Originating from the Spice Garden of India, black pepper is a flowering vine. Historically, this miniature spice was once considered to be the king of spices. Being one of the earliest trade items between India and Europe, black pepper was even called ‘black gold’. The tender, green vine is grown for its fruit, called peppercorn. This fruit is cooked and dried to form the special seasoning for various dishes in different parts of the world.
However, black pepper is more than just a seasoning. Its efficiency as a spice can be equated to its medicinal benefits. Surprised to hear this?
Well then, here are 8 incredible ways in which black pepper can be your healthy companion:
1. Helps protect against cancer
Piperine, a constituent found in black pepper, is scientifically proven to exert antitumour activities in a variety of cancers. Michigan's Cancer Institute has also revealed that black pepper can prevent the growth of cancerous stem cells in breast tumors(1). However, the researchers had used black pepper along with another spice called turmeric (both spices found in Hearty Spices turmeric latte mix) to identify this significant strength of black pepper.
2. Improves Digestive Health
Poor digestion and diarrhea are the results of improper stomach function. Black pepper can stimulate the release of enzymes in the pancreas and the excretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach(2). This, in turn, smoothens your gastrointestinal processes and improves digestive health.
3. Helps Curb Constipation
Black pepper, in limited quantities and regularly can be effective in curbing constipation and its ill-effects(3). Just a pinch, daily, can possibly put a closure to your stomach-related woes.
4. Relieves Nasal Congestion and Sinus
Mucus or phlegm in the respiratory tract can lead to serious nasal congestion and conditions like sinusitis. If you have faced such problems, often leading to cough and cold, you can try black pepper as your go-to seasoning(4). As a traditional recipe, black pepper is consumed with honey to relieve chest congestion and blocked nose.
5. May Reduce Joint Pain
For arthritis patients, the pain caused due to joint inflammation can get extremely frustrating. Black pepper when taken along with another spice, turmeric, is a powerful piperine-curcumin duo that may reduce the pain and subsequent swelling. The anti-inflammatory property makes it a good remedy to try for such pains(5,6).
6. Acts as a body-detox and weight-loss agent
Researchers have also found black pepper to be an effective agent to help with weight loss, acne, and other interventions of toxins in the body, thanks to phytonutrients present in black pepper. Its daily consumption in small amounts, especially with honey and warm water, can help detox your body and improve your skin.
7. Helps Improve Skin Conditions
When skin loses its normal pigmentation, it starts turning white. This disease is called Vitiligo and the patients have to undergo severe UV therapy as a medication. However, black pepper can revive the production of melanocytes in the body and help to restore the normal colour of the skin(7).
Besides Vitiligo, the regular consumption of black pepper also helps prevent premature aging and keeps your skin healthy and glowing.
8. Improves Mental Health
While taking care of physical health, mental well-being is often forgotten. But shouldn't mental well being be given just as much or more importance?
Black pepper can act as a mood alleviating agent and help to keep your mind calm and peaceful. Because of its ability to prevent free radicals from damaging the brain cells, it can even improve the cognitive function of the brain(8,9).
If you would like to include the benefits of black pepper, turmeric and many other extremely beneficial spices to your diet in a single drink, you can purchase a packet of our hearty spices turmeric latte spice mix right here.