands of dollars on beauty and health products when the best ones are found right outside.
What is Allspice Essential Oil
Allspice comes from the dried berry of the pimento, a tropical evergreen tree that belongs to the myrtle family. The tree grows from 22 feet up to 43 feet high on average! That’s a lot of essential oil to work with. The slow-growing pimento is an aromatic tree that produces small white blooms in the spring and summer; followed by clusters of pea-sized brownish green, spicy berries in the fall. The immature berries are then dried and ground to produce allspice essential oil. Allspice was given its name due to its scent, which is a combination of nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Fun fact: Pimento was given its name by Spanish and Portuguese explorers who believed the dried berries look like peppercorns, and called them pimento or “pepper”.
The leaves, berries, and oil are used, not only for health and medicinal purposes, but also for spices, flavoring and fragrance. Another fun fact: The wood of the tree was used to make aromatic walking sticks and umbrellas in the 1800s leading to overharvesting resulting in strict controls to prevent extinction. The pimento tree is native to the West Indies, Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands. It is also grown commercially in Jamaica, Mexico, Trinidad, Cuba, and Honduras.
The Benefits of Allspice
Allspice can be used both internally and externally, both having profound health benefits. Internally, allspice is widely used as a carminative (an herb or preparation intended to either prevent formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract or facilitate the expulsion of said gas, thereby combatting flatulence). It is used as both an aromatic stimulant and as a tonic for the gastro-intestinal tract and digestive system. As a result it is used to treat stomach aches, vomiting, diarrhea and indigestion (the all natural Pepto Bismol!). The essential oil in allspice is a tonic used for the nervous system and has been used to treat hysterical paroxysms, convulsions, neuralgia, and nervous exhaustion.
When used externally, allspice’s warming effects are used to relieve arthritis and rheumatism, chest infections, bruises, and muscle aches and pains. Allspice has been used as a natural herbal remedy for colds, fever, flue, diabetes, menstrual cramps, and heavy menstrual bleeding. Allspice extracts have antioxidant, antiseptic, and anesthetic properties, and usefulness in fighting yeast and fungal infections. It’s crazy to think that they had this all figured out centuries ago and we seem to have moved away from these amazing natural and healthy remedies towards drugs created in a lab. Let’s keep it simple people, allspice has everything you need to fight that cold or fever, so why turn to Tylenol or DayQuil?