Pimenta dioica

scientific name: 
Pimenta dioica (L.) Merr.
Botanical family: 

Botanical description

Tree, up to 20 m high with pale brown bark. Leaves simple, opposite, entire, leathery, oblong to elliptical, 6-20 cm long, glandular dotted, aromatic when crushed; inflorescence a compound panicle 4-12 cm long, with many white, short-lived flowers, 1.5mm long; fruit a globose, reddish-brown berry, 4-6.5 mm in diameter, producing an aromatic flavour of a mixture of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon.




  seed, decoction with salt, orally, associated with Cinnanomum verum1

The seed of Pimenta dioica is a confectionery spice widely used for human consumption.

For vomiting:

There is no available information establishing a means of preparation and dosage other than that referred to by traditional use.

Any medicinal preparation must be preserved cold and used within the 24 hours.

According to published and other information:

Use for vomiting is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use documented in the TRAMIL surveys and toxicity studies.

Should there be a notable worsening of the patient’s condition, or should vomiting persist for more than 2 days, seek medical attention.

Not for use during pregnancy, during lactation or by children under 5 years old.

TRAMIL Research5

The LD50 orally to mice of the aqueous decoction (for 10 minutes) of the seed, chemically neutralized to pH7 and with a 10-day observation period, was 24.4 ± 4.84 g/kg; and intraperitoneally, 5 ± 1.46 g/kg.  Doses were stated in g dry wt.

The aqueous decoction (for 10 minutes) of the seed, neutralized to pH7, administered orally to mice (18.75 mL/kg/day) for 30 days, did not cause death.  Doses were stated in g dry wt.

El extracto fluido 70% de hoja no mostró efecto genotóxico en el ensayo in vivo de inducción de micronúcleos en médula ósea de ratón, ni mutagenicidad (hasta 5 mg/placa) en la prueba in vitro de reversión bacteriana Salmonella/microsoma (Ames)7.(will be translated in 3rd Ed.)

There is no available information documenting the safety of medicinal use in children or in pregnant or lactating women.

The commercial drug (dried seed harvested before ripe) contains 2-5% of essential oil, with approximately 35% eugenol, 40-45% eugenol methyl ether, caryophyllene and cineol, fatty acids, a resin, starch, malic acid, calcium oxalate and tannins2-4.

TRAMIL Research5

The aqueous seed decoction (for 10 minutes), chemically neutralized to pH7in vitro on isolated rat ileum at a dose of 1 mg/mL did not induce a significant increase in ileum contraction amplitude, tone and frequency.  At a dose of 32 mg/mL, a significant decrease in amplitude, tone and frequency was observed.  On the isolated uterus of mice (in estrus) (3.2-25.6 mg/mL), a significant uterotonic effect was reported.  Concentrations were stated in milligrams of seed /mL organ bath solution.

TRAMIL Research6

The aqueous seed extract (50%), by intraperitoneal administration in apomorphine-induced emesis tests, assessing activity in terms of the compulsive gnawing behavior in male rat. Measuring pecking frequency in dove (2 mg/mL), did not show any statistically significant anti-emetic activity.

The aqueous seed extract (50%), by intraperitoneal administration to guinea pig and rabbit in antihistaminic activity tests, did not show any statistically significant antihistaminic activity.




1 GERMOSEN-ROBINEAU L, GERONIMO M, AMPARO C, 1984 Encuesta TRAMIL. enda-caribe, Santo Domingo, Rep. Dominicana.

2 DUKE JA, 1988 Handbook of medicinal herbs. Boca Raton, USA: CRC.

3 KIUCHI F, HIOKI M, NAKAMURA N, MIYASHITA N, TSUDA Y, KONDO K, 1989 Screening of crude drugs used in Sri Lanka for nematocidal activity on the larva of Toxocaria canis. Shoyakugaku Zasshi 43(4):228-293.

4 TUCKER A, MACIARELLO M, LETRUM L, 1991 Volatile leaf oils of Caribbean Myrtaceae. II.Pimenta dioica (L.) Merr. of Jamaica. J Essent Oil Res 3(3):195-196.

5 HERRERA J, 1988 Determinación de actividades biológicas de vegetales utilizados en medicina tradicional. Informe TRAMIL. Dep. de Farmacología, Facultad de Salud, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia.

6 HERRERA J, 1992 Determinación de parámetros farmacológicos usados en medicina tradicional popular en la Cuenca del Caribe. Informe TRAMIL. Dep. de Farmacología, Facultad de Salud, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia.

7 PILOTO FERRER J, VIZOSO A, RAMOS A, GARCIA A, REMIGIO A, VEGA Y, GONZALEZ ML, RODRIGUEZ C, CARBALLO C, 2009 Plantas medicinales. Diez años de evaluaciones toxicogenéticas en el CIDEM. Boletín Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Plantas Medicinales y Aromáticas, 8(5):428-434.


The information provided is for educational purposes only for the benefit of the general public and health professionals. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. Since some parts of plants could be toxic, might induce side effects, or might have interactions with certain drugs, anyone intending to use them or their products must first consult with a physician or another qualified health care professional. TRAMIL has no responsibility whatsoever towards the user for any decision, action or omission made in relation to the information contained in this Pharmacopoeia.