The active principles in the allspice found to have been anti-inflammatory, rubefacient (warming and soothing), carminative and anti-flatulent properties.
Allspice contains health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, a phenylpropanoids class of chemical compound, which gives pleasant, sweet aromatic fragrances to this spice. It also contains caryophyllene, methyleugenol, glycosides, tannins, quercetin, resin, and sesquiterpenes. At the processing units, these volatile essential oils are obtained through distillation process using this spice corn. The outer coat of the allspice-berries is believed to have the greatest concentration of some of the compounds of medicinal activities.
As in black peppercorns, the active principles in the allspice may increase the motility of the gastro-intestinal tract as well as augment the digestion power by increasing enzyme secretions inside the stomach and intestines.
Eugenol, has local anesthetic and antiseptic properties, hence; useful in gum and dental treatment procedures. Recent research studies have shown that preparation made from allspice oil mixed with extractions from garlic, and oregano can work against E.coli, Salmonella and L.monocytogenes infections.
The spice is enriched with the good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, copper,selenium, and magnesium. Iron is an important co-factor for cytochrome-oxidase enzymes during cellular metabolism. It is also required for red blood cell production in the bone marrow. Being an important component of cell and body fluids, potassium helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the powerful antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
Further, the spice also contains very good amounts of vitamin A, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), riboflavin,niacin and vitamin-C. Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant; regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
The essential oil, eugenol derived from the allspice berry has been in therapeutic use in dentistry as a local-anesthetic and antiseptic for teeth and gum.
The decoction obtained from this spice sometimes used in treating flatulence and indigestion in traditional medicine, but there is little or no data to support these claims.
The essential volatile oils in the pimento spice functions as a rubefacient, meaning that it irritates the skin and expands the blood vessels, increasing the flow of blood to make the skin feel warmer. Its oil is a popular home remedy for arthritis and sore muscles, used either as a poultice or in hot baths.
Allspice may cause serious allergic reactions in hypersensitive individuals and, therefore, should be avoided whenever warranted. Consumption of dishes prepared with excess spice can cause gastrointestinal irritation, central nervous system depression, seizures (in toxic doses).
Furthermore, recipes prepared with using this spice should be avoided in individuals suffering from stomach ulcers, ulcerative colitis, and diverticulitis conditions.
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