In the ancient world, peppercorns were thought to be fitting sacred offerings to gods, and at one time they were really worth more than gold. The search for pepper, which was a costly commodity took Vasco da Gama and other Portuguese explorers to the Indian coast. In the middle ages, peppercorns were so expensive that they had been used as money and rents could be compensated with them, thus the phrase”a peppercorn rent.” Now of course that phrase means that something is almost free. But in the middle ages, it meant just the opposite.
Black pepper has been used for its health benefits and to flavor food for centuries. Just one black peppercorn is packed full with vitamins and minerals like iron, vanadium, molybdenum, selenium, copper, manganese and phosphorus. It contains vitamins K, C, B6, B3 and B2 as well as vitamin E. Obviously, if peppercorns have been irradiated some of the vitamins, such as vitamin C will be reduced.
Black pepper can get our taste buds stimulated so the stomach is alerted to an imminent intake of food. It can then produce increased amounts of hydrochloric acid, which we will need to promote digestion. Additionally it is a carminative, meaning that it can reduce flatulence. You can also make a spicy tea containing black pepper to be able to promote sweating and bring down a higher temperature if you’ve got a fever.
Black pepper also has antibacterial properties as well as antioxidant ones, so it may boost the immune system and keep our bowels healthy and free of harmful bacteria. The outer skin of a black peppercorn can trigger the breakdown of fat which is stored in cells, so it can help keep you slim and energetic.
In the Wildlife Removal Lakeland FL system of medicine black pepper is used to treat a range of ailments such as anaemia, coughs, heart problems and even diabetes. In Unani medicine, black pepper is thought to be an aphrodisiac. In south-east Asia black pepper is used to eliminate intestinal worms, so clearly there are a myriad uses for this versatile spice, which is no longer as expensive as it was previously.
You should purchase whole black peppercorns and invest in a pepper grinder to be able to get the most benefits from this spice.