The tiny black bead-like spice is, in fact, a fruit that belongs to the Piperaceae family. A highly aromatic and pungent spice, the presence of piperine gives it a fabulous medicinal value. Grown in Kerala located in South India, black pepper is used in cooking and has remained a very vital ingredient of Ayurvedic traditions since time unknown.
Well-known for its antibacterial properties, these tiny black beads are rich in assorted vitamins and minerals. A powerful anti-inflammatory medicinal spice, it is widely used a natural cure for respiratory ailments and painful conditions. Welcome to the aromatic world of this naturally gifted medicinal herb.
The Must Know Health Benefits of Black Pepper
1. Cure for respiratory tract conditions – Cold and Cough
Rich with vitamin C and antibacterial properties, black pepper is one of the most effective cures for common cold and cough. Plus its decongestant, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties help in unclogging the respiratory tract, ease the inflammation, and alleviate the pain in conditions like sinusitis and bronchitis.
Steep 1tsp freshly ground black pepper in 1 cup water. Mix 1 tbsp honey to the mixture and sip the drink twice a day for quicker relief from respiratory ailments.
2. Alleviates fever
Black pepper has the power to work as an antipyretic also. It elevates the body temperature by stimulating the circulation, thus promoting sweating. As the body starts sweating, the temperature starts falling down and fever vanishes.
Gently heat a paste of black pepper and turmeric and apply it on the forehead and cheekbones to bring down fever. A concoction of black pepper with turmeric powder and dry ginger powder flavored with a little jaggery can also be consumed for similar results.
3. Strengthens your immune system
Ayurvedic texts suggest the inclusion of black pepper in your daily diet to improve the immunity power. The vitamin C present in the spice has antioxidative properties, which helps in eliminating the free radicals. The lesser the damage inducing oxygen molecules are, the lower the risk of infections is.
4. Aids in weight loss
Black pepper helps with weight loss in different ways. It improves the digestive fire and ensures proper absorption of all nutrients. Secondly, it enhances the rate of metabolism, thus ensuring better burning of calories. Thirdly, black pepper is also known to suppress the appetite, thereby preventing over consumption of food. In addition, it is also known to prevent the formation of new fat cells. In short, black pepper helps you become lean!
A mixture of black pepper, long pepper, and dry ginger in equal proportion, when consumed along with honey on empty stomach, is known to help in eliminating unwanted fat from your body.
5. Cure for digestive problems
These spice bullets are loaded with piperine and various monoterpenes hydrocarbons like terpenene and limonene which help in improving the motility of the food in the gut. These compounds also stimulate the digestive fire by triggering the enhanced secretion of various gastrointestinal enzymes. Piperine also enables the proper absorption of a wide array of nutrients essential for proper digestion.
It is said that consuming black pepper with asafetida and a pinch of salt with lukewarm water could prevent indigestion and ease acidity. However, if you are already suffering from hyperacidity, please consult a doctor before using black pepper.
6. Beneficial for menstruation
A mixture of 8 to 10 basil leaves, half a teaspoon black pepper powder and a tablespoon of honey, when consumed twice a day for about four weeks, is said to help in regulating your menstrual cycle.
Consume 10 black peppercorns with a glass of lukewarm water to ease the cramps and pain your experienced during your periods. A concoction made of simmering black pepper and cinnamon is known to help in controlling the bleeding also.
7. Helps to combat infections
Ward off infections that affect you as the season changes with a piping hot glass of black pepper tea. The antioxidants boost the immunity power while the antibacterial and antiseptic properties help in quicker healing.
A poultice made of black pepper powder and turmeric powder when topically is said to ward off infections on mosquito and other insect bites.
8. Good for teeth and bones
Black pepper contains calcium, 57% of the RDA vitamin K and about 45% of daily requirement of iron. No wonder it is a perfectly healthy way to take care of the health of your bones and teeth.
9. Prevents premature aging of skin
The rich presence of antioxidants in black pepper makes it an effective solution to prevent premature aging of skin. Add ½ a teaspoon of crushed black peppercorns to 2 cups coconut oil and heat the mixture until smoky. Use this to massage your face regularly to ward off wrinkles and fine lines.
10. Good for skin health
Black pepper is an excellent exfoliating agent. It eliminates the dead skin cells and other pollutants that otherwise clog the cells. It also improves the circulation, thereby keeping your skin radiant.
The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of black pepper makes it an effective natural antidote for acne and pimples. It could also be used to eliminate blackheads. Just apply a mixture of a little black pepper powder with a little turmeric powder and honey on the affected area. Remove the application after it dries off using a damp washcloth.
Black pepper’s antiseptic and antibiotic properties make it an effective cure for various skin conditions like scabies and vitiligo.
11. Promotes hair growth
Gift yourself a shiny, soft, and thick long hair with black pepper. Heat 2 tbsp of crushed black peppercorns in sesame seed oil or olive oil until smoky and use this to massage your scalp regularly. It improves the blood circulation to the hair follicles and also wards off infection, thus revitalizing your hair. It also prevents the premature graying of hair.
12. Natural solution for dandruff
Black pepper is an effective natural remedy for dandruff. Mix one teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a bowl of curd and whisk thoroughly to blend well. Apply this mixture on the scalp and wash off as usual after half an hour to ward off dandruff.
13. Innate anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties
The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of black pepper makes it an efficient solution for painful conditions like arthritis and back pain.
14. Could avert the risk of cancer
According to studies, the rich presence of various antioxidant vitamins and flavonoids help in the elimination of free radicals, thus protecting the body from cancer.
15. Good for your brain
According to various studies, piperine present in this spice helps in preventing age-induced cognitive issues including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It also improves the memory and cognitive functioning in aging generations.
16. Natural remedy for earaches
Sprinkle a little black pepper powder on a cotton dipped in sesame seed oil. Place it on the ear to relieve ear ache due to infections.
17. Could be used as a solution for peptic ulcer
While it is suggested that black pepper could be beneficial in healing peptic ulcer, there are other studies which negate this benefit.
18. Beneficial for cardiovascular health
It contains various minerals that could help in lowering the blood pressure and preventing arterial deposits. It also helps in maintain the levels of cholesterol and rhythm of the heart beat. In short, black pepper has the potential to save you from various cardiovascular conditions including stroke and atherosclerosis.
Have you ever used black pepper in your diet? Have you experienced its benefits? If not, it is time you start! But do check with your doctor, especially if you have any medical conditions to rule out any complications.
Black Pepper belongs to family Piperaceae and its scientific name is Piper nigrum. It is primarily used as spices and in medicines. It is grown in the regions where the temperature is hot and humid with a temperature between 10 to 40 degrees C. The ideal temperature for growing this herb is around 28 degrees C.
Health Benefits Research
As per National Center for Biotechnology Information the benefits of this herb could be attributed to the presence of piperine. This stimulates pancreas’s digestive enzymes, reduces the transit time of food in gastrointestinal tract and increase the digestive capacity. In several animal studies it has been established that the active ingredient in this herb is safe. It contains 16 calories per 6 grams of serving.
Nutritional Facts of Black Pepper
Vitamin K: 13%
Vitamin C: 2%
Vitamin B6: 1%