Introduction of Black Pepper:Piper or pepper fruit.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Black Pepper, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Piper nigrum L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Black Pepper, brief history of black pepper, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Black Pepper(Piper).

Piper nigrum:growing plant with green pepper fruit English Name: Black Pepper.
 Latin Name: Piper nigrum L.
 Common Names: Piper, pepper fruit, Fructus piperis nigrum
 Property and flavor: heat in nature, tastes pungent.

 Brief introduction: Black pepper is the dried berries of Piper nigrum, the dried berry-like fruit is freed from the pericarp, and collected before maturing. Dried black pepper is a common spice in European-style dishes. Since ancient times, black pepper has highly value for its dual value in seasoning and medicine. The fragrance of black pepper comes from its piperine. Black pepper, often referred to as "pepper", is one of the most widely used spices in the world.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb black pepper as the dried berry fruit of the species (1).Piper nigrum L. It is a plant species of the Piper genus, the Piperaceae family (pepper family). The fruit and leaves are used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Piper nigrum L.

 Piper nigrum:growing plant Botanical description: Piper nigrum is climbing vines, it grows up to 5 meters long. Nodes are significantly enlarged, often with fibrous roots. Leaves are alternate; Petiole length is 1~2 cm; The leaves are thick leathery, broadly ovate or ovoid-oblong, 9~15 cm long, and 5~9 cm wide. The apex is short, the base is round, and it is often slightly inclined. The veins are 5~7. The uppermost pair is 1.5~3.5 cm away from the midvein, and the rest grows on the basal. Flowers are usually unisexual, monoecious, rarely polygamous, and without perianth; Spikes are opposite to leaves, shorter or nearly as long as leaves; Total pedicel is nearly as long as petiole; Bracts are spoon-shaped oblong, 3~3.5 mm long, the lower part attach to the inflorescence axis, and the upper part is shallow cup-shaped; 2 stamens, anthers are kidney-shaped, filaments are thick and short; Ovary is spherical, 3~4 stigma. Berry is spherical, 3~6 mm in diameter, it turns red when mature, and black after drying when immature. Its flowering period is from June to October.

 Piper nigrum:growing plant with fruits Ecological environment: Piper nigrum is native to Southeast Asia, it is now widely planted in tropical areas, mainly in tropical Asia and the Caribbean.

 Growth characteristics: Piper nigrum is a plant that belongs to the tropical temperate area. It is suitable for growing in areas with an annual average temperature of 22~28 °C (Celsius, or 71.6~82.4 degrees Fahrenheit) and annual rainfall of 1,800~2,800 mm. When the average temperature of ten days is 15 °C (Celsius, or 59 degrees Fahrenheit), it basically stops growing. Shading is necessary at the seedling stage and initial planting stage, and need sufficient sunshine at the adult stage. Vine branches grow climbing, afraid of strong wind harm, should choose a quiet wind environment for cultivation. Deep, fertile, ventilated, water-retaining, and slightly acidic soil is necessary, and water damage and plague are easy to occur when it is too wet or accumulated.

 Characters of herbs: Generally, after planting, flowers will be capped from the 2nd to 3rd year and could be harvested after 3~4 years. The fruit spikes are first dried, then peeled, and fully dried, which is the commercial black pepper. Soak the spikes in running water until the peel rots and peels, and dry it in the sun to get the commercial white pepper.

 Piper nigrum:black pepper The fruit of black pepper is nearly spherical, 3~6 mm in diameter. The surface is dark brown to gray-black, with raised reticular wrinkles, tiny stigma residues at the top, and scars at the base that fall off from the fruit stalk. The texture of black pepper is hard, the exocarp is peelable, the endocarp is gray-white or light yellow, and the fracture surface is yellowish-white, powdery, with a small gap in the center. The herb has an aromatic fragrance, it tastes spicy. The herb of better grade has big and full grains, black color, wrinkled skin, and a strong smell.

 White Pepper corn White peppercorn is nearly spherical, 3~6 mm in diameter. The outer part is endocarp, the surface is gray-white, and smooth, and there are many light-colored linear veins between the apex and the base. The better grade of white pepper is the large, round, firm, white and with strong aroma. White pepper is made from mature berries of Piper nigrum soaked in water for a few days, then peeled. White pepper tastes milder and is more commonly used in Asia. White pepper is suitable for making light sauces, cooking fish, seafood, stews, etc.

 Green pepper corn Green peppercorn is a kind of pepper fruit, which is made by soaking and pickling immature pepper fruit with salt water or vinegar, or freeze-drying. Green pepper tastes mild and slightly fruity. Green pepper is common in Asian dishes such as Thai food.

 A brief history of black pepper: Black pepper seeds were found in the nostrils of the mummy of Pharaoh Ramses II (1303~ 1213 B.C., third king of the 19th dynasty of ancient Egypt), which should had been put in the mummification ceremony shortly after the death of Pharaoh in year 1213 B.C.. Today, little is known about the use of pepper in Ancient Egypt and the way pepper was transported from India to the Nile valley.

 Piper longum:growing plant As early as the 4th century B.C., the Greeks knew about the existence of pepper and piper longum: although pepper was probably rare and expensive at that time, only the very rich people could buy it. At that time, pepper was transported to Europe through land trade or waterway routes along the Arabian Sea. Piper longum produced in southwest India is easier to obtain than pepper produced in the south; Because of the advantages of the Piper longum trade and the stronger fragrance of Piper longum, the popularity of Piper longum in that era may have surpassed that of black pepper.

 Piper longum:herb photo The English word "pepper" is derived from the Latin word "piper". Romans used the word "piper" to express pepper and Piper longum because they mistakenly thought that these two different spices were from the same plant. The ancient history of black pepper is often associated (and confused) with piper longum. Romans knew these two plants, but they only used a "piper" to describe them. In fact, it wasn't until we arrived in the New World and discovered peppers that Piper longum was no longer popular with Europeans. Because some chilies are similar in shape and taste to Piper longum after drying, chilies can be cultivated in a wider area, which is a great convenience for Europeans.

 Before the end of the Middle Ages, black pepper in the markets of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa came from Malabard. In the 16th century, pepper was cultivated in Java, Sunda Islands, Sumatra, Madagascar, Malaysia, and other parts of Southeast Asia, but most of the peppers grown in these areas were used for trade with China or to meet local demand. The port in Malabard is also a transit port for spice trade in the Far East in the Indian Ocean.

 Piper nigrum:growing plant Black pepper, together with other commodities from India and the Far East, initiated the era of geographical discovery and changed the course of world history. These precious commodities are one of the reasons that prompted Europeans to look for new Indian routes and establish colonies; At the same time, in the process of finding new routes, Europeans discovered and colonized America.

 In the early days of the Roman Empire (ancient state, 27 B.C.~476 A.D.), especially in the first 30 years after the Roman conquest of Egypt, the trade routes across the Arabian Sea to the Malabar coast of South India began to get busy. According to Strabo (64 B.C.~ 21 A.D., Greek geographer and historian, author of Geography), a Greek geographer, the early Roman Empire sent a fleet of about 120 seagoing ships to trade with India every year. The fleet crosses the Arabian Sea regularly every year to catch up with the annual monsoon. When returning from India, the fleet will dock in the port of the Red Sea, and arrive at the Nile by land or canal, then from the Nile to Alexandria, and finally, be shipped to Italy and Rome. In the 1,500 years before the discovery of the new route, the route of trading spices such as pepper to Europe was roughly the same as this route. Although it is expensive, black pepper was a famous and widely used condiment in the Roman Empire. Most recipes in the 3rd century cookbook De re coquinaria of Apicius (Roman gourmand Marcus Gabius Apicius) recorded that pepper was necessary.

 In ancient Europe, valuable pepper was often used as collateral or even currency. With the fall of Rome, the delicious taste of pepper and its monetary value was seized by the conquerors. It is said that in the 5th century, when Alaric I of Visigoth (Alaric I, King of the Visigoths from 395 to 410 A.D.) and Attila the Hun surrounded Rome, they both asked Rome to offer more than one ton of pepper. After the fall of Rome, other countries began to intervene in the spice trade: first Persia, then Arabia; Innes Miller cited an account of Byzantine writer Cosmas Indikop Leites who had traveled eastward to India as evidence that "pepper was still imported into Europe from India in the 6th century". At the end of the dark ages, after entering the Mediterranean, trade was monopolized by Italian merchants, especially Venice and Genoa (Genova). To a great extent, the spice trade is one of the reasons for the rise of these city-states.

 piper trade and merchant ship In the Middle Ages (Middle Ages, the period in European history from the collapse of Roman civilization in the 5th century CE to the period of the Renaissance), the price of pepper was extremely high-and the trade of pepper in Europe was monopolized by the Italians-which became an inducement for the Portuguese to seek new routes to India. In 1498, Vasco da Gama (Portuguese navigator, 1460~1524 A.D.), became the first European to reach India by sea. The Arabs in Kallikat asked why they came here, and he replied, "We are here to find Christians and spices." After completing the first voyage to India, bypassing Southern Africa, numerous Portuguese people quickly poured into the Arabian Sea and seized the absolute control of the Arabian Sea trade with the powerful naval fire. This is the first time that European countries have extended their power to Asia. The Treaty of Tordesillas signed in the year 1494 legitimized this power expansion (The Treaty of Tordesillas, signed on June 7, 1494, agreement between Spain and Portugal aimed at settling conflicts over lands newly discovered or explored by Christopher Columbus and other late 15th-century voyagers), and the treaty recognized Portugal's exclusive right to half of the world, including pepper-producing areas.

 piper trade and warship The Portuguese soon proved that they could not control the spice trade. Venetians and Arabs successfully crossed the blockade of Portugal and imported a lot of spices; Therefore, in addition to the new route along with Africa, the old route between Alexandria and Italy still exists. By the 17th century, Portugal's position in the Indian Ocean was replaced by Holland and Britain. In the 1590s, the Netherlands even declared war on Portugal for the right to trade pepper. From 1661 to 1663 A.D., all the pepper ports on the Malabar coast fell into Dutch hands.

 Due to the increase in the quantity of pepper imported into Europe, the price of pepper began to fall. Pepper, which was exclusively enjoyed by the rich in the early Middle Ages, began to enter ordinary people's kitchen and became a daily seasoning. The proportion of pepper in the world spice trade has also increased to one-fifth share.

 Pharmacological actions: ①.anticonvulsant effect; ②.Insecticidal effect; ③.Cholagogic effect; ④.Increase blood pressure; etc.

 Related studies found the herb black pepper stimulates the thermal receptors and increases the secretion of saliva and gastric mucus. It has an antimicrobial effect. It influences the liver and metabolic functions, and has an insecticidal effect. The herb also has an anticonvulsant effect, the amide compounds of black pepper have an insecticidal effect on Toxocara canis, and its components piperonal, piperine, and piperine B show an inhibition effect on the development of Drosophila larvae; Black pepper has a cholagogic effect and increase bile secretion and decreased solid substance in animal experiment, it also increases blood pressure.

 Medicinal efficacy: Traditionally black pepper is used for stomach disorders and digestion problems, neuralgia, and scabies. In homeopathic applications, black pepper is used for irritation of the mucous membranes and galactorrhea. TCM books recorded the herb functions to warm the middle and exhausting Qi, descending Qi and relieving pain, relieving diarrhea, boosting appetite, and detoxification. It is indicated for stomach cold and stomachache, vomiting, poor appetite, fish and crab poison, etc.

 Administration of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)
Herbal classic books and TCM Books: In Europe, the herb is recommended at single doses 0.3~0.6 grams, the daily dosage is 1.5 grams. Homeopathic dosage is recommended 5 to 10 drops, 1 tablet, or 5 to 10 globules 1~3 times a day or from D4:1 mL injection solution sc twice-weekly. In TCM, the herb is recommended internally as water decoction, 1~3 grams, or prepare into pill, powder. Externally proper amount, prepare to finely ground herb powder and apply mixed, or prepare to plaster for stick application.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: TCM books recorded that the herb black pepper should be avoided in case of Yin deficiency with excessive fire.

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