Description: Natural Order, Myrtaceae. Pimento is a beautiful evergreen tree, native to the West Indies, Mexico, and tropical America. Trunk twenty to thirty feet, covered with a smooth gray bark, much branched above, dense with deep-green and shining leaves three or four inches long. Flowers quite small, and in terminal panicles. Fruit a hemispherical berry about the size of a pea, nearly smooth, dark brown, with a very pleasant flavor resembling a mixture of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. They yield a small portion of light volatile oil by distillation; and a green and pungent fixed oil by pressure. Water extracts a large portion of their virtues, and diluted alcohol acts on them almost completely.
Properties and Uses: This berry is much used as a condiment, and is one of the lightest and pleasantest of the spices. It is diffusively stimulating, leaving behind a mild astringent impression, and usually proving very acceptable to the stomach often allaying vomiting. The chief use made of it, is as an aromatic to disguise the taste of very bitter articles and relieve the griping of cathartics. An infusion is a popular remedy in colic, infantile diarrhea, cholera infantum, bleeding from the lungs, and even excessive and painful menstruation. It is a good agent in such connections, and deserves consideration; especially from the pleasantness of its action, and the promptness with which it distributes the circulation outwardly and sustains the nervous extremities. A drachm of the crushed berries may be digested in a pint of hot (not boiling) water, and given freely.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com