Health Benefits Of Allspice

What is allspice

Scientifically known as Pimenta dioica, allspice is a widely common and available, yet remarkable spice that boasts a unique flavour profile reminiscent of a combination of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. While allspice is commonly associated with baking and cooking, its benefits extend far beyond that of a common household ingredient. This article will explore the diverse health benefits of allspice, highlighting its potential to enhance well-being and contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

Health benefits of allspice

There are a variety of health benefits associated with allspice ranging from anti-inflammatory to anti cancer and everything in between. Below we will discuss the most prevalent benefits of  this widely used spice. 

Anti-inflammatory  properties

  • Anti-Inflammatory properties 

Active compounds found in allspice such as eugenol exhibit significant anti-inflammatory properties by reducing inflammation via inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory substances in the body. 

Like curcumin the compound found in another household favourite spice turmeric, incorporating allspice into the diet may result in a reduction in inflammation-related symptoms and a lower risk of chronic inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, asthma, and certain digestive disorders.  Reducing overall inflammation in the body has also been associated with lower the risk of cancer.

Digestive health

  1. Digestive aid

Allspice has been traditionally used in a variety of cultures to support digestive health. It can help alleviate bloating, flatulence, and indigestion. This is due to the stimulation of the production of digestive enzymes, which aids in the breakdown of food and promotes optimal nutrient absorption. Additionally, allspice possesses antimicrobial properties, which may help combat harmful bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, supporting a healthy gut microbiome and improving overall gut health. 

Cardiovascular health

  1. Blood circulation and heart health

Allspice contains many important minerals including potassium, manganese, and copper, essential for maintaining healthy blood circulation. Potassium aids in blood pressure regulation, reducing the strain on the cardiovascular system and decreasing the risk of hypertension. Allspice can also have vasodilatory effects, through the compound eugenol, promoting blood vessel relaxation, improving blood flow, and lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes.1

Anti-cancer properties


  1. Rich in antioxidants

Allspice is a potent source of antioxidants, which are compounds that protect the body against oxidative stress caused by harmful free radicals. The spice contains a variety of antioxidants, including eugenol, quercetin, and tannins, that help to neutralize free radicals and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative disorders. Antioxidants help protect cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals, which can damage DNA and contribute to the development of cancer.

  1. Anti-tumour activity

In vitro studies have shown that allspice extracts may exhibit anti-tumour  effects against certain cancer cell lines. These effects have been attributed to the presence of various bioactive compounds, including phenolics and flavonoids. However, more research is needed to understand the mechanisms behind these effects and their potential applicability in vivo.

  1. Apoptosis induction

Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is a crucial process that helps eliminate damaged or abnormal cells in the body. Some studies have suggested that allspice extracts may induce apoptosis in cancer cells, potentially inhibiting their growth and proliferation.2

Other health benefits

  1. Boosts immunity

The essential oils present in allspice, such as eugenol and caryophyllene, have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that aid in boosting immunity. These compounds help fend off pathogens, viruses, and bacteria, reducing the risk of infections. Regular consumption of allspice may contribute to a stronger immune response, enhancing the body's ability to fight off illnesses.

  1. Anti-diabetic effects

Research suggests that allspice may have potential anti-diabetic effects. It can help regulate blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity, facilitating glucose uptake by cells, and inhibiting certain enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism. These properties make allspice a beneficial addition to the diets of individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition.3

Nutritional facts

Allspice is a popular spice for cooking to add or create a specific type of flavour. Here is an outline of the nutritional values of this spice: 

  • Calories: Allspice is relatively low in calories. One tablespoon of ground allspice contains about 24 calories
  • Carbohydrates: source of carbohydrates, with one tablespoon of ground allspice containing approximately 6 grams of carbohydrates
  • Fibre: contains a small amount of dietary fibre, which is beneficial for digestion. One tablespoon of ground allspice provides about 2 grams of fibre
  • Fat: low in fat, one tablespoon of ground allspice contains less than 1 gram of fat
  • Protein: contains a small amount of protein, one tablespoon of ground allspice provides approximately 0.5 grams of protein
  • Vitamins: several vitamins, although not in significant quantities, small amounts of vitamin C, A, K, and various B vitamins
  • Minerals: trace amounts of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and manganese

Although commonly used in many cultural dishes, the quantity required is often minimal, therefore resulting in limited overall nutritional impact. The nutritional value of allspice can also vary slightly depending on the brand and quality of the spice that is used.4 

Culinary uses of allspice

Allspice has a plethora of uses in cooking and is used widely by a variety of cultures, particularly in the Middle  East, Africa, and China. Below are some of the most common culinary uses of this spice: 

  1. Baking

Allspice is commonly used in baking various desserts and sweet treats such as cakes, cookies, pies, and fruit-based desserts like apple and pumpkin pies. It is often used in conjunction with other spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to create a warming flavour.

  1. Sauces and marinades

A key ingredient in many savoury sauces and marinades, allspice can be used in barbecue sauces, jerk marinades, and glazes for meats like pork and chicken, providing a rich, smoky, and slightly sweet flavour.

  1. Pickling

Allspice berries are often used in pickling vegetables and fruits. They contribute a unique and complex flavour to pickles and can be used whole or ground.

  1. Curries and stews

Allspice is a common ingredient in many curry blends and stews, adding depth and complexity to the flavours and enhancing  the overall aroma of the dish.

  1. Mulled beverages

Allspice is a popular spice used in mulled wines, ciders, and punches. It imparts a warm and comforting flavour to these beverages, particularly when combined with other spices like cinnamon and cloves.

  1. Sausage making

Allspice is frequently used in sausage making, especially in recipes for sausages with a Caribbean or Middle Eastern influence. 

  1. Chutneys and relishes

Allspice is an excellent addition to chutneys and relishes, helping to balance the sweetness and acidity of the condiments.

  1. Spice blends

Allspice is a common component of various spice blends. It can be found in Jamaican jerk seasoning, garam masala, Middle  Eastern  seasonings, and many other spice mixtures. It adds a unique character to these blends and contributes to their overall flavour and is commonly used to flavour rice, meat, stews, and marinades.5 

Side effects and other concerns

  1. Side effects and other concerns

Whilst the use of allspice is mainly confined to cooking and usually only small quantities are used there are some minor side effects and concerns that can happen because of consuming allspice in certain individuals.

  1. Allergic reactions

Some individuals may be allergic to allspice or have sensitivities to it. Allergic reactions can manifest as skin rashes, hives, itching, swelling, or respiratory symptoms such as wheezing or difficulty breathing. If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction after consuming allspice, discontinue its use and seek medical attention.

  1. Gastrointestinal issues

Allspice contains compounds that can stimulate digestion. While this is generally beneficial, consuming excessive amounts of allspice or being sensitive to it may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort. Symptoms may include indigestion, heartburn, stomach pain, bloating, or diarrhoea. It's advisable to use allspice in moderation and pay attention to your body's response.

  1. Drug interactions

Like other herbs and spices, allspice may interact with certain medications. It can potentially affect the metabolism of medications processed by the liver's cytochrome P450 enzymes. If you are taking any medications, especially those metabolized by the liver, it's best to consult with a healthcare professional before using allspice in large amounts or as a supplement.

  1. Skin irritation

The essential oil extracted from allspice berries, known as allspice oil, is highly concentrated and can cause skin irritation in some individuals. Direct contact with the oil may lead to redness, itching, or a burning sensation. If you plan to use allspice oil topically, it's essential to dilute it with a carrier oil and perform a patch test on a small area of skin before use.

As with any food or spice, individual reactions can vary, and it's important to listen to your body. If you have any concerns or pre-existing medical conditions, it's recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating allspice or any new ingredient into your diet.6


Allspice is not only a versatile and aromatic spice but also a powerful ally for promoting overall well-being. From its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to its digestive benefits and immune-boosting effects, allspice offers a range of health advantages. By incorporating this flavourful spice into our culinary creations and daily routines, we can harness the numerous health benefits it provides, contributing to an overall healthier lifestyle. 


  1. Du W-X, Olsen CW, Avena-Bustillos RJ, McHugh TH, Levin CE, Friedman M. Effects of Allspice, Cinnamon, and Clove Bud Essential Oils in Edible Apple Films on Physical Properties and Antimicrobial Activities. Journal of Food Science [Internet]. 2009 [cited 2023 Jun 2]; 74(7):M372–8. Available from:
  2. Przygodzka M, Zielińska D, Ciesarová Z, Kukurová K, Zieliński H. Comparison of methods for evaluation of the antioxidant capacity and phenolic compounds in common spices. LWT - Food Science and Technology [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2023 Jun 2]; 58(2):321–6. Available from:
  3. Isbill J, Kandiah J, Kružliaková N. Opportunities for Health Promotion: Highlighting Herbs and Spices to Improve Immune Support and Well-being. Integr Med (Encinitas) [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2023 Jun 2]; 19(5):30–42. Available from:
  4. Spices, ground, allspice nutrition facts and analysis. [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jun 2]. Available from:
  5. Elle. Spice and Life [Internet]. 2022. What is in Allspice and The Many Uses of It; [cited 2023 Jun 2]. Available from:
  6. Zhang L, Lokeshwar BL. Medicinal Properties of the Jamaican Pepper Plant Pimenta dioica and Allspice. Curr Drug Targets [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2023 Jun 2]; 13(14):1900–6. Available from:
  7. Embuscado ME. Spices and herbs: Natural sources of antioxidants – a mini review. Journal of Functional Foods [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2023 Jun 2]; 18:811–9. Available from:
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

Get our health newsletter

Get daily health and wellness advice from our medical team.
Your privacy is important to us. Any information you provide to this website may be placed by us on our servers. If you do not agree do not provide the information.

Sarah Nadiri

Masters in Cancer, MSc University College London, London

Sarah is a registered biomedical scientist with a specialty in cancer research studies. She has five years experience working in various research facilities such as the Cancer Institute and The Francis Crick Institute. Additionally she has experience working in clinics, in various hospital labs around London and various intermediary care roles within the NHS. She joined Klarity in February and is currently contributing as a medical writer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
Klarity / Managed Self Ltd
Alum House
5 Alum Chine Road
Westbourne Bournemouth BH4 8DT
VAT Number: 362 5758 74
Company Number: 10696687

Phone Number:

 +44 20 3239 9818