Let’s continue with our discussion about the Superhuman Food Pyramid. We’re still at the apex of Part 1 – herbs, spices and sweeteners; and today’s topic will be about another highly recommended spice called allspice.
Some of you may be wondering about the name “allspice”. The reason is that the English, who encountered it for the first time in the early part of the 17th century, felt that the flavor and aroma resembled a mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.
The Spanish meanwhile called it pimenta as the spice resembled black pepper. When the small unripe berries of the allspice tree are harvested and sun-dried, they look quite similar to regular peppercorns. It is also called Jamaica pepper and this name reveals where the plant is indigenous.
Allspice may not actually be a combination of all spices but its qualities are certainly enough to offer us Superhuman health benefits. Let’s go over those qualities…
There are Middle Eastern dishes that use no other flavoring ingredient but allspice and this attests to the power of its taste and fragrance. More than the ability to whet our appetite, this spice is significantly packed with a lot of nutrients.
For minerals, allspice offers important substances like selenium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and iron. The spice is also a good source of Vitamins A, B-6 and C, as well as some riboflavin and niacin. Given such a nutritional profile, it is not surprising then that allspice is considered to be an excellent antioxidant.
The essential oil that can be extracted from this spice shares a major substance with clove oil – eugenol. As discussed in the previous post this is the component that provides mild anesthetic and antiseptic properties. Allspice oil can thus work as an equally effective replacement to clove oil.
Like most spices with strong chili or chili-like tastes, the active components in allspice can encourage blood vessels to open up and stimulate circulation and add a little more body warmth. While we may associate spicy food with digestive problems, a dish with allspice may actually go down easier because of the carminative properties of the spice. Any food substance classified as a carminative usually helps prevent gas build up in the intestines or aids expulsion of said gas.
Allspice Practical Use:
The spice is typically available either whole or ground. Then there is of course the essential oil. While the dried berries are the common culinary ingredient, fresh allspice leaves can be used in cooking in the same way bay leaves are. Which type or part of the plant you choose depends on how you plan to use allspice.
- Perhaps its most popular culinary use is as the main ingredient in preparing Jamaican jerk seasoning. If you plan to do a Caribbean-style barbecue, you’re likely going to use this seasoning.
- Ground allspice can be mixed in water to make a paste. This can be applied topically to where there is muscle pain or spread on the bandage to be wrapped about the affected area.
- One or two drops of allspice oil can be directly applied to an aching tooth. Alternatively it can be diluted in water to make a sort of all natural herbal mouthwash.
- Whether whole, ground or powdered, allspice can be boiled as an after-meal tea to ease digestion.
Opting for the organically grown and prepared variety of any allspice product is always the safest way to go. We want to maximize the health benefits of this wonderful spice and that can best be accomplished by using one that’s free of any chemical pollutants.
In the next post, I’ll tell you how you can use stevia in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the herbs, spices and sweeteners on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
If you have questions, comments or feedback about how to use allspice, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on how to use allspice.