Black pepper is grown on a vine, and is usually dried and turned into seasoning. The medicinal parts are the berries of the fruit. Pepper is native to India and was considered a highly valuable spice until well after the middle ages. Black pepper was used in folk medicines to cure digestion problems and stomach disorders. No side effects are known to come from this herb, and it can be used internally and externally.
The medicinal parts are the berries, which have been freed from the pericarp, and the dried berrylike fruit, which has been collected before ripening.
Flower and Fruit
The inflorescences are pendulous, axillary spikes 5 to 15 cm long containing over 100 inconspicuous white florets. The florets have 1 large ovary with 3 stigmas, 2 stamens and a reduced perianth. Red berrylike drupes form the 30 to 50 flowers, which are fertilized.
Leaves, Stem, and Root
The plant is actually a liane, which in cultivation is trained on posts or wire. It can grow to over 6 m. The stem is strong and woody, and the leaves are cordate, glossy and pale green. The leaves are 5 to 10 cm wide, 8 to 18 cm long and are on 5 cm long petioles.
The plant grows wild in southern India and is cultivated in tropical Asia and the Caribbean.
Black Peppers are the dried fruits of Piper nigrum, harvested before ripening. The whole ears are plucked and separated from spindles that have been dried, or the fruit is first brushed from the spindles and then dried. Once the shell has been removed, the green stonefruit is sun-dried or roasted, after which it blackens.
Not to be Confused With
Foreign fruits of the Piperacae family. It is most frequently confused with peppershells, pepper spindles or stiles, i.e., byproducts of the extraction of white pepper from black pepper.
Piper, Pepper Bark
Actions & Pharmacology
Volatile oil (1.2-2.6%): chief components- sabinene (15-25%), limonene (15-20%), caryophyllene (10-15%), beta-pinene (10-12%), alpha-pinene (8-12%), delta3-carene (5%)
Acid amides (pungent substances): chief components- piperine, additionally including among others piperylin, piperolein A and B, cumaperine
3,4-dihydroxy phenyl ethanol glycosides (substratum for the enzymatic black colouring of the fresh fruits)
Fatty oil (10%)
The drug stimulates the thermal receptors and increases secretion of saliva and gastric mucus. It has an antimicrobial effect. It influences liver and metabolic functions, and has an insecticidal effect.
Indications & Usage
Folk medicine uses include stomach disorders and digestion problems, neuralgia, and scabies.
Black Pepper is used for vomiting, diarrhea, and gastric symptoms.
Indian uses include arthritis, asthma, fever, coughs, catarrh, dysentery, dyspepsia, flatulence, hemorrhoids, hiccoughs, urethral discharge, and skin damage.
Black Pepper is used for irritation of the mucous membranes and galactorrhea.
Precautions & Adverse Reactions
No health hazards or side effects are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages.
Mode of Administration
Black Pepper is used internally for stomach disorders and externally as an irritant ointment for neuralgia and scabies.
Single doses range from 0.3 to 0.6 gm. The daily dosage is 1.5 gm.
5 to 10 drops, 1 tablet, or 5 to 10 globules 1 to 3 times a day or from D4: 1 mL injection solution sc twice weekly (HAB1).