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The healing power of black pepper

  1. Black pepper is the seed of the dried fruit of a flowering tropical vine. The pepper plant is originally from India. Currently, Vietnam is the world's largest producer of black pepper. You can find the black pepper plant throughout the tropics. In ancient times black pepper was used for its medicinal qualities and of course for its culinary possibilities. In herbal medicine, the modern science-backed herbal medicine, black peppercorn is an agent that stimulates the digestive organs and the central nervous system. The essential oil of black pepper promotes liver and pancreas function.


  1. History of use of black pepper Black pepper in folk medicine Piperine, an antioxidant Black pepper for skin diseases The difference between black, white and green pepper Active substances Peppercorn as a digestive aid Black pepper as a herbal medicine Dose and Safety

History of use of black pepper

  1. In ancient Egypt black pepper was seen as a special spice. Few sources are known about it, but it is certain that the mummy of Ramesses the Great, who presumably died in the 13th century BC, had peppercorns in his nostrils. The pepper plant does not originally grow in Egypt. In ancient Greece people knew the black peppercorn at least four centuries before Christ. Probably only wealthy Greeks could afford to buy black pepper. The ancient Romans took ships to India to stock up on all kinds of goods, including black pepper. Pliny the Elder remarks in one of his books that it is actually strange that black pepper enjoys great popularity among the Romans just because it is pungent. After Rome fell, Arabs and Persians maintained trade routes with Europe. At the end of the Middle Ages, Portugal began to interfere in the pepper trade. Subsequently, Spain, the Netherlands and England did the same and pepper became an important trade item along with other spices. In Dutch the expression 'pepper duration' arose, because a lot of money was earned from pepper. The world's first multinational company, the VOC, had a worldwide monopoly on the trade in spices, including black pepper, for two centuries.

Black pepper in folk medicine

  1. Pepper has long been a traditional medicine. In folk medicine, it found use in a wide variety of diseases: constipation, diarrhea, earache, gangrene or tissue death, heart disease, hernia, hoarseness, indigestion, insect bites, insomnia, joint pain, liver problems, lung disease, oral abscesses, sunburn, tooth decay and toothache. A small number of all these applications have survived in phytotherapy. In Unani and Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine, black pepper is a means to aid digestion and to eliminate intestinal worms. It was also in a pill along with other drugs to treat cholera and typhoid. It has also been used as an ingredient in toothpaste. A black peppercorn tea is a good remedy for hoarseness. Chewing black pepper can help with strep throat.

Piperine, an antioxidant

  1. According to scientific research from Annamalai University in India in 2004, because of its high antioxidant content, black pepper can help to make a high-fat diet less likely to develop into disease. The phytonutrient piperine is the main active ingredient in black pepper.

Black pepper for skin diseases

  1. Black pepper is contained in various regular medicines that are aimed at improving the blood flow of the skin. In medical terms these are called rubefaciens. These types of medicines are usually contained in ointments. They make the skin red, which indicates improved blood flow. Traditional medicine and herbal medicine also use black pepper for this purpose. Black pepper can be found in skin ointments that are aimed at treating blemishes. It can also be used in the skin disease vitiligo, a skin disease in which too little pigment is produced. You can add freshly ground pepper to rose water. Apply it to your face twice a day and you will prevent breakouts. Black pepper owes this effect, among other things, to the fact that it is anti-infective.

The difference between black, white and green pepper

  1. Green, white and black pepper / Source: Rainer Zenz, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Active ingredients

  1. The unripe seed of the black pepper plant is used for phytotherapeutic purposes, which we know better as peppercorn. The active ingredient in this peppercorn is mainly amides, the best known of which is piperine. Piperine is an amide composed of piperidine and piperic acid. It is the substance that determines the striking pepper taste. Besides piperine, there is essential oil in the peppercorn. This oil in turn is responsible for the pepper aroma that stimulates the nose. Black pepper essential oil contains many different oils with difficult names, especially sesquiterpenes such as betacaryaphylene, cube legs and elements and monoterpenes such as alpha and betapinene, limonene and phellandrene. Furthermore, the tiny peppercorn contains starch, fatty oil, proteins, minerals and enzymes.

Peppercorn as a digestive aid

  1. Before this we saw what black pepper is for in traditional medicine. Modern herbalism also uses black pepper for medicinal reasons. The peppercorn promotes the secretion of juices from the digestive organs. In this way it ensures that all food is digested better. This effect mainly takes place because the blood circulation in the mucous membranes is improved by the peppercorn. Therefore, black pepper is an appetite stimulant and stomach enhancer. It is also an herb that ensures that other nutrients are absorbed more efficiently by the body. For example, when you use turmeric as a supplement, by eating black pepper, the medicinal properties of turmeric can be better processed by your body.

Black pepper as a herbal medicine

  1. The digestive stimulant effect is the most important property of black pepper, but there are more medicinal uses. The healing power of black pepper is endless. Black pepper :

Dose and Safety

  1. There are two ways to use this medicinal plant. The use of black pepper is the most common. Only use organic black pepper that you have ground yourself.

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