Scientifically called Piper nigrum, black pepper is a flowering vine that is cultivated for its fruit. This fruit is dried and used as spice and seasoning – and this is the black pepper most of us are familiar with. The dried fruit is known as peppercorn. There are three types of peppercorns – black, green, and white.
The spice is native to South India and other parts of South Asia and has been used in Indian cooking since 2000 BC. The source of pepper exports to neighboring countries was the Malabar Coast, which is present-day Kerala.
- Black pepper stimulates the digestive juices and enzymes, thereby promoting digestion.
- Black pepper also has carminative properties and helps relieve stomach gas. It can also relieve flatulence and colicky pain. Replacing chili powder in your meals with black pepper can treat flatulence.
- Reports have shown that piperine in black pepper can lower blood pressure in animals, and similar effects can be expected in human beings.
- Piperine in black pepper, the very compound that makes you sneeze, also fights the formation of fat cells.