Allspice (Pimento Berry)
Pimenta dioica L.
Plant Origin: Jamaica
Method: Steam distilled from fruit/berry
Cultivation: Unsprayed (organically grown but not certified)
Chemical Family: Phenolic ether
Aroma: Warm/sweet, balsamic-spicy scent (clove-like), fruity with tea-like undertone
Actual Key Constituents:
Children? See Safety cautions below
Pregnancy/Lactation? See Safety cautions below
Properties and Uses
Allspice is traditionally used to support dental health, immune system response, a healthy colon, sinus and respiratory issues.
It may be used for a local numbing effect, toothache, muscle injury, joint function, insect bites/stings, headache, colds, sinus issues, facial outbreaks, bladder inflammation, digestion and general fatigue.
Application Suggestions (See Essential Oil Usage for more information and a dilution chart.)
Topical: Dilute with a carrier oil and apply on location as desired. According to Tisserand, Allspice "was neither irritant nor sensitizing when patch tested on a panel of 32 volunteers at 8%" dilution (48 drops to an ounce). He recommends a "dermal maximum of 0.15% for both leave on and rinse off products in order to avoid skin sensitization."
Internal: In Essential Oil Safety, Robert Tisserand (2013 edition, p. 393) writes: "Should not be taken in oral doses."
Eugenol (a key constituent of Allspice) is a powerful inhibitor of platelet aggregation (Janssens et al 1990), an essential step in the blood clotting cascade. It should not be taken in oral doses (Tisserand page 392-393).
Potentially carcinogenic based on methyleugenol content. Methyleugenol is a rodent carcinogen when exposure is sufficiently high.
May inhibit blood clotting; skin sensitization (moderate risk); mucous membrane irritation (moderate risk).
Avoid contact with the eyes and other sensitive areas. Essential oils are both lipophilic and hydrophobic. Lipophilic means they are attracted to fat— like the membranes of your eyes and skin. They are also hydrophobic, meaning they do not like water. Flushing with water will only send the essential oil back to the eye's membranes. Applying a carrier oil will create another fat for the essential oil to be attracted to other than the membranes of the eyes or skin. Tisserand suggests: "With essential oils, fatty oil has been suggested as an appropriate first aid treatment, though the advantage of saline [eyewash] is that the eyes can be continually flushed, and this is less easy with fatty oil." We’ve not known this to cause permanent injury or long-term discomfort, but if you feel concerned, please call your health care provider.
Shirley and Len Price, Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, Third Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2008.
Tisserand, Robert, Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, 2nd Edition 2014, page 392-393.