Black Pepper – The Most Amazing Spice on Earth
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. In fact, it is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine. When dried, the fruit is known as a peppercorn. Black pepper is perhaps the best-loved and most widely used spice in the world, adding both heat and depth of flavor to nearly any dish.
Here are some amazing black pepper benefits:
1. Improves Digestion
Black pepper stimulates the taste buds and increases the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which in turn aids proper digestion. Interestingly, most digestive problems are caused by a lack of hydrochloric acid rather than excess amounts of it.
By improving digestion, black pepper relieves issues like colic, bloating, indigestion, flatulence, and constipation. It also has antibacterial qualities that help treat intestinal diseases caused by bacteria.
2. Stimulates Appetite
Besides adding flavor to your food and promoting digestion, black pepper works as an appetite stimulant. Research has shown that black pepper helps improve the appetite through olfactory stimulation. This makes it an excellent, simple remedy for those with a poor appetite.
An Ayurvedic remedy specifically for this purpose calls for consuming a mixture of one-half teaspoon of black pepper and one tablespoon of jaggery powder (gur). Take this remedy on a regular basis till you see improvement.
3. Facilitates Weight Loss
Although it stimulates the appetite, black pepper also can help you lose weight. The outer layer of peppercorns contains phytonutrients that encourage the breakdown of fat cells.
A 2010 study of the effects of piperine on the metabolism of mice revealed that it suppresses fat accumulation in the body. Also, by improving your metabolism this fat-free food can help you burn calories.
In addition, being a diuretic and diaphoretic herb, it promotes urination and perspiration, which in turn help flush toxins and excess water from the body.
4. Relieves Gas
Being a carminative, black pepper relieves stomach gas and also helps prevent gas formation.
If you are prone to stomach gas, try spicing up your food with black pepper instead of chili powder or peppers.
To cure indigestion and heaviness in your stomach, you can have a glass of buttermilk mixed with one-quarter teaspoon each of black pepper and cumin powder.
You can also massage your belly with black pepper oil mixed with carrier oil (a base oil) to relieve gas pain.
5. Helps Clear 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.
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.
Black pepper and white pepper are safe when used in food amounts and might be safe for most people when used in medicinal amounts. Pepper might have a burning aftertaste. Taking large amounts of black and white pepper by mouth, which can accidentally get into the lungs, has been reported to cause death.