Essential Oil Pimento Berry (15 mL)
Essential Oil Pimento Berry (Allspice)
Pimento Berry Oil (also known as Allspice oil, Jamaican Pepper and Pimenta) is steam distilled from dried, crushed, fully grown, but unripe fruits of the West Indian tree, Pimenta Officinalis. The tree is native to the West Indies and grows abundantly in the wild on many of the islands, particularly Jamaica.
Pimento is used extensively by the food industry for flavouring foods. Its other common name, Allspice, comes from the fact that it tastes like a mixture of cloves, juniperberry, cinnamon and pepper. The oil is is also widely used in perfumery, primarily to create men’s fragrances.
AROMA: warm, spicy-sweet, clove-like aroma.
HISTORY OF USE
The berry known variously as pimento, allspice, myrtle pepper or Jamaica pepper is the fruit of a small evergreen tropical tree which grows to a maximum height of 12 m (40 ft). It belongs to the myrtle family, therefore is related to the eucalyptus, clove, niaouli and cajuput trees, and, most closely, to Pimenta acris, the bay tree. It is indigenous to the West Indian islands and South America, and grows most extensively in Jamaica (thus one of its commonest names). There it grows in forests on limestone hills near the coast.
Together with red pepper and vanilla, the berry is one of the three spices which originated in the New World. It was discovered by Spanish explorers in Mexico: as one commentator noted, the Spanish were not botanists and called everything pimienta or pepper. It was reputedly in use in London by 1601. It has been used over the years in both medicine and cooking, primarily the latter.
Its prime uses in aromatherapy are for flatulence and rheumatism. For the former, use crushed berries in flatulence-causing foods.
For rheumatic conditions, add 10 drops of the essential oil to 15 ml (1 tbsp) grapeseed oil and rub gently into the affected area. For this same condition add 5 drops of pimento to a warm to hot bath.
(See also alopecia and arthritis).
The whole berry is more pungent than ready-ground. Use the berries whole, or grind them yourself in a mill. The name’ allspice’ (toutes epices in French) is a description of the flavour and smell, which is a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
In South America, allspice was once used as a flavouring for chocolate.
It was used by settlers in the New World in pumpkin pies, and Jamaica and other islands of the Caribbean still use it in sweet potato dishes, soups, stews and curries. It is good in pates, meatloaves, long-cooking stews, vegetable dishes, marinades for meat and, in Scandinavia, in the marinade for raw herring. It can flavour North African pilaus, and is used in European cooking in sweet biscuits and cakes.
All spice, whole or ground, is found in pot-pourri, herb pillows and pomanders.
Caution: NEVER USE INTERNALLY without consulting professional medical help
- Not recommended for pregnant women and infants.
Individuals with serious and chronic health issues should consult an expert prior to using oils.
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