Black Pepper - The spice with multiple benefits
Black pepper is a favorite spice used for seasoning. Although Vietnam is the largest producer of black pepper in the world, it is also grown in other tropical regions and is native to South India. Incidentally, pepper is one of the world’s most traded spice and has played a significant role in shaping the 'Trade history of the world.'
Once considered as black gold, and an expensive commodity meant only for the wealthy and elite, Black Pepper has traveled to Greece and Ancient Roman Empires from the ports of Malabar regions of South India. Even the etymology of the word 'Pepper' stands to support the nativity of the spice. The word pepper comes from the Greek word Peperi, which inherits it from the Sanskrit word Pippali.
Traditionally Pepper is believed to have many curing properties and has been used widely in many folk medicines. Black pepper increases digestive strength and is useful in abdominal colic and pain. Like dry ginger, it can penetrate deep even into minute channels of the body. The scrapping effect it has over the intestines is said to be useful in clearing infestation of intestinal worms. It also treats obesity by reliving fat deposition and blocking fat cell formation.
Pepper is also very useful in treating Vata disorders like bloating of the stomach. It balances Kapha and reduces the production of sputum. Pepper, also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It acts against toxins in the colon and is potent against tumors. For women with Amenorrhea, black pepper is used to induce periods and also to treat hyperthyroidism. But since black pepper is hot by nature it can increase Pitta in the body. So people with Pitta disorders are advised to consume it in moderation.