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Botanical: Pimento officinalis (LINDL.) Family: N.O. Myrtaceae
Synonyms Pimento. Jamaica Pepper. Part !se" Fruit, particularly the shell. #a$itat Pimento, or Jamaica Pepper, familiarly called Allspice, because it tastes like a combination of cloves, juniper berries, cinnamon and pepper, is the dried full-gro n, but immature fruit of Pimento officinalis !"indl.#, or Eugenia Pimenta, an evergreen tree about $% feet high, a member of the natural order Myrtaceae, indigenous to the &est 'ndian 'slands and (outh America, and e)tensively gro n in Jamaica, here it flourishes best on limestone hills near the sea. 'n this country, it only gro s as a stove plant. 't is also cultivated in *entral America and surrounding states, but more than half the supply of the spice found in commerce comes from Jamaica, here the tree is so abundant as to form in the mountainous districts hole forests, hich re+uire little attention beyond clearing out undergro th.

%#A& I& IS ,he tree begins to fruit hen three years old and is in full bearing after four years. ,he flo ers appear in June, July and August and are +uickly succeeded by the berries. ,he special +ualities of the fruit reside in the rind of the berries. 't loses its aroma on ripening, o ing to loss of volatile oil, and the berries are therefore collected as soon as they have attained their full si-e, in July and August, but hile unripe and green. .athering is performed by breaking off the small t igs bearing the bunches/ these are then spread out and e)posed to the sun and air for some days, after hich the stalks are removed and the berries are ready for packing into bags and casks for e)portation. ,he spice is sometimes dried in ovens !0iln-dried Allspice#, but the method by evaporation from sun-heat produces the best article, though it is tedious and some hat ha-ardous, re+uiring about t elve days, during hich the fruit must be carefully guarded against moisture, being housed at night and during rainy and damp eather. ,he green colour of the fresh fruit changes on drying to reddish bro n. 'f the fruit is allo ed to ripen, it loses almost the hole of its aromatic properties, becoming fleshy s eet and of a purpleblack colour. (uch pimento, to render it more attractive, is then often artificially coloured ith bole

or bro n ochre, a sophistication hich may be detected by boiling for a fe seconds ith diluted hydrochloric acid, filtering and testing ith potassium ferrocyanide/ the li+uid should assume at most a bluish-green colour. ,he fruits as found in commerce are small nearly globular berries, about $12% inch in diameter, some hat like black pepper in appearance, ith a rough and brittle surface and cro ned by the remains of the caly) teeth, surrounding the short style. ,he fruit is t o-celled, each cell containing a single, kidney-shaped seed. ,he remains of the caly) cro ning the fruit and the presence of t o single-seeded cells are features that distinguish Pimento from *ubebs, the fruit of hich is onecelled, one-seeded and grey and from 3lack Peppercorns, hich are also one-celled and oneseeded. ,he spice derives its name from the Portuguese pimenta, Spanish pimienta44pepper, given it from its resemblance to peppercorns. hich as

%#A& I& #AS ,he chief constituent of Pimento is from $ to 5.6 per cent of a volatile oil, contained in glands in the pericarp of the seeds and obtained by distillation from the fruit. 't occurs as a yello or yello ish-red li+uid, becoming gradually darker on keeping and having a pleasant aromatic odour, some hat similar to that of oil of cloves, and a pungent, spicy taste. 't has a slightly acid reaction. 't is soluble in all proportions of alcohol. ,he specific gravity is 2.%$% to 2.%6%. 'ts chief constituent is the phenol 7ugenol, hich is present to the e)tent of 8% to 96 per cent, and a ses+uiterpene, the e)act nature of hich has not yet been ascertained. ,he specific gravity to some e)tent indicates the amount present/ if lo er than 2.%$%, it may be assumed that some eugenol has been removed, or that the oil has been adulterated ith substitutes having a lo er specific gravity than that of eugenol. ,he eugenol can be determined by shaking the oil ith a solution of potassium hydro)ide and measuring the residual oily layer. ,he :nited (tates Pharmacopoeia specifies that at least 86 per cent by volume of eugenol should be present. ;n shaking the oil ith an e+ual volume of strong solution of ammonia, it should be converted into a semisolid mass of eugenol-ammonium. ,he clove-like odour of the oil is doubtless due to the eugenol, but the characteristic odour is due to some other substance or substances as yet unkno n. A certain amount of resin is also present, but the oil has not yet been fully investigated. 3onastre obtained from the fruit, a volatile oil, a green fi)ed oil, a fatty substance in yello ish flakes, tannin, gum, resin, uncrystalli-able sugar, colouring matter, malic and gallic acids, saline matter and lignin. ,he green fi)ed oil has a burning, aromatic taste of Pimento and is supposed to be the acrid principle. :pon this, together ith the volatile oil, the medicinal properties of the berries depend, and as these t o principles e)ist most in the shell, this part is the most efficient. According to 3onastre, the shell contains 2; per cent of the volatile and < per cent of the fi)ed oil/ the seeds only 6 per cent of the former and =.6 of the latter. 3er-elius considered the green fi)ed oil of 3onastre to be a mi)ture of the volatile oil, resin, fi)ed oil and perhaps a little chlorophyll. ;n incineration, the fruits yield from =.6 to 6 per cent of ash. ,hey impart their flavour to and reddens litmus paper. ater and all their virtues to alcohol. ,he infusion is of a bro n colour

,he leaves and bark abound in inflammable particles.

%#A& I& CAN DO FO' (O! ,he chief use of Pimento is as a spice and condiment> the berries are

added to curry po der and also to mulled odour and grateful aromatic taste.

ine. 't is popular as a

arming cordial, of a s eet

,he oil inaction resembles that of cloves, and is occasionally used in medicine and is also employed in perfuming soaps. 't as formerly official in both the 3ritish and :nited (tates Pharmacopoeias. 3oth Pimento ;il and Pimento &ater ere official in the 3ritish Pharmacopoeia of 2<?<, but ;il of Pimento as deleted from the 3ritish Pharmacopceia of 2?25, though the &ater still has a place in the 3ritish Pharmacopceia *ode). Pimento has also been dropped from the :nited (tates Pharmacopoeia, but admitted to the @ational Formulary 'A. Pimento is one of the ingredients in the *ompound ,incture of .uaic of the @ational Formulary 'A. Pimento is an aromatic stimulant and carminative to the gastro-intestinal tract, resembling cloves in its action. 't is employed chiefly as an addition to tonics and purgatives and as a flavouring agent. ,he 7ssential ;il, as ell as the (pirit and the distilled &ater of Pimento are useful for flatulent indigestion and for hysterical paro)ysms. , o or three drops of the oil on sugar are given to correct flatulence. ,he oil is also given on sugar and in pills to correct the griping tendencies of purgatives> it as formerly added to (yrup of 3uckthorn to prevent griping. Pimento &ater !Aqua Pimentae# is used as a vehicle for stomachic and purgative medicines. 't is made by taking 6 parts of bruised Pimento to =%% parts of ater and distilling do n to 2%%, the dose being 2 to = fluid ounces.


Concentrate" Pimento %ater of t)e Britis) P)armaco*oeia Co"e+ ;il of Pimento 2 fl. o-. Alcohol 2= fl. o-. Purified ,alc 2 o-. Bistilled &ater up to =% fl. o-. Bissolve the oil in the alcohol, contained in a suitable bottle, add the ater gradually shaking after each addition/ add the talc shake, allo to stand for a fe hours, occasionally shaking, and filter. ;ne part of this solution corresponds to about 5% parts of Pimento &ater. Ot)er Pre*arations ,he po dered fruit> dose, 2% to $% grains. Fluid e)tract> dose, 21= to 2 drachm. ;il> dose, = to 6 drops. Pimento is one of the ingredients of (pice Plaster. An e)tract made from the crushed berries by boiling them do n to a thick li+uor is, hen spread on linen, a capital stimulating plaster for neuralgic or rheumatic pains. ,he fruits of four other species of the genus Pimento, found in Aene-uela, .uiana and the &est 'ndies, are employed in their native countries as spices.

,he C3ay Dum,C used as a toilet article, is a tincture scented species, P. acris, commonly kno n as the 3ayberry tree.

ith the oil of the leaves of an allied

A",lterations Although ground Pimento is sometimes used to adulterate po dered cloves, it is itself little subject to adulteration in the entire condition, though the ground article for household consumption as a spice is subject to the same adulteration as other similar substances, it is sometimes adulterated ith the larger and less aromatic berries of the Ee)ican Myrtus Tobasco, Eocino called Pimienta de ,abasco. At one time the fruit of the common American (pice 3ush, C3en-oin C as used for this purpose. ,he po dered berries of this American plant, a member of the natural order Lauracece, Lindera Ben oin, occurring in damp oods throughout the 7astern and *entral (tates, ere used during the &ar of 'ndependence by the Americans as a substitute for Allspice and its leaves as a substitute for tea, hence the plant as often called C&ild Allspice.C All parts of the shrub have a spicy, agreeable flavour, hich is strongest in the bark and berries. ,he leaves and berries are also used in decoction in domestic practice as a febrifuge and are considered to have tonic and also anthelmintic properties. A tincture prepared from the fresh young t igs before the buds have burst in the spring, is still used in homoeopathy, but no preparation is employed officially. ,he C*arolina Allspice,C or ( eet 3ush !!alycanthis foridus, "indl#, is a shrub 8 to < feet high, inhabits the lo , shady oods along the mountains of .eorgia and @orth *arolina and in ,ennessee. ,he hole plant is aromatic, having the odour of stra berries hen crushed. hich

't is asserted that the shrub is important as a source of poisoning to cattle and sheep. ,he alkaloid it contains e)ercises a po erfully depressant action upon the heart. 't has been used as an antiperiodic, in fluid e)tract.