BLACK PEPPER or the botanical Name as Piper nigrum has an Indian name of Kali mirch/Milagoo is rich of medicional values. Other namesof this plant are Lada Hitam (Malaysia/ Indonesia) - Black Pepper and Lada Putih Malaysia/ Indonesia) - White Pepper, Pimienta negro (Spanish), الفلفل الأسود (Arabic), poivre noir (French), schwarzer Pfeffer (German), svartpeppar (Sweedish). Pepper is one of the oldest and most important of all spices. It is known as the 'king of spices' .Black pepper is the whole dried fruit, while white is the fruit subjected to the treatment in water with the mesocrap removed. Both varieties are ground and used in a powdered form. Pepper is a native of Western Ghats of India.
Pepper has been used as a spice in India since prehistoric times. Pepper is native to India and has been known to Indian cooking since at least 2000 BC. J. Innes Miller notes that while pepper was grown in southern Thailand and in Malaysia, its most important source was India, particularly the Malabar Coast, in what is now the state of Kerala. Peppercorns were a much prized trade good, often referred to as "black gold" and used as a form of commodity money. The term "peppercorn rent" still exists today.
The ancient history of black pepper is often interlinked with (and confused with) that of long pepper, the dried fruit of closely related Piper longum. The Romans knew of both and often referred to either as just "piper". In fact, it was not until the discovery of the New World and of chile peppers that the popularity of long pepper entirely declined. Chile peppers, some of which when dried are similar in shape and taste to long pepper, were easier to grow in a variety of locations more convenient to Europe.
Properties of pepper
Black pepper is stimulant, pungent, aromatic, digestive and nervine tonic. Black pepper is very useful in in relieving flatulence. Pepper has a stimulating effect on the digestive organs and produces an increased flow of salvia and gastric juices. It is a good home remedy for digestive disorders. Powdered black pepper thoroughly mixed with malted jagerry may be taken in the treatment of such conditions. Pepper is beneficial in the treatment of cold and fever. A pinch of finely ground pepper mixed with honey taken twice day is effective in amnesia or dullness of intellect. Pepper is an effective remedy for cough caused due to throat irritation. Pepper is useful in pyorrhoea or pus in the gums. Powdered pepper and salt mixture when massaged over the gums relieves inflammation.
Black peppercorns figure in remedies in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medicine in India. The 5th century Syriac Book of Medicines prescribes pepper (or perhaps long pepper) for such illnesses as constipation, diarrhea, earache, gangrene, heart disease, hernia, hoarseness, indigestion, insect bites, insomnia, joint pain, liver problems, lung disease, oral abscesses, sunburn, tooth decay, and toothaches. Various sources from the 5th century onward also recommend pepper to treat eye problems, often by applying salves or poultices made with pepper directly to the eye. There is no current medical evidence that any of these treatments has any benefit; pepper applied directly to the eye would be quite uncomfortable and possibly damaging.
(5 Ramadan 1435H)