Allspice Side Effects and Benefits July 26, 2011
Ground allspice is not, as some people believe, a mixture of spices. Rather, it is the dried fruit
of the Pimenta dioica plant. Pimenta dioica is a tree natie to the West Indies, southern
Mexico and Central America. Allspice is also called Jamaica pepper, Kurundu, Myrtle
pepper, pimento and newspice.

Health Benefits of Allspice

Allspice may benefit people at risk of cancers
Japanese researchers, Osaka City University, discovered three new galloylglycosides; and
the radical-scavenging activity nearly equivalent to that of gallic acid (4) against
1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical. [3] Later, different research groups reported that allspice
contains chemicals which have radical-scavenging and anti-cancer cells activities. [6-8] This
particular properties of allspice ingredients contribute the potential health benefits of allspice.

Allspice may have benefits of blood pressure lowering effects
In 1997, researchers from Universidad de Costa Rica reported the blood pressure lowering
effect of allspice in anestehetized rats with blood pressure in normal ranges. They also
demonstrated the aqueous extract had a stronger effect on blood pressure lowering in the
rats. [1 ,4] The same group also reported that intraperitoneal administration of allspice
extracts led to a depression of the central nervous system (CNS) of the rats. They also noted
the analgesic and hypothermic effects of allspice. [5] However, when the rats were dosed with
the extracts only, the researchers could not observe the changes in the blood pressure, heart
rate and body weight of the rats. [2]

Allspice may have benefit on high lipid conditions
In 2005, researchers from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam demonstrated the
anti-hyperlipidemic or fat-lowering effect of aqueous extract of Pimenta officinalis on
experimental rats fed with high fat diet. [9]

A study has showed the antimicrobial activities of allspice.
[J Food Sci. 2009 Sep;74(7):M372-8]

The scientific evidence for these health claims is very limited. In fact, side effect such as
allergic contact dermatitis has been reported. [10]


[1] Suárez A, Ulate G, Ciccio JF. Cardiovascular effects of ethanolic
and aqueous extracts of Pimenta dioica in Sprague-Dawley rats. J
Ethnopharmacol. 1997 Jan;55(2):107-11. [2] Suárez Urhan A, Ulate Montero G, Ciccio JF. Effects of acute and
subacute administration of Pimenta dioica (Myrtaceae) extracts on normal and hypertensive albino rats Rev Biol
Trop. 1997 Mar;44-45:39-45. [3] Kikuzaki H, Sato A, Mayahara Y, Nakatani N. Galloylglucosides from berries of
Pimenta dioica. J Nat Prod. 2000 Jun;63(6):749-52. [4] Suárez A, Ulate G, Ciccio JF. Hypotensive action of an
aqueous extract of Pimenta dioica (Myrtaceae) in rats. Rev Biol Trop. 2000 Mar;48(1):53-8. [5] Ramos A, Visozo
A, Piloto J, García A, Rodríguez CA, Rivero R. Screening of antimutagenicity via antioxidant activity in Cuban
medicinal plants. J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Aug;87(2-3):241-6. [7] Marzouk MS, Moharram FA, Mohamed MA,
Gamal-Eldeen AM, Aboutabl EA. Anticancer and antioxidant tannins from Pimenta dioica leaves. Z Naturforsch [C].
2007 Jul-Aug;62(7-8):526-36. [6] Kikuzaki H, Miyajima Y, Nakatani N. Phenolic glycosides from berries of
Pimenta dioica. J Nat Prod. 2008 May;71(5):861-5. Epub 2008 Mar 4. [8] Miyajima Y, Kikuzaki H, Hisamoto M,
Nikatani N. Antioxidative polyphenols from berries of Pimenta dioica. Biofactors. 2004;21(1-4):301-3. [9]
Shyamala MP, Paramundayil JJ, Venukumar MR, Latha MS. Probing the anti-hyperlipidemic efficacy of the allspice
(Pimenta officinalis Lindl.) in rats fed with high fat diet. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2005 Jul-Sep;49(3):363-8.
[10] Kanerva L, Estlander T, Jolanki R. Occupational allergic contact dermatitis from spices. Contact Dermatitis.
1996 Sep;35(3):157-62.
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