Black pepper, botanical name (Piper nigrum) is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. When dried, the fruit is known as a peppercorn. Also called ‘Kaali mirch’ in Hindi. It is the world’s most traded spice. Dried ground pepper has been used since antiquity for both its flavour and as a traditional medicine.
Did You Know?
The spiciness of black pepper is due to the chemical piperine
The history of black pepper lies in the Indian soil, the spice is native to South India and other parts of South Asia and has been used in Indian cooking since 2000 BC. The source of pepper exports to neighboring countries was the Malabar Coast, which is present-day Kerala. Peppercorns were an important trade good, and for this reason, they were also called ‘Black Gold’ and were used in the form of currency. Nonetheless, signs of an ancient pepper trade from India to Egypt have been found, including the peppercorns that had been stuffed into the nostrils of Ramses the Great (1303-1213 BC) when he was mummified.
1. Improves Digestion
Black pepper is very effective which stimulates the digestive juices and enzymes, thereby promoting digestion. This holds true when you consume black pepper especially with a meal which might enhance your body’s breakdown and digest food.
2. Relieves Flatulence
Black pepper has carminative properties and helps relieve stomach gas. Replacing chili powder in your meals with black pepper can treat flatulence.
3. Promotes Weight loss
Black pepper contains piperine which suppresses fat accumulation in the body.
4. Clears Sore throat and Congestion
Black pepper can be used to clear up a stuffy nose and congestion as it helps loosen phlegm. It also has antimicrobial properties, which is why black pepper is included in various cough and cold remedies.
5. Skin Health
Fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and pigmentation issues can be easily solved when combining black pepper with the right ingredients topically.
Beauty Tip: This mask helps lighten skin and helps get rid of blackheads.
Grind black pepper into coarse granules, use half a teaspoon. Mix this with 1 teaspoon yogurt.( I use creamy homemade yogurt)
Apply on clean skin for not more than 2-3 minutes or scrub in light circular movements for 1 minute. One can add turmeric/honey too to make the pack more effective. I personally use them differently in different scrubs/masks.
- Indian monks ate several peppercorns a day during their travels to enhance endurance.
- Pepper was mostly consumed by the wealthy as it was very expensive.
- The Romans used to demand pepper as ransom when they besieged a city.
- Vietnam is the largest producer and exporter of pepper in the world.
- There are thousands of different varieties of pepper, of which 30 are known.
- Simply drink a glass of lukewarm water mixed with one-half tablespoon of black pepper powder, two or three times a day to clear the respiratory system.
- Alternatively, you can try steam inhalation from a pot of hot water mixed with some black pepper and eucalyptus oil.
- Another simple remedy is to sniff a mixture of black pepper and a few drops of sesame oil. It will induce sneezing but clear your sinuses.
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