Our first ingredient: Allspice!

allspice1Allspice

This beautiful, shrub-like plant can be found growing in the backyard of friend’s Caribbean home, bearing leaves and berries that not only look beautiful but also can be used in a variety of culinary and healing ways!

The leaves are leathery and green and the berries, when dried, resemble peppercorns.  We are best to purchase the whole dried berries and to grind them manually in a pepper mill, as the flavor is fantastic!  Some say it resembles a mixture of cloves and cinnamon. The dried berries are used for cooking, whereas the fresh berries and fresh leaves are typically used for medicinal purposes.

Graciously this plant waits, to be the star of a lovely meal (for meats, veggies, and sweets), or to be the relief to common ailments such as digestive upset, rheumatic aches and pains and those suffering from exhaustion.   Hallelujah! For the allspice tree, and Christopher Columbus’s discovery!

Interested to try some of the allspice’s healing properties?  Here’s how:

*To relieve indigestion, and gas:

Boil a small handful of leaves for ten minutes in three cups of water and then strain.  Take one cup before or after each meal. 

*To energize and relieve exhaustion:

Steep the leaves or berries (preferably fresh) of the allspice plant in boiling hot water for twenty minutes, strain and add the mixture to your bath and soak for as long as desired.   It is suggested to start with a small dose of leaves and to increase your dose to enhance results.

 *These methods are used in traditional healing.  At this moment there is not sufficient research to prove the proper dosing for medicinal use for this plant… to spice food is proven to be beneficial to health but if you are curious to apply medicinally, I would recommend starting with a small handful of leaves, and increasing as needed*.

Enjoy!

Stay tuned for our next ingredient…

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