Pimenta ozua

scientific name: 
Pimenta ozua (Urb. & Ekman) Burret
Botanical family: 

Botanical description

Tree, up to 20 m high, very aromatic.  Leaves elliptic-oblong to oblong, 6-12 cm long, obtuse at the apex, round to acute at the base, coriaceous.  Inflorescences cymose; flowers thrice or twice trichotomous, in clusters of up to 9 flowers. Berries globose, glabrous, glandulose.



abdominal pain:

  leaf, decoction with salt, orally1

The leaf and the fruit of Pimenta racemosa var.ozua are used as a spice and tonic appetizer, while the essential oil of the leaf is a relatively widespread disinfectant.

As it is an endemic and scarce species, we recommend harvesting the leaves moderately and fostering its cultivation so as to avoid extirpating the plant in the wild.

For abdominal pain:

Prepare a decoction with 9-23 grams of the leaves in 1 liter (4 cups) of water, boil for at least 10 minutes in an open pot.  Filter, allow to cool, and drink 1 cup 3 times a day6.

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

According to published and other information:

Use for abdominal pain is classified as REC, based on the significant traditional use documented in the TRAMIL surveys, toxicity studies, scientific validation, and available published scientific information.

Should there be a notable worsening of the patient’s condition, or should the abdominal pain persist for more than 3 days, seek medical attention.

TRAMIL Research5

The LD50 of the aqueous extract from the dried leaf administered orally to mice was determined at 1100 mg/kg.  Intestinal dilation and hemorrhagic fluid was observed in abdominal cavity.  By subcutaneous administration, the same extract up to 4 g/kg caused neither mortality nor gastrointestinal alteration.

TRAMIL Research8

Oral administration to male Wistar rats, in groups of 6 animals (125, 250, 500, 1000 mg dry residue/kg = 0.8, 1.61, 3.23 and 6.46 g of leaf/kg) did not cause mortality.  At the highest dose, the animals evidenced perspiration and unsteadiness.

At a dose of 250 mg of dry residue/kg administered for 8 consecutive days (1.61 g of leaf/ kg / day) followed by six-day observation, animals did not show any evident sign of toxicity, displaying normal eating and drinking habits.  There was no mortality, and the weight of the animals at the end of the test did not change.

The LD50 of the decoction from the dried leaf by intraperitoneal administration to mice was determined at 185 mg of plant/kg (287 mg total solids/kg).  Some sleepiness and decline in activity was observed with all extract doses used6.

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

The essential oil of the leaf contains monoterpenes: carvone, 1,8 cineole, citronelol, p-cymen-8-ol, p-cymene, geranial, limonene, linalool, cis-linalool oxide, myrcene, neral, trans-ocimene, α-phellandrene, cis- and trans-pinene hydrate, α- and ß-pinene, cis- and trans-piperitol,cis- and trans-rose oxide, sabinene, cis- and trans sabinene hydrate, terpinen-4-ol, α- and ɣ-terpinene, α-terpineol, terpinolene, α-thujene; sesquiterpenes: caryophyllene oxide, ß-caryophyllene; alkanes: decan-3-one, nonan-1-al, nonan-1-ol, 9-hydroxy-nonan-2-one, octan-3-one; phenylpropanoids: eugenol methyl ether, iso-trans-eugenol methyl ether2.

TRAMIL Research3

The aqueous decoction of the leaf (0.5 mg of the dried plant/mL organ bath solution) did not induce a significant change in contraction amplitude and tone of isolated rat ileum.  At higher concentrations (37 mg/mL and above), contraction amplitude, tone and frequency were significantly decreased.

TRAMIL Research4

The hydroalcoholic extract (70%) from the leaf by intravenous administration (5 mg/kg) to rats with normal blood pressure was not active as a hypotensive and did not inhibit the xanthine-oxidase enzyme; however, it inhibited the b-glucuronidase enzyme by 85% (50 µg/mL).

TRAMIL Research5

The aqueous extract from the dried leaf, administered orally to rats (Shay), (20, 40, 80 and 160 mg/kg) 48 hours after gastric ulcers were induced by pylorus ligation, and analyzed 18 hours after administration of the extract, caused gastric dilation, damage to gastric mucosa, extensive ulcerations and hemorrhagic perforations.  Injuries were more severe with the 40 and 160 mg/kg doses.  The aqueous extract from the dried leaf lacks gastro-protective effects in this model.

TRAMIL Research5

The aqueous extract from the leaf administered orally to anesthetized rabbit (20-400 mg/kg) slightly stimulated breathing and increased basal blood pressure values.

The decoction from the dried leaf administered orally to mice (125 and 250 mg/kg) showed ambiguous analgesic effects.  The extract significantly diminished carrageenan-induced pedal edema in rat after 1, 3 and 5 hours, and also had anti-inflammatory effects when applied locally (0.5, 1 and 3 mg/ear) in the TPA-induced edema test.  The levels of the myeloperoxidase enzyme significantly dropped in inflamed tissue6.

The tincture of the leaf was inactive in vitro (< 6 mm) against Neisseria gonorrhoeae7.




1 WENIGER B, ROUZIER M, 1986 Enquête TRAMIL. Service Oecuménique d'Entraide SOE, Port au Prince, Haïti.

2 TUCKER A, MARICARELLO M, ADAMS R, LANDRUM L, ZANONI T, 1991 Volatile leaf oils of Caribbean Myrtaceae. I. Three varieties of Pimenta racemosa (Miller) J. Moore of the Dominican Republic and the commercial bay oil. J Essent Oil Res 3(5):323-329.

3 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.

4 SCHMEDA-HIRSCHMANN G. 1991 Estudio del extracto etanol-acuoso de hoja de Pimenta racemosa var. ozua. Informe TRAMIL. Universidad de Talca, Chile.

5 CAMBAR P. FLORES E. CANALES M. 1996 Efectos toxicológicos, gástricos, respiratorios y cardiovasculares del extracto acuoso de hojas de Pimenta racemosa ozua, Myrtaceae, en animales de experimentación. Informe TRAMIL. Unidad de Farmacología, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras UNAH, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

6 Garcia MD, Fernandez MA, Alvarez A, Saenz MT, 2004 Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effect of the aqueous extract from leaves of Pimenta racemosa var. ozua (Mirtaceae). J Ethnopharm 91(1):69-73.

7 CACERES A, MENENDEZ H, MENDEZ E, COHOBON E, SAMAYAO BE, JAUREGUI E, PERALTA E, CARRILLO G, 1995 Antigonorrhoeal activity of plants used in Guatemala for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. J Ethnopharm 48(2):85-88.

8 GARCIA MD, SAENZ MT, 2004 Toxicidad aguda y sub-crónica de la hoja dePimenta racemosa var. ozua. Informe TRAMIL. Farmacognosia, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla, España.


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.