Uses of allspice: Medicinal properties of Jamaica pepper
In the medical field, allspice has been used as a carminative, stimulant, aromatic, anti-diarrhea and as a remedy for dysentery. It has been observed that it posses antioxidant and antifungal activity.
The infusion of allspice leaves is indicated in cases of gastritis (due to the analgesic properties of eugenol). Its seeds are used to help expel gas.
In some regions it is considered that the fragrance given off from the tree cleans the respiratory system. It has oleiferous glands in their leaves. However, its fruits (pepper, spice) have a higher content of irritants that are contraindicated in these cases.
The extract of essential oils of this type of pepper is used in aromatherapy.
Food properties of Jamaica pepper
The most common use of allspice is like a spice, for seasoning, used for the preparation of sauces, meats, fish, marinades and some types of drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). In fact, allspice is one of the few spices in the American continent, along with vanilla and chillies.
In the picture: Jamaica peppercorns, where you can see its touch rough because the glands on the surface of the fruit.
Caribbean pirates used to marinate meat in allspice, and currently this type of pepper is still being used in many meat products. It is also used to prepare meat pies, fish, cheeses, breads and pastries.
In countries where allspice originates, the leaves are also used for preparing smoked meats.
The plant timber is used to make rods and umbrella handles. It is one of the hardest and heaviest woods of Guatemala, difficult to work by hand.
The extract of the essential oils of this type of pepper is used in some perfumery and massage creams.
Origin of the names Malagueta and Allspice
Origin of name Malagueta
The origin of this name goes back to the times of colonization and export of slaves to the Americas.
As biologist Gomez Ortega tells in his study “Natural History Malagueta, or tavasco pepper, and news of the uses, strengths and duty exemption is healthy and tasty spice to your tree sheet, written order the King “(1780), the name Malagueta comes from Africa.
When African slaves knew the fruit of pepper, it reminded them the taste of the Guinea pepper or allspice (Aframomum melegueta), a member of the ginger family, that tasted like pepper and also known as Guinea beans. The new discoverers of allspice chose to call it Malagueta instead of Xocoxochitl, the name that the natives gave to it.
Allspice, four spices
Allspice is also called four species because its flavor is a reminiscent of time, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and pepper. The first scholar who observed this combination of flavors was the botanist John Ray.
In English receives a similar name, since it is named allspice (“all spice”), because it can be used alone with no other spices.
More information about allspice and other types of peppers.
19 March, 2019