Allspice is not a combination of spices but it is a single spice that provides various health and medicinal benefits. Allspice is obtained from the Jamaican pepper tree. Most Allspice berries are normally harvested before they are ripe to preserve the natural aroma and flavor.
When the Allspice seeds are sun-dried, they change color from brown to deep blue-purple resembling that of a blueberry. The herb is common in Southern Mexico, Central America, and the Greater Antilles. However, it’s more associated with Jamaica, an island in West Indies.
Firms that produce Allspices sell them either as a whole fruit or grounded. When it’s grounded, you can easily use it in your coffee or food. Allspice is rich in compounds that have promising health benefits.
Allspice has more than one name but the common scientific name is referred to as Pimentadioica. The other names are affected by the region from which it’s grown. Allspice different names include:
- clove Pepper
- Pimiento de Jamaica
- Jamaica Pepper
- Myrtle Pepper
- Turkish Yenibahar
- New Spice
- Kabab Cheene
Cultivation and Production
Cultivation of allspice plants requires the fulfillment of certain conditions. When growing it, you need to pay attention to humidity, soil, temperature, and spacing.
It’s also important to know that it’s propagated from allspice seeds. So, the first step is to pluck ripen allspice berries from the parent plant when they are dark brown. Obtained the twin seeds from the berry and soak them in warm water for one day as you eliminate floating seeds.
Now that you have the Allspice seeds, you will need to prepare the ground that you intend to plant them on. Step one involves filling starter pots with 4-inch moisturized compost and coarse petalite or sand. Place the seed in a 1/5-inch deep hole and cover allspice seed with composite manure.
It’s should be exposed to maximum light and 70-80 Fahrenheit. Water the soil whenever you see it dry. The seeds take 2 weeks to 3 months to germinate after which you will need to let it grow to a height of 2 inches.
Give them time to grow into a height that can be transplanted as you prepare a loamy and fast-drainage soil. Plant them 20-feet apart in an area that receives full sunlight. It can grow to a height of 40 Feet but will start producing fruits when it’s 3 years old. Allspice plant can live up to 100 years provided it’s well maintained.
Uses of Allspice
Allspice berries, leaves, and oil are used for various medical and health purposes. Its compounds such as Eugenol have proven to be highly valued in the medical industry.
Allspice has been used for flavoring, spices, and fragrance ion in many cases. In Caribbean countries, an allspice compound known as eugenol has been used to make liquors. One such example is a local Jamaica drink known as Jamaican dram which seems to be loved by many.
The compound has also been used by dentists to provide local antiseptic and anesthetic for gums and teeth. When you visit many cuisines, you may notice some of the food having an allspice flavor. It’s used as an ingredient in making sauces and marinades.
Its properties makes it a good ingredient in preserving spice blends and it’s also used in numerous Mullings.
Health Benefits of Allspice
The minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants found in allspice may have several health benefits. Many of the compounds in allspice are being studied as potential treatments for inflammation, nausea, dental care, and even cancer.
Allspice possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties which makes them the best natural cure against bacterial and fungal infections.
Activities of Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes can be neutralized by Allspice. It will their form improve the function of the gastrointestinal system by promoting natural immunity.
By using allspice in your food, it will neutralize the effect of the bacteria allowing you to eat healthy food.
Prevent Inflammation and Pain
One of the major allspice ingredients is called Quercitin which has various therapeutic benefits. This compound has anti-inflammatory properties.
Whenever you consume allspice, the compound will act on various endocannabinoids, neurotransmitters, and brain cells to restore homeostasis.
By doing this, it will prevent inflammation that while at the same time reducing pain. Allspice can heal in a situation where you incur surgery or injury. It will enhance the healing process while reducing pain.
Allspice has a high level of Vitamin A and Vitamin C which have antioxidant properties. Allspice compound such as Eugenol, Quercitin, and Ericifolin also has antioxidant properties which makes them the best option when you want to treat conditions such as cancer.
Cellular metabolism causes free radicles as by-products. If free radicals are not neutralized, they can result in neurodegenerative diseases. It’s for this reason that the antioxidative property of the allspice plant will neutralize the free radicles.
Promote Cardiovascular Health
Allspices contain various minerals and potassium being the most important one as far as your heart health is concerned. Potassium is a vasodilator that will reduce tension in our cardiovascular system.
As the blood vessels relax, more blood will flow through them thereby preventing arteries and heart from straining. As the heart is working normally, there will be limited chances of suffering from atherosclerosis, stroke, and heart attack.
Allspice has been used to help manage dental problems. What makes this herb natural dental care option is the fact that it has antibacterial, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties.
Allspice will protect your gum and dental health against bacterial pathogens. However, it may not be pleasant when you gargling.
Allspice is recommended to be consumed as a spice by adding to your food. However, it’s not clear of the side effect that may occur when you consume it by mouth as it may result in allergic reaction or stomach upset.
Overdosing allspice may result in reduced blood clotting. its, therefore, advised not to consume allspice with medication which has an impact on clottings like aspirin, Plavix, Lovenox, or coumadin.
Patients suffering from ulcerative colitis or gastric ulcers should not use allspice as it may accelerate the condition.
As we have seen above there are many health and other benefits of allspice but Currently, there is limited research on the effects of Allspice. Its, therefore, recommended that before you consume it, you should consult your doctor.
But if you are determined to grow or use Allspice seeds, you can buy them from local and online stores like Amazon and Walmart.