This is a continuation of my Spice Series. Welcome to my information on Allspice!

allspicepic
Illustration by Christy Beckwith

 

**Allspice is an excellent name for a spice that seems to resemble the taste and aroma of many other spices. When put in a blind sniff test, allspice has been mistakenly identified as nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, and cloves.

**This small evergreen is very unique for growing conditions: it is very partial to sandy Jamaican soil and does not grow well anywhere else but Jamaica, though many spice companies try, and their results are always inferior products.

 

**This article includes information on the medicinal benefits and culinary uses of Allspice. Since it cannot grow well out of Jamaica and some parts of Central America and South America, I have not included ‘How to Grow’ information. I hope you like this material, and, as always, if you have any questions/comments/additional sources for me, please post in the comment section below! Enjoy!

 

Medicinal BenefitsAllspice

 

**Allspice contains more than two dozen compounds that contain healing actions, which makes it a spice that is used to help many different medicinal ailments.

**Allspice has medicinal benefits in both berry-form and as an essential oil. It seems like an excellent essential oil to add to your home, if you do not own it already.

 

Here are the medicinal benefits of Allspice:

  • Anesthetic:

**The allspice essential oil gives a numbing or anesthetic effect when applied to localized pains. This can help with pains such as: neuralgia, bone and muscular injuries, joint pain, as well those of insect bites, stings, etc.

  • Analgesic:

**Since it has a numbing effect on the nerves, it does not let them sense pain and carry its sensation to brain, thereby giving relief from pains, such as those of headache, cold, sinusitis and others.

  • Antioxidant:

**The antioxidant properties of allspice can neutralize the free radicals or oxidants that are not only responsible for age related problems such as weakening of muscles, hair loss, loss in vision and hearing, nervous disorders, macular and muscular degeneration and lots others, but can also trigger off certain types of cancers in the body, such as those of colon, intestines and prostrate. The antioxidant property of this oil can be very effective in countering these threats and can help you lead a healthy and youthful life.

  • Antiseptic:

**A simple looking wound can be very dangerous if it turns septic or catches tetanus and you believe it or not, it can be seriously fatal. The antiseptic property of this essential oil protects wounds against infections and inhibits bacterial growth.

  • Immune System Boost:

**Allspice acts as a tonic for everyday health and boosts the immune system.

  • Menopause:

**Allspice helps relieve the symptoms of menopause. It is often used in herbal medicine as a replacement for hormone replacement therapy.

  • Relaxant:

**This essential oil sedates nervous afflictions and gives a relaxing, calming effect on the body and the mind. This property is also effecting giving relief from cramps and spasm. This is also helpful for bringing sleep to those suffering from insomnia.

  • Stimulant:

**Allspice stimulates blood circulation, digestion and secretions in the body, thereby helping maintain proper metabolism. This also stimulates growth of cells and generation of new cells.

 

**In the Caribbean, allspice has been used as a natural medicine for hundreds of years. Jamaicans use the berries in an herbal tea for colds, menstrual cramps, and stomachaches. Costa Ricans use it for diabetes and digestion problems. Guatemalans use the crushed berries on bruises and muscle/joint pains.

**Allspice is also enriched with plenty of vitamins and minerals such as: potassium, manganese, iron, copper, selenium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B-6, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C.

**If you are thinking about buying Allspice essential oil, click here for an option.

**Caution: Allspice can cause skin irritations if used in high doses. In addition, pregnant women should not use the essential oil.

 

 

Culinary Usesallspiceboth

**You may not know it, but allspice is in plenty of foods that you might use on a daily basis. This includes: soft drinks, chewing gum, ketchup, barbeque sauce, and canned meats.

**Allspice is unique in that it is the only spice native to the Western Hemisphere. It is indigenous to Jamaica, and the best tasting allspice comes from there, but some countries in South and Central America try to grow it as well, and they have some success.

 

**Since Jamaica is the prime location of the spice, allspice is one of the main ingredients to the country’s famous styles of cooking, which is known as jerking. Anyone have Jamaican jerk chicken? Once you taste meat with that mix of spices, it’s hard to eat chicken any other way.

**Allspice is not only a common ingredient in jerk seasoning, but also some curries, mulling spices, and even as a pickling agent.

 

**An ancient Mayan custom, still continued in Mexico today, is to add allspice to their chocolate for that delicious spiced chocolate flavor.

**In the United States, it is often used in pumpkin pie recipes, favorite Christmas/Holiday recipes, and in “Cincinnati-style” chili.

 

**Allspice pairs well with these spices and herbs: Black pepper, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, Cocoa, Cumin, Garlic, Ginger, Mint, Mustard seed, Nutmeg, Onion, Oregano, and Turmeric.

**Allspice complements recipes featuring: Chocolate, Curries, Fruit pies and puddings, Game, Lamb, Mulled cider or wine, Nuts, Pickled Vegetables, Smoked fish, Rice pilafs, and Seafood.

 

**When cooking with allspice, you should grind the whole berries just before preparing the dish and add it in the final stages of cooking. This helps keep the fragrance and flavor intact and because prolonged cooking evaporates the essential oils.

**Whole allspice berries look like peppercorns, but they are a bit larger and have a reddish-brown color.

**As is usually the case, it is best to buy whole allspice berries instead of ground allspice. This is for a few reasons. First, whole allspice berries have a long shelf life. They will keep fresh for several years in a dry, dark place. Once ground, it will lose its’ flavor in a few months. Second, ground allspice is often not the best quality and can easily be filled up with “filler” powders from similar-ish spices.

**Click here if you want to buy some allspice berries online.

spices--star-anise--allspice-cinnamon-sticks
The Beauty of Star Anise, Cinnamon, and Allspice

 

There you go! This is most of the information that I could find about allspice. Please click here for my introduction to my Spice Series.  Again, if you have any comments, questions, or extra information for me, please feel free to post in the comment section below!

 

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Awesome! Thank you so much for the visit. 🙂 Let me know if there's any questions or comments!

  2. Do you know why my cauliflower doesn’t make a head but just shoots out small “growths”?

  3. I have never grown Cauliflower but after reading this I am going to give it a try this year as do love the veg. I am going to do it in a planter so easy for myself to take care of it. How large of a container and how many can put in one container?

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