Black Pepper from Currency to Common Spice

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The history of black pepper reads like a page from the explorer’s handbook!

In the 15th century this spice helped to open trade routes to the spice growing regions of the east. 

It was once traded ounce for ounce with precious metals.

During the Middle Ages black pepper was used to pay dowries, taxes, rents and anything else that currency was used for.

When the British moved into India it meant that black pepper was much easier to access so it lost its value and became the common spice it remains today.

Anyone that has bought black pepper recently knows that although it is common it is still fairly expensive as spices go.

Black pepper has magical uses as well.  Its element is fire and the ruling planet of pepper is Mars.  In magic pepper is used for protection and for exorcism.

Hard to imagine that this very ordinary spice was once an exciting adventurer.

Black Pepper for Health

Throughout its exciting history black pepper has also been used for healing.  The main properties of pepper are

  • Digestive
  • Carminative
  • Diaphoretic
  • Diuretic
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Anti-Bacterial

Digestive Carminative

Pepper induces increased stomach acid from the moment it enters the mouth.  The increase in acid causes food to be digested much more quickly and as a carminative pepper eliminates gas and bloating.  This means that simply adding pepper to your daily meals can help with digestive issues.

Diaphoretic

The diaphoretic nature of pepper means that it increases sweat.  During the cold season this is an excellent feature because the quickest way to get rid of cold and flu is to sweat it out.

It is also an excellent feature for people that get chilled easily.  Adding pepper to meals can assist in keeping them warm.  It can also be placed into shoes for those with cold feet.  This is normally accomplished using cayenne pepper but black pepper will work as well.  Use caution though, too much of either pepper can cause burning and blistering.  Start with a very small amount and work up to more.  If you feel any discomfort stop.

 Diuretic

Pepper is an excellent diuretic.  For those retaining water simply remove table salt from your diet and increase your use of pepper.  Too much pepper for those on diuretics can cause problems.  Kidneys can be overworked through the use of diuretics so if you are already taking a prescription diuretic or treating yourself with an herbal diuretic please do not add more. 

Remember that natural or not herbs and any medications, vitamins and supplements interact with each other and you need to be very careful when mixing them to understand how the “natural” products will effect what you are already taking.

A recent study has shown excellent results for the antibacterial properties of pepper.  This study also states that pepper is good as an antifungal.

Black pepper has also been used for rheumatoid arthritis, pain and has even been used as an aphrodisiac.

The next time you sit down to a meal just think of all that black pepper can do for you.