Benefits of Black Pepper
Piper Nigrum, or Black Pepper as it is more commonly known, is often hailed as the king of spices. It has many healing properties and is used extensively in Ayurvedic remedies. No wonder then that this spice was once used as currency and is still used in many ritual offerings as a sacred component. Such is the importance of Black Pepper. The characteristic and unique taste of this spice is because of an active component in it called ‘piperine’. The good thing about this spice is that it is not seasonal and is available throughout the year, making it widely available and accessible.
You might have come across Black Pepper in most of the dishes consumed every day. It is most commonly used in soups to stimulate appetite and bring an overall feeling of goodness and balance to the body. Here are a few more health benefits of Black Pepper:
Stomach: Well-being starts from having a healthy stomach and a healthy digestive system. Black pepper prevents the formation of too much intestinal gas. Being a diuretic, it can also promote sweating and urination, which remove toxins from the body at appropriate intervals. In addition to this, it can help you lose weight. Furthermore, a number of studies support the beneficial effects of this spice on gastric mucosal damage and peptic ulcers. This is due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Skin: Vitiligo is a skin disease that causes some areas of the skin to lose its usual pigmentation. The Piperine content in Black Pepper can stimulate the affected areas to produce the skin pigment. In some cases, Black Pepper has also been known to reduce the chances of skin cancer caused due to excessive ultraviolet radiation.
Respiration/Breathing: Black Pepper has an expectorant property that helps it break up mucus and phlegm depositions in the respiratory tract. This property makes it ideal for fighting sinusitis and nasal congestion. Thus, we find the spice being used in tonics for colds and coughs.
Antibacterial Qualities: Regular use of Black Pepper in the diet helps keep your arteries clean and scrapes away excess cholesterol from the walls. Its antibacterial property also helps fight against infections and insect bites.
Cognitive and Neurological Health: In many studies, Piperine has been shown to reduce memory problems and cognitive malfunctions. There is research that demonstrates the potential of Black Pepper to benefit patients of Alzheimer’s, dementia and other age-related malfunctions in cognitive functions.
Alongside all these benefits, Ayurvedic usage of Black Pepper ranges from treatments for ear-aches, gangrene, hernia, hoarseness, tooth decay, toothache and vision problems.
So adding a pinch of Black Pepper to your meals regularly can go a long way in keeping your health in balance. However, like with all things, any excess is bad and so do refrain from undue usage. Please check with your dietician about how you can include this king of spices in your everyday diet. You can consult a CARE Hospitals dietician here.