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Pepper Black | Plant Lexica

Pepper Black

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  • Botanical: Piper nigrum
  • Family: Piperaceae
  • Hits: 3759
Pepper Black


Piper nigrum



Known as

Black pepper, Pfeffer

Old Use


Parts Used

fruit, seed


sharp, spicy


antiseptic, arthritis, bronchitis, bronchitis, colds, digestion, laxative, joint inflammation, joint pain, pain relief, vomiting

Hormone & Sexual Organs

uterine prolapse

Infection & Inflammation

fever, infections

Muscle & Joints

arthritis, joint inflammation, joint pain

Mind & Nerves


Respiratory System

colds, cough, sore throat

Stomach & Intestinal

abdominal pain, constipation, laxative, stomach weakness, vomiting


antiseptic, carminative, digestive, emmenagogue, febrifuge, rubefacient


Pepper plants are climbers which grow to a height or length of 10 m or more. When its main stem is established, it grows lots of side shoots to create a bushy column.

The plants form short roots, called adventitious roots, which connect to surrounding supports.

Although black pepper is cultivated in many tropical regions, it is native to Kerala State in India where it still occurs wild in the mountains.

Leaves - arranged alternately on the stems. They are shaped like almonds and taper towards the tip. They are dark green and shiny above but paler green below.

Flowers - grow in clusters along flowering stalks known as spikes. Between 50 to 150 whitish to yellow-green flowers are produced on a spike.

Fruits - the flowers develop into round, berry-like fruits. There may be 50-60 fruits on each spike. They grow to a diameter of 4 to 6 mm, each containing a single seed. Fruits are green at first but they turn red as they ripen. These fruits are picked when either green or red to produce black and white pepper.

Traditional Use

Aromatic, stimulant, carminative; is said to possess febrifuge properties. Its action as a stimulant is specially evident on the mucous membrane of the rectum, and so is good for constipation, also on the urinary organs; externally it is a rubefacient, useful in relaxed conditions of the rectum when prolapsed; sometimes used in place of cubebs for gonorrhoea; given in combination with aperients to facilitate their action, and to prevent griping.

As a gargle it is valued for relaxed uvula, paralysis of the tongue. On account of its stimulant action it aids digestion and is specially useful in atonic dyspepsia and torbid condition of the stomach. It will correct flatulence and nausea. It has also been used in vertigo, paralytic and arthritic disorders. It is sometimes added to quinine when the stomach will not respond to quinine alone.

It has also been advised in diarrhoea, cholera, scarlatina, and in solution for a wash for tinea capititis. Piperine should not be combined with astringents, as it renders them inert.


White pepper may increase the risk of bleeding. Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or those taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.

White pepper may cause low blood pressure. Caution is advised in patients with low blood pressure and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood pressure.
White pepper may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.

White pepper may interfere with the way the body processes certain drugs using the liver's cytochrome P450 enzyme system. As a result, the levels of these drugs may be changed in the blood and may cause different effects or potentially serious adverse reactions. Patients using any medications should check the package insert and speak with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.

Drowsiness or sedation may occur. Use cautiously in patients using drugs that affect the central nervous system. Use caution if driving or operating heavy machinery.
Use cautiously in patients with liver, thyroid, or autoimmune disorders, or in patients trying to become pregnant and in their partners.
Avoid inhaling into the lungs.
Avoid getting into eyes. White pepper may cause redness and burning.


Black pepper is native to south India, and is extensively cultivated there and elsewhere in tropical regions.


Piperine, which is identical in composition to morphia, volatile oil, a resin called Chavicin. Its medicinal activities depends mainly on its pungent resin and volatile oil, which is colourless, turning yellow with age, with a strong odour, and not so acrid a taste as the peppercorn; it also contains starch, cellulose and colouring.

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