Allspice, used as a spice and medicinal herb, is the dried, unripe berry or fruit of the evergreen pimento tree. Other common names include: Jamaican pepper, pimento, pimenta, clove pepper, myrtle pepper, and newspice.The tree grows 22 to 43 feet high on average, but is slow growing. Its leaves are leathery, glossy, and elliptical-shaped. The tree blooms with small white flowers in the spring and fall, turning to clusters of brownish-green berries in the fall. The tree is cultivated in tropical regions, and is native to southern Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. Allspice contains a chemical compound called eugenol that is known to be antiseptic and anesthetic. Allspice is also carminative, antidiarrheal, aromatic, a...
Eucalyptus leaves in general have been used traditionally for ages by the aboriginals in its native habitat (primarily continental Australia and Tasmania). It has been used topically to treat wounds and fungal infections, and internally as a tea to help with fever. In Chinese and Indian traditional medicine, Eucalyptus has been used for treatment of these and a variety of other ailments. Eucalyptus has been used since the 19th century to disinfect catheters.
The Elder tree has been used medicinally for centuries throughout Europe. The oldest claim is perhaps its use by the Romans, who, among a variety of medicinal uses, used it to dye hair black. It has been common to eat the flowers or berries; make wine or syrup from the berries; make tea from the leaves, flowers, or inner bark; rub the bruised leaves on the skin; and make tea or tincture from the inner bark.
“Balm of Gilead” is referenced in the Bible; this reference is to another plant of a different family, Commiphora gileadensis, which has similar medicinal properties. In fact, the name “Balm of Gilead” has been used to describe many different species, all having similar medicinal uses. Such plants have been used to relieve pain and treat wounds like cuts and bruises since biblical times. The Native Americans have used Populus balsamifera to treat skin and lung ailments, among other things, for hundreds of years.
Spearmint has been a popular herb in both culinary and medicinal uses for centuries, being prevalent in early medieval times and probably long before. Originating in the Mediterranean, it soon became widespread. It’s name in Spanish, yerba buena, which means “good herb”, points to its popularity and use for many things. Spearmint has been found in English gardens since at least the 9th century, and was brought over to the Americas on the first voyages.