We all know allspice! Pumpkin pie or gingerbread wouldn’t be the same without the sweet warm spice. Rather than a blend of multiple spices ground together, allspice is actually a single berry from the myrtle family and is common in the rainforest. Allspice is either used whole or ground and is often used in Belizean and Caribbean cuisine.
More than an ingredient for recipes, allspice also has health benefits. Both the berries and leaves are used medicinally as a warming tea for an upset stomach or infant colic. Crushed berries are boiled, made into a paste and used as a plaster for rheumatic aches and pains. Those suffering from exhaustion or low energy are bathe in water in which allspice leaves have been boiled. And, for quick relief from a toothache, berries or leaves are chewed into a paste and applied as a poultice to the gums.
Allspice leaves also make a delicious cocktail – check out the recipe for the Spicy Mayan below!