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Black Pepper

BLACK PEPPER is called The King of Spices. It was more valuable than gold, in old days.

· Spice

While I was ready to finish my work and head home at normal decent time, I saw my friend rushing to me. Her eyes looked pale and sad. Her grey top was making her face look gloomier than the cold wintery evening. She urged “let’s grab a coffee”. I tried to dodge her invitation, “I am ok , ready to hit the road”…she was persistent… Watching her I gave in… As we sat in a coffee shop with our frothy lattes, she started pouring her heart out. She was tired of smoking and needed help quitting. She explained how her finances and her relationship were taking toll due to her addiction.

In pursuit of helping her, I came across the interesting fact about black pepper. Never knew that black pepper can help quit smoking !!!

Many people have successfully quit smoking after inhaling black pepper oil, which causes a warming sensation in the throat and chest. This sensation curbs the craving to smoke. Black pepper oil (piper nigrum) is said to be one of the most effective quit smoking oils because inhaling it stimulates the respiratory system in a way that gives a feeling of smoking cigarette, which helps reduce cravings and anxiety.​

Moving on…
BLACK PEPPER is called The King of Spices. It was more valuable than gold, in old days.

Where, How and more ….
Until recently India was largest producer of black pepper till Vietnam took over… but Indian pepper is rated as the best tasting pepper. The “secret” land of pepper which is India’s Malabar Coast, is still the best-tasting pepper in the world. Indian black pepper is considered the best because it’s mainly rich in piperine, the key compound that gives black pepper its signature flavor and aroma.

Black pepper grows on perennial vines. Black pepper originates from the berries of the pepper plant.
Three types of peppers black, green and white peppercorns are all actually the same fruit, the difference in their color is a because of changing stages of development and processing methods:

  • Black peppercorns are made by picking the pepper berries when they are half ripe and just about to turn red. They are then left to dry which causes them to shrink and become dark in color. Piperine is most abundant in black pepper.
  • Green peppercorns are picked while still unripe and thus green in color.
  • White peppercorns are picked when very ripe and afterward soaked in salt-water to remove their dark outer shell leaving just the white pepper seed.

Black pepper is available whole, crushed or ground powder form. To guarantee best flavor, buy whole peppercorns and grind them yourself in a mill just before adding to a recipe. Store black peppercorns in a metal, plastic, or glass peppermill, not wood. Wood will leak pepper of its volatile oils.

Health benefits

1. Black pepper is excellent for weight loss.

Black pepper is perfect when it comes to extracting nutrients from food. It's outermost layer contains phytonutrients, which helps to break down fat cells and increases metabolism. When you start sweating after eating black pepper, that's the helping your body to get rid of excess water and toxins. But caution – like every other spice you need to eat enough a pinch with your food (one meal) is perfect. Studies shows that piperine may block the formation of new fat cells, it interferes with the activity of genes that control the formation of new fat cells. Thus, it may help fight obesity.

2. Black pepper helps deal with depression.

It's said that the piperine in black pepper helps to deal with depression. It stimulates the brain function and helps by making it more active.

3. Black pepper helps with post-stroke swallowing. 

After a stroke, many people suffer from dysphagia—difficulty swallowing. The team of Japanese researchers found that sniffing black pepper oil for one minute helped improve the ability to swallow in people who had suffered a stroke.
Helping brain-damaged children on feeding tubes. In a another study, the Japanese researchers found that sniffing black pepper oil could stimulate the appetite of neurologically damaged children on feeding tubes, helping them eat more solid foods.
“Inhalation of black pepper oil . . . might benefit older post-stroke patients with dysphagia, regardless of their level of consciousness or physical or mental status,” concluded the researchers in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.

Home remedies:

1. For a person suffering from diarrhea, feed plain rice with little salt and pepper. This will help the stomach to get settled and the person will regain some energy.
2. For congestion, drink a glass of lukewarm water mixed with one-half tablespoon of black pepper powder to clear the respiratory system.
3. To increase digestion, mix 2 tsp grated fresh ginger, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp honey, ¼ tsp ground black pepper, ¼ tsp black salt and store in glass jar in the refrigerator. Take small amount before every meal.
4. For loss of appetite, grind 5 to 6 black pepper and make a paste by mixing with natural honey. This preparation is useful as appetite stimulant.