I thought that I would go through some of the Christmas Baking spices as we gear up to the season. These spices make us think of the holiday and all the delicious treats we look forward to. Did you know that these spices can also be used as medicine?
Allspice can be used for:
- Rubefacient (warming)
The major ingredient in allspice is Eugenol which is used in dentistry as an antiseptic and analgesic.
Allspice is thought to aid digestion by increasing the motility of the gastrointestinal tract. It is also thought to increase intestinal secretions used to digest food. It’s analgesic properties assist by easing stomach cramps. It is also thought to help quell nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.
In herbalism there is an adage “like cures like”. In inflammatory situations it means that if you want to relieve the inflammation you use a warming herb. Cayenne is one of the warming herbs used to treat inflammation but allspice is another useful herb.
Scientific research has linked the polyphenols and glycosides to the analgesic properties of allspice. One article I found on the National Institute of Health actually suggests that allspice should “have an additional space in most households, in their medicine cabinets”. Of course this seemed to be addressing it’s anti tumour effects.
Allspice can be useful in treating the inflammation of wounds, arthritis and muscle pain.
If you look up allspice health benefits on the internet the most common result will show for allspice and dentistry. The use of allspice or clove oil has gone on for decades. As a child we used to have clove oil in the house specifically for toothaches. The combination of the antiseptic and the pain relieving properties in allspice make it a natural treatment for dental applications.
Allspice is also thought to be an excellent pain reliever for muscle aches and pains. The most common directions for this use recommend mixing ground allspice (powder) with just enough water and then applying the poultice or paste to the affected area.
This is not always possible so I generally recommend finding a high quality allspice essential oil and mixing a few drops in some aqueous cream. The beneficial properties are strongest in the shell of the allspice berry and steam extraction captures them in an essential oil. Aqueous cream can be obtained at most pharmacies for a reasonable price. Start with 1 or 2 drops and test the mixture on the inside of the wrist. You can increase the number of drops but it should feel pleasantly warm not hot. You can actually burn your skin if you use too much.
Allspice has many amazing benefits and more are being found every day. Food amounts of allspice are generally safe for most people however it is possible to overdose on allspice oil.
If you are using allspice and are having surgery stop using it at least 2 weeks prior to the surgery because it can slow blood clotting. This means it will interact with blood thinning medications and over the counter drugs. Allspice has interactions with:
- Cata flam
Allspice is not recommended for those with:
- Duodenal ulcers
Overdose can cause vomiting, nausea and convulsions.
As a food allspice conjures up warm memories and when used properly it can also be healing.
THIS BLOG IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE THE ADVICE OF YOUR DOCTOR.