From London's Ghost Acres

Pimentos are types of cherry peppers, that range in sweetness and spiciness depending on the type. They are used in the stuffing of Spanish olives, and also used in other food items like pimento cheese.

Pimentos were included in a few remedies and treatments provided by the Pharmacopeia and Compendium. Pimentos were listed as carminatives in the Compendium. Pimento water was used in a draught given to sufferers of cholera. Spirit of pimento was also given to those with gout or dyspepsia.

British Pharmacopoeia 1867

Pimento Pimenta

“The dried unripe berries of the Allspice tree, Eugenia Pimenta… West Indies.”


“Of the size of a small pea, brown, rough, crowned with the teeth of the calyx, yellowish within, and containing two dark brown seeds. Odour and taste aromatic, hot, and peculiar. Used in the preparations of:[1]

  • Aqua Pimentae
  • Oleum Pimentae
  • Syrupus Rhamni

Preparations of Pimento

Pimento Water / Aqua Pimentae[2]

  • Pimento, bruised (14 oz), water (2 gl)

Oil of Pimento / Oleum Pimentae[3]

  • “The oil distilled in Britain from pimento… Colourless or slightly reddish when recent, but becoming brown by age, having the odour and taste of pimento. Sinks in water.”

Syrup of Buckthorne / Syrupus Rhamni[4]

  • buckthrone juice (4 pints), ginger, sliced (3/4 oz), Pimento, bruised (3/4 oz), refined sugar (5 lb, or as needed), rectified spirit (6 fl oz)
  • Dose: 1 fl drachm

A Compendium of Domestic Medicine, 1865

Classified as a Carminative (Remdies Which Relieve Griping)[5]

Remedies Containing or to be used with Pimento

  • Dandelion: Pimento water is used in a mixture used to treat “chronic affections of the liver”[6]
  • Senna Leaves: Pimento water is included in “Senna Mixture,” which is given to children as a purgative[7]
  • Wine of Colochicum Root: pimento water is included in a draught used to treat violent or painful paroxysms [8]

Diseases Treated with Pimento

General Diseases

  • Cholera Morbus: pimento water is included in a draught that is to be taken with pills if the disease is accompanied by violent pain and vomiting, and after initial methods of treatment provided no relief[9]
  • Gout: spirit of pimento is included in a mixture recommended by Dr. Copland, to treat the early stages of the disease “when much inflammatory excitement exists”[10]
  • Dyspepsia, or Indigestion: spirit of pimento is included in a draught given those who suffer from periodic indigestion[11]

Prescriptions Containing Pimento

Aperients and Cathartics

  • Aperient Oil Draught: pimento water[12]


  • Tonic Mixture (Another): spirit of pimento[13]
  • Tonic Draught for Chronic Affections of the Liver: pimento water[14]


  1. General Medical Council of Great Britain, British Pharmacopeia, (London: Spottiswoode & Co.,1867), 241
  2. GMCGB, 45
  3. GMCGB, 226
  4. GMCGB, 313
  5. Savory, John. A Compendium of Domestic Medicine (London: John Churchill and Sons, 1865), 391.
  6. Savory, 53
  7. Savory, 133
  8. Savory, 169
  9. Savory, 222
  10. Savory, 234
  11. Savory, 243
  12. Savory, 312
  13. Savory, 334
  14. Savory, 334

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