Useful properties of black pepper and contraindications to its use
The share of black pepper in the spice market is 20%, it is used all over the world, is valued not only for its culinary properties, but is also considered a medicinal plant. The beneficial properties of black pepper and contraindications for use have been successfully used by traditional Ayurveda folk medicine. From India, knowledge spread to Ancient China and other countries of the East. Information about the medicinal properties of the product came to Europe along with the first deliveries of spices.
What does the plant look like and where is it grown?
Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a species of the genus Pepper, originating from India. It is a branching vine with relatively thin, flexible stems up to 15 m long.It gives rise to aerial roots in internodes.
- dark green;
- with parallel venation;
- 8-10 cm long.
Small grayish-yellow or white flowers are collected in a simple brush 7-10 cm long.Over time, it turns into a seed fruit up to 14 cm.Each one consists of 20-30 round drupes with one seed inside, 0.3-0.5 cm in diameter.
The color of the fruit indicates the degree of maturity:
- green – formed ovaries;
- red – ripe;
- black – specially dried fruits.
Black pepper has been known for at least 3000 years and is not found in the wild today..
The culture is grown in the tropics, where it bears fruit twice a year. Leaders in the export of black pepper to the world market:
- Vietnam – 39%;
- Indonesia – 15%;
- India – 10%;
- Brazil – 10%.
Characteristics of black pepper
Most people consume seasoning, and do not even think, for example, that:
- you must be able to choose a spice – it quickly deteriorates;
- red, white, black, green peppers are not different species or varieties, but can be harvested from one plant;
- it is a rather high-calorie product, they do not get fat from it because they consume it in very small doses.
Black pepper is obtained by processing and drying unripe green berries.
In black pepper, useful properties and contraindications are due to the composition.
The spice owes its burning taste and unique aroma to:
- essential oils – 1-2.5% of the total weight;
- alkaloid piperine – 5-9%.
The calorie content of ground black pepper is 251 kcal per 100 g. The same amount of seasoning contains:
- carbohydrates – 38.7%;
- proteins – 10.4%;
- fat – 3.3%.
The composition includes:
- vitamins, most of all – groups B, A;
- ascorbic acid contains 3 times more than lemon;
- minerals – calcium, potassium, selenium, zinc, sodium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, fluorine;
- acids – folic and pantothenic;
- fixed oils;
The main use of black pepper is in cooking:
- seasoning for first and second courses, salads;
- cooking some desserts;
- sauces and gravies;
- canning vegetables;
- additive to liqueurs, coffee, punch, other drinks;
- pepper oil.
Black pepper used:
- in official and traditional medicine, both eastern and western directions;
- in addition to its own medicinal properties, like turmeric, it enhances the effect of some drugs;
- is included, as an integral part, in dietary supplements;
- enhances male potency;
- mild antidepressant;
- weightloss remedy.
How to choose the right one
To a large extent, black pepper has beneficial properties and contraindications depend on the freshness and quality of the spice..
Few people know:
- this product spoils easily, the expiration date on the packaging is not indicated because there is nothing else to write;
- seasoning is very often counterfeited.
Ground black pepper – characteristics of a quality product:
- color – from light brown to brown with a greenish tinge, gray-black powder is of low quality or a lot of foreign inclusions;
- uniform texture without clumping;
- ground pepper diluted in cold or hot water without impurities stains the liquid in a beautiful yellow color, quickly falls into a light precipitate with dark intersperses.
High quality black peppercorns:
- uniform black color with a brown tint;
- the same size;
- diameter of peas – 3-5 mm;
- pungent odor;
- burning taste;
- dense peas, which, if you try to crush them, do not disintegrate into dust, break with great difficulty;
- no debris or powder;
- when soaking, no more than 5% of the grains float.
Useful properties of black pepper and contraindications
A low-quality product, at best, will be useless. If there is the slightest doubt, it is impossible to use a spice for food or for treatment, especially ground – it is not known what impurities are there.
What to use: peas or powder, depends on the recipe and method of application. What is useful for ground black pepper, the same properties have peas, just the active substances from it are released more slowly, and not completely.
Do not expect that once you eat a dish seasoned with black pepper, you can be cured of some kind of disease. Perhaps the person’s mood will improve a little, no more. The product acts on a cumulative basis, only when included in the diet on an ongoing basis.
The exception is large doses of ground or several peas eaten at the same time. Or taking medications, extracts, infusions, using ointments, but also on an ongoing basis.
Due to its rich composition, the spice has the properties:
- thinning and cleansing the blood;
- strengthening the immune system;
- relieve skin inflammation;
- increases the elasticity of blood vessels;
- improves mood;
- dissolves cholesterol plaques;
- breaks down fats.
Official medicine usually uses the spice by mouth to improve appetite and as a stool-fixing agent. Outwardly – in ointments that warm and relieve pain or inflammation. Another product is used in the diet for epilepsy..
Research has shown that black pepper and turmeric can effectively fight neoplasms. But drug development is still at an experimental stage..
The benefits of black pepper for men
It is a natural aphrodisiac that increases male strength. Due to its accelerating and blood-warming properties, with constant use it reduces the risk of prostate diseases.
Piper nigrum ointment helps relieve muscle pain after exercise or sports.
What is useful for women
The fair sex uses black peppercorns for weight loss, as it:
- accelerates metabolic processes;
- aids in digestion;
- stimulates the production of enzymes that break down fat;
- increases gastric motility.
You need to eat 2-3 grams per day, which is quite a lot. Peas are used to make the stomach lining suffer less..
There are remedies for the treatment and growth of hair containing black pepper extract.
Is it possible to give to children
It is better not to rush with spices until the child is 5 years old. Then give in micro doses, observing the reaction of the child’s body.
During the transition period, it is better to limit or even exclude seasoning from the diet.:
- it is a potential irritant that can somewhat increase the emotional arousal inherent in adolescents;
- stimulates the work of the sebaceous glands, which at this age is useless.
Black peppercorns in folk medicine
Alternative medicine attaches more importance to spice treatment than official medicine, uses in such cases:
- hypothermia of the body;
- Alzheimer’s disease;
- tobacco smoking;
- cleansing the respiratory tract;
- stimulation of digestion;
- parasite remedy.
Folk remedies from black pepper do not cancel a visit to the doctor for serious illnesses.
Contraindications of black pepper
The maximum permissible dose of black pepper per day is 5 g. The spice is contraindicated in exacerbations of gastrointestinal diseases..
With caution, the product should be used for such diseases and conditions.:
- children under 5 years old;
- allergies or individual intolerance;
- inflammation of the mouth and throat (ground pepper);
- exacerbation of diseases of the genitourinary system.
You need to stop using black pepper on the eve of a urine or blood test.
Black pepper is not only a spice, but also a medicine, an aphrodisiac, a remedy for strengthening hair and losing weight. With constant moderate consumption, mood and male potency increase..
It is possible to be treated with ground pepper or peas, using high doses of the product, only after consulting the attending physician, without replacing the medicine with the spice. Perhaps the doctor is skeptical about folk remedies, but he should not impose a direct ban on the use of pepper..