9 Incredible Benefits of Pimento Essential Oil

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

The health benefits of pimento essential oil can be attributed to its properties as an anaesthetic, analgesic, antioxidant, antiseptic, carminative, relaxant, rubefacient, stimulant and tonic substance.

Pimento is a big evergreen tree native to the Caribbean Islands and South America whose botanical name is Pimenta dioica or Pimenta officinalis, in which the suffix Officinalis suggests that it has medicinal properties. Pimento is better known as allspice in some countries. The reason behind the name allspice is that its aroma can be described as a mixture of the scents of clove, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, and a few other spices.

The essential oil of pimento is extracted by steam distillation of its leaves and fruits, but the oil extracted from each of these two is slightly different from the other in color and aroma. The chief constituents of its essential oil are cineol, caryophyllene, eugenol, methyl eugenol, and phellandrene. [1]

This essential oil, while not used much in aromatherapy, has a variety of medicinal and therapeutic uses, which are explained in greater detail below.

Cooked pimentos in a white bowl on a wooden kitchentop

Everyone knows the pimento-stuffed olive as a garnishing for martinis. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Nutrition Facts

Pimento, canned
Serving Size :
Water [g]93.1
Energy 23
Energy [kJ]96
Protein [g]1.1
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.3
Ash [g]0.4
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]5.1
Fiber, total dietary [g]1.9
Sugars, total including NLEA [g]2.71
Calcium, Ca [mg]6
Iron, Fe [mg]1.68
Magnesium, Mg [mg]6
Phosphorus, P [mg]17
Potassium, K [mg]158
Sodium, Na [mg]14
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.19
Copper, Cu [mg]0.05
Manganese, Mn [mg]0.09
Selenium, Se [µg]0.2
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]84.9
Thiamin [mg]0.02
Riboflavin [mg]0.06
Niacin [mg]0.62
Pantothenic acid [mg]0.01
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.22
Folate, total [µg]6
Folate, food [µg]6
Folate, DFE [µg]6
Choline, total [mg]6.3
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]133
Carotene, beta [µg]1474
Carotene, alpha [µg]238
Vitamin A, IU [IU]2655
Lutein + zeaxanthin [µg]366
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.69
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]8.3
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.05
14:0 [g]0
16:0 [g]0.03
18:0 [g]0.01
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.02
16:1 [g]0
18:1 [g]0.02
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.16
18:2 [g]0.15
18:3 [g]0.02
Phytosterols [mg]9
Tryptophan [g]0.01
Threonine [g]0.04
Isoleucine [g]0.04
Leucine [g]0.06
Lysine [g]0.05
Methionine [g]0.01
Cystine [g]0.02
Phenylalanine [g]0.03
Tyrosine [g]0.02
Valine [g]0.05
Arginine [g]0.05
Histidine [g]0.02
Alanine [g]0.05
Aspartic acid [g]0.16
Glutamic acid [g]0.15
Glycine [g]0.04
Proline [g]0.05
Serine [g]0.04
Sources include : USDA [2]

Health Benefits of Pimento Essential Oil

May Act as an Anesthetic

This oil can be applied to any areas where you are experiencing pain, as it has a local numbing or anesthetic effect. This anesthetic effect can suppress certain types of pain, including those of neuralgia, bone and muscular injuries, and joints, as well as those resulting from insect bites or stings.

May Reduce Pain

The analgesic property of the essential oil of pimento also comes from its anesthetic property. It may have a numbing effect on the nerves which does not let the sensation of pain reach the brain or be felt by our nerves. This may help to overcome pain resulting from wounds, headaches, colds, arthritis, and gout, among others. Moreover, it doesn’t make your nerves and brain dull in the long run, nor does it have any adverse effect on the heart, unlike most analgesics that are available on the market.

Might Detoxify Body

This property is in great demand these days as it is being viewed as the key to retaining your youth and guaranteeing a longer, healthier life. Mankind has always been in search of something like this. But what is so vitally important about these antioxidants? What are they and how are they useful? Antioxidants are agents that protect the body from the damage done by oxidation and free radicals. But how can oxygen and its subsequent oxidation, which may make life and energy production possible, be the cause of so much damage? You will be surprised to know that oxygen was once responsible for the mass destruction of all life forms on earth in the very beginning. It simply oxidized them to death. 100% pure oxygen (and even in lesser quantities) can still oxidize the lungs, respiratory tracts and all the tissues in our body to death as if they have been burnt.

Oxidation is believed to be one of the prime causes behind aging and age-related damage to the body such as the weakening of muscles, hair loss, loss of vision and hearing, nervous disorders, macular and muscular degeneration and certain types of cancer. Now, there are substances in our body, which are called free radicals, that carry active oxygen and speed up this oxidation of cells and promote aging. Antioxidants can actually stop aging by neutralizing these free radicals or oxidants and also repair the damage already done by them.

Research published in Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine found that pimento essential oil had strong antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Its effectiveness remained constant across different tests by the researchers. [3]

May Prevent Bacterial Infections

Septic and tetanus are infections of wounds and internal organs like the urethra, gallbladder, urinary tract, and kidneys that are caused by bacteria like Staphylococcus Aureus and Clostridium Tetani, respectively. Newborn babies that are less than one month old are most vulnerable to septic and tetanus.

Infection of septic and tetanus can spread very quickly and can take over the whole body, resulting in severe convulsions, muscular cramps, breathlessness, pain, hydrophobia, and even insanity. The antiseptic property of pimento essential oil gives protection against such infections by inhibiting bacterial growth.

A review posted in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that pimento essential oil possessed strong antibacterial properties which were related to the presence of compounds like carvacrol, cinnamic aldehyde, eugenol, thymol, and p-cymene. [4]

May Relieve Flatulence

Intestinal gases are only funny in movies. This condition can be very painful, disturbing, embarrassing and even fatal in the most extreme cases. Gas can cause indigestion, unrest, stomach aches, heaviness, continuous hiccups, rheumatism, cramps, chest pain, high blood pressure, heart problems and even death if it presses against any vulnerable organs or remains trapped in a critical position. The essential oil of pimento can give you relief from gases by easing their way out and stopping them from developing again.

A review published by International Current Pharmaceutical Journal explains how pimento was traditionally used to treat flatulence and digestive troubles [5]

May Reduce Stress

The essential oil of pimento has a relaxing effect on the muscles, nerves, blood vessels and brain. This way, it provides relief from stress, anxiety, anger, nervous afflictions, convulsions, hypertension, mental unrest, depression, and insomnia.

May Act as a Rubefacient

The rubefacient property of pimento essential oil increases the circulation of blood below the skin and brings a touch of redness to the skin, which is typically more visible in the face, hence the name rubefacient. In heavier or more concentrated doses, this property can cause skin irritation.

Might Stimulate Blood Circulation

It stimulates blood circulation, the secretion of hormones and enzymes, digestion and other functions in the body, thereby helping to maintain proper metabolism. This also stimulates the growth of cells and the generation of new cells.

May Act as a Tonic

Being a tonic, pimento essential oil tones up the liver, spleen, stomach, and nervous system, as well as the endocrine system and the metabolism. It also tones up the immune system of the body. Thus, it helps in growth and gives protection to the body from a number of conditions.

Other Benefits

This oil is helpful in providing relief from flatulence, indigestion, bronchitis, cough, cold, and arthritis.

A Few Words of Caution: This oil can cause irritation in the mucus membrane and the skin if used in high concentrations or in high dosages. Therefore, it should always be used in low concentrations and low dosages. Pregnant women should also avoid using this oil.

Blending: The essential oils of ginger, geranium, lavender, orange, patchouli, and ylang-ylang blend very well with pimento essential oil.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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