It is popularly true Black pepper as the "healthy sheepmaker". It is preferably known as a spicy companion to a tasty kitchen. 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 illnesses.
Occurrence and cultivation of black pepperBlack pepper stimulates digestion, relieves rheumatic pains, relieves coughs and cramps and fights skin impurities. It doesn't matter if pepper is black, red, green or white, it always comes from the same exotic Velcro plant. For the production of Black pepper the unripe berries are dried in the sun before harvest. The ingredient piperine, which is important for medicinal plant science, goes back to the scientific name of the pepper plant: Piperaceae. It is an alkaloid that is responsible for the sharp taste. The plant is a pepper bush from the pepper family. The scientific name Piper nigrum is the namesake 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 climbing plant that grows up on trees and becomes lignified with age. In uncultivated wild stocks, it can reach heights of up to ten meters.
In cultivated cultivation, however, the pepper plants are limited to a height of three to four meters. Cultivated pepper plants have hermaphroditic flowers. They are inconspicuous and equipped with ten centimeters long spikes that carry fifty to 150 individual flowers. The fruits ripen eight to nine months after fertilization. They are called stone fruits. The pepper harvest takes place twice a year. The perennial climber can remain productive for up to thirty years under good conditions. The natural stocks are native to India.
With the colonization by England and France, the pepper plant became very popular in European countries and the spice was imported in large quantities. The importance of pepper in the late 19th century, early 20th century, the heyday of the English and French colonies, is shown by the fact that pepper itself was even weighed in gold. Nowadays, besides India, Vietnam, Brazil, Malaysia and Brazil are the main growing countries.
Around 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 continues to dominate.
Effect & application
Pepper gets its colors from different processing methods. In addition to black pepper, there are also red, green and white pepper. The most important plant active ingredient is piperine, which is often referred to as an all-purpose medicinal weapon. In addition, derivatives of piperettine, piperylin, piperanine and chavicin have an effect. These derivatives are also known as alkamides (acid amide alkaloids). Other ingredients are flavonoids, fatty oil, rhamnetin, kaempferol and quercetin.
Black pepper stimulates digestion, relieves rheumatic pains, relieves coughs and cramps and fights skin impurities. It is effective against all kinds of colds such as sore throats, bronchitis and fever and counteracts muscle-related tension and pain. The production of new fat cells is inhibited and high blood pressure is reduced.
The spicy ingredients have a warming effect, so Ayurvedic medicine advises people who are often 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 popularly referred to as happiness hormones. As a result, black pepper has a mood-enhancing effect and counteracts depression. So it ensures a general sense of wellbeing.
In the case of digestive disorders, it ensures an orderly secretion of the digestive juices and increases the mobility of the intestinal villi. Hot and bitter substances have been shown to have a positive effect on fat and metabolism.Therefore, black pepper is also a slimming agent. It inhibits the growth of bacteria and acts as a powerful insecticide.
Importance for health, treatment & prevention
The fully grown, green fruits in unpeeled and dried form are used for the healing effect. People perceive the taste of pepper as pungent and burning, which is due to the excitation of pain and heat receptors. The knee-jerk reaction is increased secretion of saliva and gastric juice. Pepper stimulates the appetite while at the same time increasing the release of digestive enzymes. The hot supplicants have a positive effect on the metabolism through the action of the heat receptors.
For this reason, pepper is said to have slimming properties. Anyone who is not familiar with the field of herbalism and medicine must refrain from using the pepper plant in its unprocessed form on their own responsibility, as hot and bitter substances such as flavonoids, alkaloids and essential oils can irritate the skin and mucous membranes. They become concentrated and further broken down.
Naturopathy and medicine therefore only use these ingredients in diluted and potentized form. In particular, intolerance to essential oils and substances contained therein such as menthol in the form of allergies and asthmatic attacks cannot be ruled out. Ayurvedic medicine values pepper because of its stimulating properties on "Agni", which in Sanskrit stands for the life element "fire". According to the ancient Indian healing art, "Agni" also includes all metabolic processes of the human organism.
Western herbalism, which is influenced by the west, describes these processes as oxygen combustion (oxidation) and uses black pepper against all types of digestive disorders so that digestive juices flow again 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 rather “less is sometimes more”, because the mucous membranes and taste receptors of the human organism do not like excessive exposure to pungent ingredients and flavors, which can lead to irritation if overdosed.