A pinch of black pepper is added to almost every type of recipe imaginable. Once used as currency and presented to the gods as a sacred offering, it is fortunate that this most popular of spices is available throughout the year.
Black pepper comes from the pepper plant, a smooth woody vine that can grow up to 33 feet in hot and humid tropical climates. They begin to bear small white clustered flowers after 3 to 4 years and develop into berries known as peppercorns. Ground peppercorns produce the spice we call pepper.
The health benefits of black pepper include relief from respiratory disorders, coughs, the common cold, constipation, indigestion, anemia, impotency, muscular strains, dental disease, pyorrhea, diarrhea, and heart disease.
Black pepper is the fruit of the black pepper plant from the Piperaceae family and is used as both a spice and a medicine. The chemical piperine, which is present in black pepper, causes the spiciness. It is native to Kerala, the southern state of India. Since ancient times, black pepper is one of the most widely traded spices in the world. It is not considered a seasonal plant and is therefore available throughout the year. When dried, this plant-derived spice is referred to as a peppercorn, and is then ground into a powder to be put on food to add flavour and spice.
Because of its antibacterial properties, pepper is also used to preserve food. It is a rich source of manganese, iron, potassium, vitamin-C, vitamin K, and dietary fiber. Black pepper is also a very good anti-inflammatory agent.
According to Ayurvedic medicine, black pepper also helps to prevent ear-aches and gangrene. It is also good for conditions of hernia, hoarseness and insect bites. It is also commonly used to treat conditions of tooth decay and toothache. In ancient times, pepper was also administered to treat vision problems.
Pepper may cause sneezing. Patients who have undergone abdominal surgery should not add excessive pepper to their diet because it can have an irritating effect on the intestines. Black pepper should not be taken in high concentrations, and if you show signs of an allergic reaction, discontinue its use and consult a doctor!