What are the Uses and Health Benefits of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)?
What is Piper Nigrum?
Piper nigrum (Black pepper) is a traditional Indian herb which has been used in many countries as a spice to enhance the flavor of dishes. It's a herb which shows many health benefits such as promote weight loss, remove hydrochloric acid from the stomach, prevent constipation, common cold, and promote digestion etc. The other benefits of black pepper are: skin deformation, prevent aging, remove dandruff, and also promote the growth of hair follicles. The three main functions of the black pepper are: remove toxins, heel body, and stimulates the body organs.
Black pepper is known as the king of spices and widely used in cuisines globally. The botanical name of the herb is Piper nigrum and it belongs to Piperaceae family. According to Ayurvedic point of view, pungency and heating property of black pepper help in proper digestion and metabolism of food.
Piper nigrum is perennial climbing herb which is native to Malabar Coast of India. The herb grows up to the height of 10 meters by means of its aerial roots. The leaves of the herb are alternately arranged and shiny green in color. Black pepper derived from green unripe drupe of pepper fruit also known as a peppercorn. The fruits are picked or collected when they turn red. The collected fruits immersed in boiling water for 10-15 minutes, after that they are put under sunlight for 3-4 days. Finally, they turn into dark black or brown color.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
- Superdivision: Spermatophyta
- Division: Magnoliophyta
- Class: Magnoliopsida
- Subclass: Magnoliidae
- Order: Piperales
- Family: Piperaceae
- Genus: Piper L.
- Species: Piper nigrum
- Hindi Name: Kalimirch, mirch, gulmirch, golmirch, choco mirch
- English name: Black pepper, common pepper, pepper
- Persian name: Filfile siyah, pilpil, filfile aswad
- Arabian name: Filfil aswad
- Telugu name: Miriyalu
- Bengali name: Golmarich, vellajung, murichung, kolukung, kala morich
- Tamil name: Milagu
- Marathi name: Mirin, kalamiri
- Gujarati name: Kalamri, kalamuri, kalominch, kalamire
- Malayalam name: Nalla muluka, kurumulaku, lada, nallamulaku
- Konkani name: Kare menasu
- Urdu name: Filfilsiyah, kalimirch
- Punjabi name: Galmirch
Medicinal Properties of Black pepper:
- Rasa (Taste): Katu (Pungent)
- Guna (Qualities): Laghu (Lightness), Teekshna (Strong, Piercing), sookshma- enters into deep and minute body channels.
- Veerya: (Ushna) - Hot in potency
- Vipaka: (Katu) - After digestion, it undergoes pungent taste conversion.
- Effect on Tridosha: Balances kapha and vata doshas in the body.
Major Chemical Constituents of Black pepper:
Black pepper contains piperine, which is an alkaloid that provides it a pungent taste and shows many health benefits. Other chemical constituents such as feruperine, dihydroferuperine, piperethine, piperolein A&B, cryptone, dihydrocarveol, piperonal, citronellol, camphene, B- caryophyllene, B-alanine, pipecolic etc.
Health Benefits of Black Pepper
Black pepper combat the various digestion related problems such as indigestion. The pungent taste of black pepper triggering the stomach to release hydrochloric acid which helps in the breakdown of proteins. The release of hydrochloric acid in the stomach also increase the appetite and show the cleansing effect on the intestine.
The herbal tea which contains some extracts of black pepper act as a great source for treating respiratory disorders such as a cough, and cold. During winter black pepper helps to facilitate the removal of phlegm from the body due to its expectorant property. It also provides relief from sinusitis and nasal congestion.
Black pepper helps in the breakdown of fats in your body due to which fats cells are broken down into small parts and they are used and processed by the other body parts as a good energy source. Ayurvedic tea made with black pepper extract is one of best natural herbal treatment for instant weight loss.
Black pepper mainly fights with the pigmentation problem. The many studies on black pepper have shown that the piperine which is an active chemical constituent of black pepper can stimulate the skin for the production of melanocytes pigment. This will help to remove white patches on your skin. The herb also help to reduce the chance of skin cancer due to harmful UV rays.
Black pepper also enhances the brain functioning and may do wonder for cognitive mental health. Piperine which is the main compound found in black pepper can slowdowns the aging of the brain and also enhance the memory. By doing so it ultimately treats the depression problem.
Peptic ulcers are the worst ulcers which can cause lots of discomforts. Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property, it prevents oxidative damages and also reduces the inflammation and swelling. It also provides strength to the mucosal defense of the body.
Soothe a Toothache
Due to its anti-bacterial properties black pepper prevent the growth of harmful bacteria on your teeth and gums areas. That protect your teeth and gums from plaque formation. During a toothache, you can simply apply black pepper powder to the infected area by mixing with a pinch of salt.
Effective in Arthritis
The hot potency of black pepper provide relief from pain due to arthritis. It also provides warming sensation and improves the blood circulation. Black pepper also reduces the inflammation of joints in arthritis patient. It can also flush out the uric acid from the body which is also one of the reasons behind body pain.
Black pepper is traditional Indian herb which has been used for various health benefits that are already mentioned above. It also contains vitamin A, C, B6, Riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, sodium, potassium, folate, choline, and betaine.