Black pepper known as “kali mirch” in hindi is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. When dried, the fruit is known as a peppercorn. Peppercorns, and the ground pepper derived from them, may be described simply as pepper, or more precisely as black pepper (cooked and dried unripe fruit), green pepper (dried unripe fruit) and white pepper (ripe fruit seeds). It is a common sight to see spice mills filled with pepper on many a dining table. It has a better flavour and aroma compared to readymade pepper powders. Crushed pepper is great for sprinkling over salads, soups, sandwiches or even a cup of tea. Here are black pepper benefits for overall health.
Black pepper benefits for health, skin and hair with disadvantages and black pepper recipes
Black pepper Benefits for health
Cough and Cold
This spice acts as a remedy for cough and cold. The antibacterial properties of black pepperfor treating respiratory disorders.
Flu and Congestion
Black pepper benefits in treating diseases caused due to bacteria. The influence of black pepper can be observed while treating conditions like constipation, diarrhea and colic. Very important among black pepper benefits.
Free Radical Suspension
It generates free radical killing action that curbs the cancerous activities in the body.
The use of black pepper in diet helps to improve skin conditions and black pepper benefits in weight loss.
Black pepper is a natural anti-depressant. Piperine present in black pepper acts as an anti-depressant and stimulates the nervous system.
Black pepper can be known as natural antibiotic due to the vitamin C content. It curbs harmful free radical reactions (4).
Black pepper eases the digestion process by secreting hydrochloric acid as an alert before food consumption and hence, helps in the prevention of diseases related to the intestine and the stomach.
Benefits of Black pepper for skin
The high amount of antioxidants present in black pepper benefits skin by protecting it against the symptoms of premature aging such as fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots. Add black pepper to daily diet and see miraculous black pepper benefits for skin (5).
Black pepper is a well-known fighter which fights against skin cancer that is caused by excessive exposure to harmful UV radiation.
Vitiligo is a skin condition that causes the skin to lose its pigmentation in certain areas. When your skin loses its natural pigmentation, it turns white. Piperine found in black pepper stimulates the production of pigmentation in the skin, providing a safe, natural alternative to chemical-based treatments (6).
Benefits of Black pepper for hair
Suffering from dandruff problems then black pepper is the best treatment. Add a teaspoonful of crushed pepper to a bowl of curd and apply it on scalp, leaving it on for 30 minutes. Wash off with water. Do not use shampoo. Remember not to overdo the pepper as excess of it will make your scalp burn, causing extreme discomfort (7).
Mix a teaspoonful of ground black pepper and lemon seeds and apply to scalp and hair. This will revitalize the hair, making it shiny, lustrous and soft. Leave the mixture on for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse off with cold water.
Disadvantages of black pepper
One must not inhale black pepper as it may lead to respiratory problems like respiratory irritation, asthma, etc.
In some rare cases, the intake of black pepper can lead to skin irritation with symptoms like itching, swelling, and redness in skin.
Difficulties during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
The hot flavor and taste of black pepper can be transferred into breast milk. So, unless you want to give your infant a crash course in Indian spices, stay away from black pepper if feeding.
Increases Skin Dryness
Black pepper should not be consumed in large quantities as it can dry the skin.
Avoid during Summers
Black pepper can increase the body heat and can even lead to bleeding noses.
Contraindication with Certain Drugs
Patients taking cyclosporine A, cholinergic, digoxin, and cytochrome P450 should avoid consuming black pepper.
Black pepper may upset the stomach or cause gastrointestinal problems. So, patients suffering from gastrointestinal disorders should avoid taking black pepper.
Burning Sensation in Eyes
It may cause burning and redness, both on your skin and eyes.
Burning Sensation In Stomach
The overuse of black pepper can lead to severe burning in the stomach. Don’t worry, the burning will pass, it’s just temporary.
Ways to have Black pepper in diet (black pepper recipes)
1 kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2″ cubes
For garnish – chopped cilantro
Fresh lemon/lime juice (to taste)
2 tbsp thick plain yogurt
1.5 tbsp fresh lemon/lime juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
2″ fresh ginger root, minced
1.5 tbsp black peppercorns, coarsely ground
1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp mustard oil (substitute with sunflower/vegetable/canola oil)
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 green chillies, chopped (adjust to tolerance)
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt (to adjust)
- Marinate the chicken in all the ingredients listed for 20 minutes, refrigerated. Once ready to cook, take out the marinated chicken from the refrigerator & let sit on countertop.
- In a thick bottomed, wide-mouthed pan, heat up the oil on high. If using mustard oil, heat it to a point when it’s slightly smoky. For other oils, heat up till you see ripples on the surface.
- Meanwhile, coarsely grind the coriander & cumin. Once the oil is heated, reduce the heat to medium & wait for 2 minutes. Add the mustard seeds & let them crackle. About 10-15 seconds. Also, add the chillies next & let them crisp up for another 10-15 seconds.
- Next, add the coarsely ground spices to the oil & stir for about 30-35 seconds or till you smell the aroma.
- Start adding marinated chicken 5-6 pieces at a time to the pan and stir-fry over high heat for few minutes, tossing continuously. Repeat with another batch of chicken pieces. The idea is to lightly brown the outside of the chicken but still keep it juicy inside.
- Lower the heat once all the chicken has been added. Add the leftover marinade(if any) & stir frequently.
- Cook on low heat till the oil separates on the sides of the pan and the chicken is cooked. About 12-15 minutes. You can cover the pan for last 3-4 minutes of cooking. Adjust the salt, toss well and remove. Let sit covered for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro, squeeze fresh lemon juice & serve hot.
Pepper chat masala
200g black pepper powder.
200g roasted cumin seeds powder.
150g rock salt.
3 tbsp green cardamom powder.
- Mix all these ingredients properly and the masala is ready.
- Store it in an air tight container and use as required like sprinkle on salads etc.
- This masala can last for year.