Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Healing Herb of India: Black pepper (Piper nigrum)

Black pepper (Piper nigrum, family Piperaceae), a native of India, occupies a prominent place in Indian kitchens owing to its aromatic, culinary & medicinal properties. It is also cultivated in other countries such as Egypt and Madagascar. 

Black pepper is rich in iron, manganese & dietary fiber. Piperine, a principle alkaloid found in black pepper helps in promoting brain functions, inhibits metabolism of nutrients present in body, improves digestion and reduces the incidence of stomach ulcers and colon cancer. It also acts as an anti-depressant. The fruits are widely used as an active ingredient in various home remedies for a variety of illnesses such as colic, tooth decay, liver problems, lung disease, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea and urinary disorders. 

Find in this post some useful natural remedies with black pepper that would help to deal with common health ailments.
  • To cure all kinds of cough, grind black pepper and add sugar to it. Take it with clarified butter.
  • Grind 5-6 black pepper & mix with honey. Lick this paste to relieve dry cough. This remedy is also effective as appetite stimulant.
  • To cure toothache, mix powdered black pepper in clove oil. Apply this paste on the affected part.
  • In case of indigestion, mix black pepper powder in ginger juice. Take this formulation after meals.
  • Chewing 8-10 black pepper in betel leaf is known to help in gaining weight.
  • Take a cup of water and add to it ¼ tsp black pepper, 2 tsp lemon juice and honey. Drinking the same would help a person in reducing weight.
  • To treat sexual debility, heat a tsp of clarified butter in a pan & add 3-4 black pepper to it, followed by a glass of milk. Now add 3-4 crushed almonds and let it come to a boil. Add sugar to taste. This formulation is beneficial when taken at bed time.
  • To keep a check on cholesterol level, add ¼ tsp black pepper powder in a glass of butter milk. Mix finely diced onion to it and drink.
  • For treating skin allergies and eczema, prepare a paste by mixing black pepper powder in clarified butter. Topical application of this paste is said to be beneficial.
  • For asthma, boil 8-10 black pepper, 2 clove buds & about 10 basil leaves in water for 15 minutes. Filter and add two tsp honey. Drink the same with milk.
  • Take equal amounts of powdered black pepper, cinnamon, cumin & cardamom seeds.  Sniffing the same would induce sneezing and help treat blocked nose. 
  • While preparing tea, add 2-4 black pepper powder, ginger, a clove and few basil leaves. It works as anti-tussive and is also effective against cold.
  • Administrating powdered black pepper with jaggery is said to be effective in curing chronic cold.
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