Allspice Berry Essential Oil
Allspice essential oil is certainly one of the stranger sounding essential oils, almost sounding like a Spice Girls reject. But don’t write it off on that basis alone, for an essential oil by any other name will still smell as sweet!
Allspice essential oil is actually the name of an oil that has a large number of different properties, acting as an analgesic, antioxidant, antiseptic, relaxant and more. Let’s take a closer look at this mysterious oil and its amazing benefits!
What is Allspice Essential Oil?
Allspice is also known as ‘pimento’ in the Caribbean Islands from where it hails (it can also be found in South America). It actually comes from a large evergreen tree with the botanical name Pimenta Dioica (also Pimenta Officinalis). It can also sometimes be referred to as Jamaican pepper.
The name ‘allspice’ is rather appropriate though when you taste it – it is a little like a mixture of cinnamon, cardamom, pepper and clove! And as we’ve already seen, it has the medicinal properties of a great many different oils and spices too!
This essential oil is extracted from the leaves via steam distillation. This then removes the oils that are produced by the leaves in a pure form, keeping their active properties intact.
Benefits and Uses
As mentioned, allspice essential oil has a large number of different properties that ensure it is popular for a wide range of different purposes.
Let’s take a look at some of those benefits and uses here.
Anaesthetic: Allspice essential oil is a highly effective analgesic that has powerful numbing properties. This helps to dull sensation in the area where it is applied and this can be used to help reduce pain registered by the nociceptors (pain receptors). The result is that the area feels numb to touch and also that certain pains will be reduced.
The good thing is that allspice essential oil does not have systemic effects when applied in this way. That is to say that it affects only the local area where the oil is applied meaning that it won’t lead to any wider-ranging side effects for the body. This is perfect then for helping to reduce pain that is caused in a specific area – pain from bruising, burns, rashes and other effects being good examples of this. It can also be used to help treat arthritis.
Antiseptic: Another useful property of allspice essential oil is its antiseptic effects. When applied to a given area, it can help to disinfect it and prevent bacteria from entering open wounds. This is particularly effective then for preventing cuts developing painful infections that can be quite dangerous.
When you combine the soothing effects of allspice with its ability to prevent infection, it is clear that this is a very good topical agent for treating a range of effects.
What’s more is that this also makes it potentially useful for treating certain skin conditions such as acne. Acne is at least partly caused by bacteria entering clogged pores in many cases, so by using allspice you can prevent a pore from developing in such a way.
In particular, studies have demonstrated that the eugenol in allspice is particularly useful for combating e.coli, salmonella and l.monocytogenes infections.
Because of its anti-bacterial properties, allspice is actually often used for treating oral complaints and can be very good for gum and dental treatments. If you were looking for an oil to practice ‘oil pulling’ with, then this would be a good option.
Anti-Inflammatory: One more reason to use allspice essential oil as a topical treatment for bruises, rashes and other issues is that it is anti-inflammatory. This means it can prevent swelling that might occur around the site of an injury (and which can exacerbate the discomfort in some cases). Again, this makes it particularly effective when used to treat a rash or allergic reaction, a sprain or a bruise or localized pain.
What’s more is that the oil is also carminative and rubefacient. What this basically means is that it provides a warming and soothing sensation when applied to the skin. This means it can offer immediate relief while the anaesthetic and anti-inflammatory effects get to work. It’s the ideal thing to keep in your cupboard for these occasions!
Nutrition: Jamaican pepper is actually packed with a lot of goodness that can provide a lot of additional benefits for the skin and general health. Jamaican essential oil is rich in iron, copper, manganese, potassium, selenium and magnesium. Vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin B6, niacin, vitamin C and riboflavin. These all provide a lot of goodness and help to prevent illness and more.
Because allspice essential oil comes from a naturally occurring and edible corn, it can be consumed safely whether you choose to make it into a tea or use it in cooking. This way, you can then get a lot of nutrition from the substance.
Antioxidant: Allspice essential oil is a powerful antioxidant thanks to numerous naturally occurring nutrients (including vitamin C). Antioxidants are substances that can combat free radicals and prevent damage to the cells caused by oxidization. This can prevent damage to the cell walls and simultaneously prevent DNA damage that can eventually occur otherwise.
This makes antioxidants highly useful in the diet for slowing the effects of aging and for reducing visible signs such as wrinkles. It also makes antioxidants very popular when used in face creams where they can have a similar effect applied directly.
Digestive Enzymes: Allspice essential oil really is a jack of all trades and also contains properties that may make it a useful digestive aid. That’s because it encourages the production of enzymes within the stomach and intestines and also appears to aid with the motility or the gastrointestinal tract in general.
For these reasons, allspice essential oil may be effective at preventing indigestion and heartburn. Just consume mixed with some water while eating!
Anti-Flatulant: That’s right, this essential oil can also help the gastro-intestinal tract in another way; to prevent wind! A nice additional benefit of this oil is that it is rather mild and can be used directly on the skin with less caution than something like eucalyptus. It is actually quite commonly used to treat discomfort in children.
How to Use Allspice Essential Oil
When buying allspice essential oil, make sure that you look into the process that has been used to extract the active oils. It’s also possible to buy the corns as they are or ground. Corns themselves can be stored safely at room temperature but ground pimento must be kept in the fridge in an airtight container to prevent the essential oils from escaping.
You can use this oil in cooking in order to get some of the nutritional benefits. Likewise, you can also use the ground pepper form simply by sprinkling onto meats and other foods. It is a common spice used in soups, barbeques sauce and curry. It is also in some Caribbean drinks!
To use medicinally, you can simply apply the oil directly to the skin. Just make sure that you read the back of the packaging and follow the instructions. If you want to avoid the rubefacient effects (warming and numbing), then you may wish to mix with a carrier oil.
Applied directly to the skin, this essential oil can be used for:
You can also add 10-20 drops of allspice essential oil to a bath in order to gain some of the same benefits. Alternatively, it makes a nice therapeutic medium for massage that provides a gentle warming sensation and pleasant aroma to aid with relaxation.
When consumed, this oil can be useful for treating indigestion, wind or other stomach upsets. While there is not a lot of evidence to support this use, it makes logical sense and many people claim it is very useful in this capacity.
Finally, you can try rinsing and swilling this oil in your mouth in order to kill bacteria and leave your breath smelling fresh and your teeth looking clean. This is a great choice of essential oil for ‘oil pulling’.
With all these benefits in mind, allspice essential oil really is one of the most versatile and useful oils to keep around! Add it to your cupboard and it is sure to come in handy whether as a before-dinner beverage, or a way to give your mouth a very thorough clean!