Allspice: Now there’s one aroma that can truly send you dreaming of the Caribbean. It’s sweet and pungent, and has hints reminiscent of cinnamon, peppers, and cardamom seeds… all-in-one delicious spice.
So… what exactly IS allspice? No, it’s not a combination of all spices. It’s actually an unripe, dried berry that grows on a tall evergreen shrub native to the tropics. The berries are about the size of peas, and are dark green in color, before they are harvested for the autumn to make allspice.
In the Caribbean, allspice is known as Pimento, so take note. This is where its scientific names—Pimenta dioica and Pimenta officinalis—come from. Allspice is so famous in the Caribbean that you may recognize it as a main ingredient in jerk seasoning.
Getting allspice in essential oil form is a wonderful way to enjoy all of its benefits. To make allspice essential oil, the berries and leaves of the evergreen are steam distilled. This produces a potent, concentrated delivery system of all the health perks allspice has to offer.
The following are eight great reasons to get yourself a bottle of high-quality allspice essential oil:
1. Enjoy ample nutrition
The nutritional profile of allspice is vast. This spice contains vitamin A, several B-vitamins, vitamin C, and the minerals magnesium, manganese, iron, potassium, and selenium. It also contains tannins, and the antioxidant compounds quercetin and malic acid.
These combine to give your body a nutritional boost, when added to a healthy diet.
2. Provide your body with antioxidant support
Along with the above-listed nutrients, allspice essential oil contains the volatile compounds methyl eugenol, cineol, phellandrene, and caryophyllene. These essential oils, as well as the nutrients it contains, help to reduce oxidative stress in the body.
If left unchecked, oxidative stress can lead to inflammation in the body, and is undercurrent in health issues including macular degeneration, muscle weakening, and even certain cancers.
3. Get your blood pumping
Allspice essential oil may help to boost your circulation. This in turn helps to encourage a healthy metabolism: essential to reaching or maintaining a healthy weight.
4. Reach a serene state of mind
One of the best-known traditional uses of allspice essential oil is to calm the nerves. It is known as a “nervous system tonic” of sorts, and may help to ease anxiety, overstimulation, convulsions, jitters, hysteria, and neuralgia.
Even if you’re not suffering from a nervous condition, diffusing a bit of allspice essential oil around your home may help to clear your mind of any stress or lingering worry that has built up throughout the day.
5. Get a better night’s sleep
Because of allspice essential oil’s calming effects on the nervous system, it can also be used before bedtime to help you get a higher quality of sleep. This oil may help you to fall asleep faster by relieving stress, and may help you to stay asleep with more ease throughout the night.
6. Calm a raging tummy
Gas is no fun—and sometimes it’s downright painful. Allspice has been traditionally used for ages to help ease gas and improve digestion, possibly due to the facilitation of enzyme secretions within the intestines and stomach.
Aside from gas, this oil may also help to ease diarrhea, indigestion, and vomiting. It may also help to improve your appetite if yours has been lackluster.
7. Clean minor wounds
Allspice essential oil has antiseptic properties, and applying a bit of the oil (dilute in a bit of organic, extra-virgin coconut oil) to minor cuts and scrapes can help to keep bacteria and other pathogens out.
8. Numb aches and pains
Thanks to the presence of eugenol, allspice essential oil functions as a mild local anaesthetic. This can make it useful when applied to muscle strains, sore joints, aching bones, painful teeth, or itchy wounds like insect bites. It may also help to ease sinus and head pain.
Allspice essential oil is very potent—and this is one oil it is wise to consult a natural health professional before using. In most cases, this oil should be diluted in a base oil such as organic, extra-virgin coconut oil.
Do not take allspice essential oil internally before clearing this method with a health professional you trust, and if you do so, make sure you have a quality, food-grade oil from a source you trust. Also, if you are pregnant, or suffering from a stomach condition, do not use allspice unless you have specific instructions from your doctor.
What’s your favorite way to use allspice essential oil?
-The Alternative Daily