Image for Allspice ()
Allspice (Pimenta dioica)
While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.

Related Terms

  • Allyl alkoxybenzenes, caryophyllene, castalagin, casuariin, casuarinin, cineole, dietary polyphenols, ellagic acid, estragole, eugenol, eugenol methyl ether, gallic acid, galloylglucosides, glycosidic tannins, grandinin, grandininol, ground Jamaican allspice, guayabita (Spanish), herbal flavoring, Jamaica pepper, Jamaican allspice, levophellandrene, methyl eugenol, methyl gallate, methyl-flavogallonate, Myrtaceae (family), myrtle pepper, nilocitin, palmitic acid, pedunculagin, phenolic glycosides, pimenta, Pimenta officinalis Lindl., Pimenta dioica (L.) Merr., Pimenta dioica (L.) Merrill (Myrtaceae), pimento (allspice), pimentol, pimienta de Jamaica (Spanish), pimienta dulce (Spanish), pimienta gorda (Spanish), polyphenols, Rheedia aristata Griseb., spicy flavoring, vascalagin, vascalaginone.
  • Note: Allspice leaves may occasionally be termed "West Indian bay leaf," but other sources reserve that name for the closely related species Pimenta racemosa. Allspice should not be confused with Capsicum annuum, which is also known as pimento or "cherry pepper."

Background

  • Allspice is produced from the fruit of the Pimenta dioica plant and originates primarily from Jamaica, the West Indies in general, and South America. The fruits are picked when they are green, then dried in the sun or in a kiln and sold as either whole dried fruit or in powdered form. Allspice has a complex, peppery taste similar to a mix of cinnamon, juniper, clove, and nutmeg.
  • Historically, allspice was used to treat indigestion and intestinal gas. It was also taken by mouth to treat stomachaches, heavy menstrual bleeding, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, flu, and colds. Commercially, allspice has been used to flavor toothpastes.
  • Currently, there is limited high-quality evidence supporting any clinical use of allspice.

Evidence

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Dosing

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Author Information

  • Content available for subscribers only.

References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  • Content available for subscribers only.
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.