Pimenta dioica (L.) Merr.
Synonym : Myrtus dioica L.
Family : Myrtaceae
Local Names : Sarvasugandhi, All spice, Pimento tree
Flowering and fruiting period: March – June
Distribution: Native of Central America
IUCN status: Data Deficient
Uses: The dried fruits are used as flavouring in a wide range of foods. They are said to combine the aroma and flavour of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Fruits improves the digestion, has a tonic effect upon the nervous system and is locally antiseptic and anaesthetic. Externally, it is used to treat chest infections, muscular aches and pains. It is used internally in the treatment of indigestion, wind, diarrhoea and nervous exhaustion. The essential oil is carminative and antioxidant. The essential oil is used to ease the pain of toothache. An essential oil obtained from the leaves, called pimento leaf oil, is used in perfumery, especially in oriental fragrances and after-shave lotions.
Key Characters: Pimenta dioica is an evergreen slow growing tree with whitish grey bark that peels in thin sheets. The leaves are opposite, oblong and leathery, glossy green, aromatic and quite attractive. At the leaf axils it produces pyramidal cymes of small white flowers which function as male and others as fruiting female flowers that will develop into clusters of brownish green, pleasantly spicy, peas-sized berries with 1 or 2 seeds.