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Black Pepper

Item Description

Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as aspice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately 5 millimetres (0.20 in) in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed. Peppercorns, and the powdered pepper derived from grinding them, may be described simply as pepper, or more precisely as black pepper (cooked and dried unripe fruit), green pepper (dried unripe fruit) and white pepper (dried ripe seeds).

Black pepper is native to south India, and is extensively cultivated there and elsewhere in tropical regions. Currently Vietnam is the world's largest producer and exporter of pepper, producing 34% of the world's Piper nigrum crop as of 2008.

Dried ground pepper has been used since antiquity for both its flavour and as a medicine. Black pepper is the world's most traded spice. It is one of the most common spices added to European cuisine and its descendants. The spiciness of black pepper is due to the chemical piperine. It is ubiquitous in the industrialized world, often paired with table salt.

Health Benefits of Black Pepper

Salt and Black Pepper seem to go hand-in-hand when it comes to seasoning our foods. However, many people steer clear of salt because, too much of it and it makes your water retain water. One of the amazing health benefits of Black Pepper is, it actually does the opposite. This spice acts as a diuretic. It also encourages our bodies to sweat and get rid of harmful toxins.

According to the American Spice Trade Association, Black Pepper actually contains sodium. But, it's a minuscule amount. There are about 10 milligrams of sodium in 100 grams of Black Pepper. If you're wondering how much Black Pepper that is, according to the ASTA, it's enough to sprinkle your morning eggs every day for 7 years.

Black Pepper Aids Your Digestion

Over-the-counter medications like Tums, Mylanta and Pepto Bismol are popular because people are constantly plagued with indigestion after they eat. One of the amazing health benefits of Black Pepper is, it actually aids your digestion. When you eat Black Pepper, your taste buds become stimulated. They send signals to your stomach telling it to increase its production of hydrochloric acid. This acid helps your body digest food so you don't suffer from indigestion. Black Pepper can also help prevent the formation of intestinal gas and reduce stomach upset.

Black Pepper and Anorexia

For people who suffer from mild Anorexia, Black Pepper can also help them regain their appetite because it stimulates their taste buds.

Black Pepper and Congestion

Are you suffering from a chest cold? Add Black Pepper to your diet, and this spice will help break-up the congestion, especially if you add it to a strong, steaming hot cup of mint tea.

Black Pepper and Healing Cuts

Another amazing health benefit of Black Pepper is, that it's a handy spice to have in the kitchen for when you cut yourself. The next time you have a minor cut, sprinkle Black Pepper on it. It will help stop the bleeding. Plus, it's antibacterial properties will promote healing and kill germs.

Storing Black Pepper

Black Pepper is ground-up Peppercorns (berries) that come from the Piper nigrum L vine. The freshest, most potent Black Pepper you can get is to buy Peppercorns and grind them up as you need them. To keep them fresh, store Peppercorns and ground Black Pepper in airtight containers away from light.