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Pimento Leaves & Berries | Products Made From Pimento
by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer
Pimento or allspice as it is also known around the world is one of the most distinct and commonly used spices across the world. This is because the small berries taste like a mixture of cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon to most people, this is where the name allspice comes from. Outside of the flavour it brings to our dishes, it is also packed with health benefits and other uses that have gone on to be products on their own.
1. Hair Care
Pimento does wonders for hair growth. The plant is used in multiple different hair products including hair oils, shampoos, moisturizers. Curlier hair types can especially benefit from a hot oil treatment or a pre-shampoo regimen that includes pimento oil. Not only does it stimulate growth, but it protects the hair from outside elements, protects against and treats alopecia, prevents shedding and keeps the hair looking shiny and moisturized.
When combined with Jamaican Black Castor Oil, it works even better. There are many different products on the market to choose from when it comes to Pimento in hair care.
Pimento is one of the pillar spices in Jamaican cuisine. Whenever you are cooking a Jamaican meal, especially with meats then pimento is a must. Because of this, it is included in many seasonings on the market. From just the berries to spice mixes and jerk sauces, you’ll be sure to find pimento in something you are using. It is also an important part of what we call green seasoning. This is just escallion, thyme, garlic, onion, scotch bonnet peppers and pimento blended with olive oil. Most people add this before any other seasoning when cooking meats.
Not only do we use the berries but the wood is used too. One key element in making authentic Jamaican Jerk is to use green pimento wood to cover it as it slow cooks to perfection.
The Jamaican society’s belief in teas is very strong. Your parents or grandparents will tell you your entire day can go wrong if you don’t stop that 5 minutes and have a cup of tea in the mornings. For many of us, the leaves from the pimento tree is our tea of choice. Just boil the water, pour it over the leaves, let it rest for a minute and sweeten it however you’d like or not at all. It is even available in tea bags and dried form now which makes it a whole lot easier.
Pimento wood makes some of the best furniture. There are pieces that have been made years ago that are still in pristine condition and being handed down through generations in families. Numerous people have beds, dining tables and cupboards made from pimento wood.
Pimento works wonders in skincare. From scrubs and soaps to lotions, moisturizers and lip balm are made with Pimento. It is good for spots and dry skin.
For anyone who has smelled allspice, they know exactly why a scented candle of this sort would be so appealing. The fragrance is not only wonderful but it is calming and not at all overpowering making it the most perfect scent for those days when you feel the need to relax.
Allspice has healing properties as well. Even before the plant was used in manufactured drugs, Jamaicans have been using pimento in homemade remedies for joint and muscle pain, nausea, vomiting toothaches and a host of other ailments. Even now it is very common to see a bottle with rum and pimento berries (and a scorpion or centipede sometimes) which is used for aches and pains. Today there are many muscles and joint rubs that include pimento.
8. Pimento Liqueur
Pimento Liqueur has a distinctive yet appreciable taste and is quite easy to make. The Jamaican way is to add ripe pimento berries to rum and allow it to soak for 2 weeks. Then, you can add your sugar, cinnamon and lime juice(optional). Strain and bottle for as long as you want.
Initially, you may have thought the only use for pimento or allspice was in your cooking, or maybe you knew of a few other ways to utilize the plant. Either way, now you see there are multiple benefits, health and otherwise, and that there are many ways to use it. In fact, I am almost certain that I have not covered all the products made from pimento. Do you know of any?
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