Medicinal plants

Black Pepper – Application & Treatment for Health

Black pepper

Black pepper is popularly known as the “healthy sheep maker”. It is best known as a spicy accompaniment to a tasty cuisine. However, black pepper also has a lot to offer as a medicinal plant, because the main component is the active ingredient piperine, which has a positive effect on various disease symptoms.

Occurrence & Cultivation of Black Pepper

It doesn’t matter if pepper is black, red, green or white, it always comes from the same exotic burdock plant. For the production of black pepper , the unripe berries are dried in the sun before harvesting. The ingredient piperine, which is important for medicinal plants, goes back to the scientific name of the pepper plant: Piperaceae . It is an alkaloid that is responsible for the pungent taste. The plant is a pepper bush from the pepper family. The scientific name Piper nigrumis the eponym for the botanical name black pepper. Contrary to the name, the berries are not always black, but also green, white or red depending on the harvest time. The pepper plant is a perennial climber that grows up trees and becomes lignified with age. In uncultivated wild stocks, it can reach heights of growth of up to ten meters.

In cultivated cultivation, however, the pepper plants are limited to a growth height of three to four meters. Cultivated pepper plants bear hermaphroditic flowers. They are inconspicuous and equipped with ten centimeter long spikes that carry fifty to 150 individual flowers. The fruits ripen eight to nine months after fertilization. They are called drupes. The pepper harvest takes place twice a year. The perennial climber can remain productive for up to thirty years in good conditions. The natural stocks are native to India.

However, with the colonization by England and France, the pepper plant also became very popular in European countries and the spice was imported in large quantities. How important pepper was in the late 19th century and early 20th century, the heyday of the English and French colonies, is shown by the fact that pepper itself was even worth its weight in gold. Today, alongside India, Vietnam, Brazil, Malaysia and Brazil are the main growing countries.

About 200,000 tons of pepper are produced annually. Although black pepper has many different healing effects, its popularity as a medicinal plant is only gradually gaining ground, as its popularity as a spice still dominates.

Effect & Application

Pepper gets its colors from different processing methods. In addition to black pepper, there is also red, green and white pepper. The most important plant active ingredient is piperine, which is often referred to as a medical all-purpose weapon. In addition, derivatives of piperettine, piperyline, piperanine and chavicine have an effect. These derivatives are also known as alkamides (acid amide alkaloids). Other ingredients include flavonoids, fatty oil, rhamnetin, kaempferol, and quercetin.

Black pepper stimulates digestion, relieves rheumatic pains , relieves coughs and spasms and fights blemishes . It is effective against all types of colds such as sore throats , bronchitis and fever and acts against muscular tension and pain. The production of new fat cells is inhibited and high blood pressure is reduced.

The pungent ingredients have a warming effect, so Ayurvedic medicine advises people who often feel cold to consume more pepper. Its sharpness represents a pain stimulus for the human organism, which is responsible for the body’s own production of endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are also popularly referred to as happiness hormones. As a result, black pepper has a mood-enhancing effect and counteracts depression . So it ensures general well-being.

In the case of indigestion , it ensures an orderly secretion of digestive juices and increases the mobility of the intestinal villi. Spicy and bitter substances have been proven to have a positive effect on fat and metabolism. Black pepper is therefore also a slimming aid. It inhibits the growth of bacteria and acts as a powerful insecticide.

Importance for health, treatment & prevention

The mature, green fruits are used in unpeeled and dried form for the healing effect. People perceive the taste of pepper as pungent and burning, which is due to the excitement of pain and heat receptors. The knee-jerk reaction is an increased secretion of saliva and gastric juice. Pepper stimulates the appetite while at the same time increasing the release of digestive enzymes. The pungent biting substances also have a positive effect on the metabolism through the effect of the heat receptors.

For this reason, the pepper is said to have slimming properties. Anyone who is not familiar with the field of herbs and medicine must refrain from using the pepper plant in its unprocessed form on its own responsibility, since pungent and bitter substances such as flavonoids, alkaloids and essential oils can irritate the skin and mucous membranes. They are concentrated and further broken down.

Naturopathy and medicine therefore only use these ingredients in a diluted and potentized form. In particular, intolerance to essential oils and the substances they contain, such as menthol, in the form of allergies and asthmatic attacks cannot be ruled out. Ayurvedic medicine appreciates the pepper because of its stimulating properties on “Agni”, which in Sanskrit stands for the life element “fire”. According to the ancient Indian art of healing, “Agni” also includes all metabolic processes of the human organism.

Western-style herbal medicine refers to these processes as oxygen combustion (oxidation) and uses black pepper to treat all types of digestive disorders so that digestive juices flow more freely and pollutants and waste products are flushed out of the body. Based on Ayurvedic medicine, the “digestive fire” is kindled.

Ayurvedic therapists use pepper for loss of appetite , hemorrhoids and flatulence . The saying “a lot helps a lot” does not always apply, but “sometimes less is more”, because the mucous membranes and taste receptors of the human organism do not like the strong influence of spicy ingredients and flavorings, which can lead to irritation if overdosed.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.