The allspice is a myrtle tree most commonly found in Jamaica. It gets its name from the unique combination of aromas in its fruit, a blending of the tastes of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg with just a little peppery heat.
Allspice fruits contain 2 to 5% essential oil (depending on how they are harvested). The main components of the essential oil are eugenol, eugenol methyl ether, myrcene, 1,8-cineol, and alpha-phellandrene. The eugenol content of essential oil of Jamaican allspice is 65 to 90%, but the eugenol content of Mexican allspice is much less.
Ripe and unripe fruits, essential oil extracted from leaves.
Ground ripe or unripe fruits. Frequently used with cardamom, cinnamon, and/or green tea.
In the Carribean, fresh leaves known as ñWest India bay leafî are used for cooking ñjerkedî meats. (Mediterranean bay leaf is not a good substitute.) Essential oil from the leaves traded as ñWest India bay oilî is used in industrial production of sausages and hot dogs (not that we recommend it for that purpose).
The primary use of allspice is in cooking, but it has medicinal uses as well. The essential oil in the leaf or the ground spice is sufficient to neutralize some water-borne infections, notably Shigella.
Gram for gram, the antioxidant content of allspice is greater than most other berries, fruits, and vegetables. Allspice is also rich in quercetin, in quantities sufficient to make the herb useful in preventing allergies. And as users of the herb already know, allspice assists digestion and prevents belching, bloating, flatulence, and indigestion.
For educational purposes only
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.