How Holiday Herbs and Spices Can Benefit Your Health

If you’re like us, you may have spent years thinking that allspice was a generic blend of all spices. But once you invest some time in the kitchen working with this small but mighty punch of flavor, you begin to realize that, despite its name, allspice really does have its own unique taste. In fact, allspice is actually a berry that comes from a tropical evergreen tree, per McCormick. In dishes, it can be used as berries or ground into a fine powder for famous holiday platters, sides and desserts like baked apples, spice cookies, sauces and chocolates. Like its cinnamon and nutmeg counterparts, allspice is renowned for awakening those seasonal senses.

Nutrition author John Immel explains that because allspice belongs to the same spice family as cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove, it has very similar health benefits. “Allspice is intense in nature,” Immel writes on her website, Joyful Belly. “Its pungency naturally increases heart rate. The aromatic compounds dilate blood vessels, making allspice great for improving circulation. As it disperses blood, it’s great for resolving a bruise, relaxing aches and pains. muscles and warm joint spice for arthritic conditions.”

Additionally, according to RxList, some people apply allspice directly to an affected area for fast-acting results. For example, the ground powder can be rubbed gently on the gums in case of toothache or on the skin in an area where there is muscle pain and tension. In fact, allspice is even used to flavor toothpaste in the manufacturing industry.

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