Health Benefits of Black Pepper and Pepper Corns
Origin And General Information
Latin Name: Piper nigrum
Also called "King Of Spices" black pepper is native to India and it spread to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa from here. It has a history of at least 4000 years of use.
The plant is cultivated for its fruit which is used as a spice after drying. The fruit is called peppercorn when dried and is normally black to dark red. Green pepper is the unripe form of black pepper.
Peppercorns and ground pepper are also used as medicine. Black pepper is the world's most traded spice.
Black peppers were once used as a currency.
The compound piperine in pepper causes sneezing as it irritates the nostrils.
Varieties Of Peppercorns
The following varieties are available:
It is produced from green unripe peppercorns by heating them in water for some time. During this heating, the cell walls rupture releasing enzymes that make the peppercorns dark while they undergo drying. The peppercorns are dried in the sun or in a machine. The seed shrinks and darkens to a shrivelled and wrinkled form.
Pepper oil and Pepper spirit are extracted from these dried peppercorns.
Pepper oil is used for massage and some herbal therapies.
Pepper spirit is used in medicinal and cosmetic preparations and also in the coke we drink.
When the dark coloured skin of the peppercorn is removed we get white pepper.
White pepper is used in Chinese cooking and in light coloured sauces, salads and mashed potatoes. White pepper has a somewhat different flavour than the black pepper due to the absence of certain compounds which are in the removed skin.
This is also made from unripe green peppercorns by treating them either sulphur dioxide or freeze-drying, canning or pickling them in vinegar or brine. Fresh green peppers are used in some Asian cuisines.
Orange & Red Pepper
True red peppercorns are very rare. They are the fully ripe fruit which is left on the vine till they turn yellow with a red blush. The ripe red peppercorns are either preserved in vinegar or brine. They are dried as done for green peppers.
Black pepper is the most pungent of all the varieties.
Different Colored Peppercorns
Black Pepper Nutrition Facts
Black peppercorns contain essential oil, piperine, an alkaloid which increases the absorption of selenium, B complex vitamins and beta carotene from food.
They also contain good amounts of potassium, calcium, zinc, manganese, iron, magnesium and vitamins B complex, C, and A and flavonoids like carotene, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin and lycopene.
Black Pepper Nutrition
Black peppers (Piper nigrum)
Nutritional value per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Percentage of RDA
Crushed Black Pepper
Health Benefits Of Black Pepper
Black pepper relieves a variety of health problems like constipation & diarrhoea, heat diseases, earache, hernia, gangrene, hoarseness, insect bites, insomnia, joint pains, liver and lung problems, abscesses, dental diseases, loss of appetite.
It is used in traditional Indian medicine for relief in throat problems and respiratory afflictions. It induces urination in weak kidney function.
Health Benefits Of Black Pepper In Specific Health Conditions
Chew 12 gms black pepper and drink 30 ml pure ghee after this.
A. If there is body pain, weakness, chilliness, crush 20 black peppercorns and boil in 200 ml of water till 50 ml of water remains. Drink this as hot as you can. Take this morning and evening.
B. Crush 5 black peppercorns, 5 Tulsi leaves, 1 clove, little ginger and 1 cardamon and add to the water used to prepare tea. Drink this thrice a day to reduce fever.
In Cough & Phlegm In Throat
Crush 30 black peppercorns and boil in 2 cups of water till 1/4 th water remains. Strain and add 1 tsp of honey. Drink in morning and evening for benefit.
Crush 10 black peppercorns & 15 tulsi leaves. Add 1 tsp of honey. Lick this 3 times a day. It helps to remove the collected phlegm and clears the throat.
Swallow 10 crushed black peppercorns with hot water in which lemon juice has been added, 2 times a day. It helps to stop gas formation.
In Intestinal Worms
Crush 1 gm black peppercorns and take with buttermilk to eliminate worms.
Take 10 crushed peppercorns with water for relief.
In Dandruff And Head Lice
Take 6 black peppercorns and 12 seeds of custard apple. Grind them with some water. Add ghee to this and apply on the scalp at night. Wash in the morning. It helps to remove lice and dandruff and increases hair growth.
Do not allow this mixture to get into the eyes. Keep eyes shut while washing hair and wash hair thoroughly with a lot of water.
In Cough- Dry & Wet
A. Keep a black peppercorn and mishri (Candy Sugar) in the mouth and suck on this. It clears the throat too.
B. Take equal quantities of black peppercorns & mishri. Grind them. Add just enough ghee to make pea-sized pills from this mixture. Suck on these pills for relief.
C. Take 10 crushed peppercorns. Add honey and lick this 2 times a day. At night add crushed peppercorns to hot milk and drink.
D. Add hot ghee 1 tsp to 10 crushed peppercorns and lick this for relief.
E. Take 5 peppercorns and 1/4 th tsp crushed dry ginger. add 1 tsp of honey. Lick this twice a day.
F. Add 1 tsp ground black pepper to 60 gms jaggery and make pea-sized pills. Suck 1 pill morning and evening. It benefits in all types of cough.
In Cough & Gas
Boil 10 black peppercorns in a glass of water & drink.
To Improve Semen Quality
Boil 10 peppercorns in 250 gms milk. Cool and strain. Eat the peppercorns first and then drink the milk.
To Increase Memory
In 30 gms butter add 8 black peppercorns and sugar. Licking this will help in improving memory and relieving brain weakness.
Crush 12 black peppercorns and fry in ghee. Strain the ghee. Add wheat flour to the ghee. Cook till it turns brown. Add sugar or jaggery to make a mixture. Add the fried peppercorns. Eat this before taking meals once in the morning & once in the evening for some time. It relieves vertigo.
In Mouth Ulcers
Take 15 peppercorns & 30 raisins. Chew together for relief.
In Ringworm & Itching
Grind 5 gm black peppercorns with 1/2 tsp cow's ghee.
Applying black pepper crushed in hot water on the boils suppresses boil formation.
In Hiccups & Headaches
Prick a pin in a black peppercorn and burn the pepper. Inhale the smoke released. It stops hiccups & headaches due to wind in the body.
In Facial Pimples
Grind 20 black peppercorns in rose water. Apply on the pimples at night. Wash in the morning with hot water. This removes pimples, wrinkles and clears the face.
Take equal parts of black pepper, caraway seeds, black salt, dry ginger and seeds of the Fig tree. Grind all together. Take 1/2 tsp after meals in the afternoon and night. It helps in digesting food.
The above are some of the health benefits of black pepper.
Black Pepper Oil
It is made from the unripe red peppercorns. It is a strong and spicy smelling, light amber to yellow-green oil, of watery consistency. The oil is made in India, Singapore and Malaysia.
Black pepper oil is mainly used in relieving pain due to arthritis and rheumatism, aches, to increase circulation, in cold and flu, as a nerve tonic and in fevers. It also helps in digestion.
Black pepper should be freshly ground and added at the very end of cooking to reduce the loss of beneficial essential oils.
The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements.
Recipes With Black Pepper
- Black Pepper Muffins
Black pepper is my favorite spice. I got inspired one day to add it to the muffins I was making and ended up with a burst of taste and a bit of heat that I love! Here's more about what I did.
- Cooking With Black Pepper
Black pepper is possibly the most commonly used spice in our kitchens. We use it on just about everything; most frequently adding this ancient spice to our meals after they are cooked and ready to serve. There are a few dishes such as black pepper...
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Black Pepper Steak
Black Pepper Chicken
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2011 Rajan Singh Jolly