Have you ever wondered if you have a grasp on all you need to know about allspice? This amazing Jamaican sauce ingredient may be all you need to ease muscle pain, and even gas in case of bloating. As the name implies, allspice is a spice made from dried berries and a myrtle family member. It has a great blend of interesting qualities of several spices, hence the name. There is much to be said about this spice, which is why you may need to get your note and a pen out for reference's sake.
Allspice has a distinct flavor that brings several other spices to mind. In the same vein, this points to the amazing benefits of the spice. As earlier said, it is made from dried berries of Pimenta dioica, a plant native to the Caribbean and Middle Eastern regions. It is equally popular among Latin Americans, especially in its use in cuisines. Allspice has an unmatched versatility, which enables it to be effectively used on main courses, side dishes, desserts, and even drinks and beverages. Allspice is one of the most critical ingredients used in producing the popular mulled wine and hot cider.
Over the years, allspice has gained a certain reputation in folk medicine, particularly its use in relieving colds, easing menstrual cramps, and calming an upset stomach. It is occasionally brewed into teas and can be used as a balm to soothe aching joints, sore muscles, and bruises. Regardless of the numerous health benefits of allspice and even its application in folk medicine, many people only recognize it as a cooking spice. It is popularly used in making a savory Jamaican jerk sauce, equally employed as a condiment for different dishes in the Middle East and Central America.
That said, allspice is regarded with different names in varying locations across the globe. Some of such include pimento, pimento, Jamaica pepper, Myrtle pepper, clove pepper, and newspice, among others.
Most of the medicinal properties of allspice are attributed to the presence of eugenol, a chemical effective as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral agent. Other components in this spice may be effective in killing cancer cells. Asides from being sold in the ground and whole berry forms, this spice is equally available as an essential oil. Quite frankly, I believe that covers all the major preferences of anyone who might intend to try out this spice.
From the obvious rave about the use of allspice in folk medicine, it is no wonder that scientific research has proven several health benefits from it. Bioactive chemical compounds in allspice are currently being investigated for effects on cancerous cells and high blood pressure. The American Journal of Medicine recently published an article that details the research procedures and their current findings. Although these results are not founded yet, some factions in the medical field already use supplements from this spice to great their patients.
Allspice essential oil is used in aromatherapy to ease headaches from a sinus infection. All you need to do is dispense the oil in an evaporating media.
Aside from its use in aromatherapy, allspice has gained this much attention due to some of its principal bioactive compounds. These include eugenol, quercetin, garlic acid, and ericifolin. Eugenol has antiseptic properties and is effective as a topical pain reliever, while quercetin has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that control inflammation, kill cancer cells, and improve blood pressure levels. Quercetin is equally effective in preventing heart disease. Gallic acid has antiviral and anti-cancer properties, while ericifolin is an antioxidant currently being studied for its effects on prostate cancer.
Other health benefits of allspice include:
Indigestion and stomach cramps are two of the leading causes of abdominal bloating. Carminative herbs, which are herbs used in expelling and preventing gas buildup in the gastrointestinal tract, are vital in treating stomach bloating. Interestingly, allspice is one of the most popular carminative herbs worldwide.
Additionally, the antioxidants present in allspice, eugenol, ease stomach cramps and stimulate digestive enzymes' release. This, providing relief to pain and discomfort caused by abdominal cramps.
Aches and Pains
Allspice has impressive analgesic and anesthetic properties that can help in easing body pains and aches. In folk medicine, the berries are crushed into a poultice and applied to sore muscles and bruises all over the body.
Although allspice is widely effective in treating aches and pains, the method with which it does so is not fully understood. Although some of its bioactive compounds contain anti-inflammatory properties, and eugenol is known as a mild anesthetic agent, research is still ongoing to find out more on this health benefit of allspice.
A lot of women complain about going through so many bodily changes and discomfort during the transitory period of menopause. While there are some recent developments in medicine that can mitigate some of the effects of hormonal changes in the body, there is still little that can be done. Recent research suggests that methanol extracts from the allspice plant might regulate the hormonal changes during this period without leaving any aftereffects like other methods.
Potential Side Effects
It is important to state that some people are allergic to allspice, and thus, caution should be taken before consuming it, especially in large quantities. It also has effects on iron absorption in the body and should not be taken by anemic individuals.
Additionally, allspice can interfere with the processes controlling blood clotting, especially when consumed in large amounts. That said, it should not be taken with drugs that affect blood clottings, such as heparin and aspirin.
When considering all you need to know about allspice, this article has effectively detailed the important points to note. That said, there is more to allspice to what is written in this article. You can try out equal parts of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon for your dishes when you get your hands on allspice. Nonetheless, as much as you can, enjoy all the benefits of allspice.