Black pepper is native to south India and is extensively cultivated there and has been used since antiquity for both its flavour and as a traditional medicine. This is why it is also called as black gold and is currently the most widely traded spice in the world, accounting for 20 percent of all spice imports.
The spiciness of black pepper is due to the chemical piperine an not capsaicin which is characteristic of chili peppers. Different methods of processing of the same peppercorn yeilds different types of pepper - the cooked and dried unripe fruit is black pepper, the green pepper is from the dried and unripe fruit, and white pepper are the seeds from the ripened fruit of the plant.
Pepper is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia and has been known to Indian cooking since at least 2000 BCE and at various times also used as a form of commodity money. It is now very ubiquitous in the modern world as a seasoning and is often paired with salt.
As mentioned earlier Pepper has also been used since antiquity as a traditional medicine and helps to alleviate multiple aliments such as:
- Helps improve digestion - Pepper increases the hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach and helps to prevent the formation of intestinal gas. it can also promote sweating and urination, which remove toxins from the body.
- Enables weight loss - The outermost layer pf pepper contains phytonutrients, which helps to break down fat cells, and also increases metabolism.
- Skin Health - Crushed pepper is one of the best exfoliators nature has provided us. It also enables blood circulation, and provides the skin with more oxygen. Pepper is also known to help cure Vitiligo, the piperine content of pepper can stimulate the skin to produce pigment.
- Relieves cold and cough - Ayurvedic texts recommend adding pepper to tonics for cold and cough. Pepper's expectorant property helps to break up the mucus and phlegm depositions in the respiratory tract and it's antibacterial properties helps in speeding up recovery.
The story of the king of spices is still being written and history has been influenced multiple times due to it. Leave a comment below if you know any amazing facts or medicinal benefits about pepper!
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