Black pepper is one of the most popular and widely used spices in the world, but you might be surprised to know that it has also been used for centuries as a natural medicine. Black pepper has many health benefits that include helping with respiratory illnesses, coughs and colds, muscular strains, coronary heart disease, indigestion and stomach issues, impotency, and constipation among others.
The black pepper that we use to spice our foods is derived from the Black Pepper plant, which is native to the southern part of India. It is grown year round, so it is always readily available. Black pepper has strong antibacterial properties, which is the root of its use as a natural health remedy. In addition to this, its antibacterial properties make it a popular choice as a food preservative.
Black pepper is rich in iron, potassium, manganese, vitamin K, vitamin C, and fiber. It has been found to help increase the secretion of Hydrochloric Acid in the stomach, which helps to improve digestion. This explains why it assists with indigestion and other issues related to digestion. It also helps to repair the mucosal lining of the stomach in the event of disease such as peptic ulcers.
Black pepper is also an effective way to speed up weight loss, as it has a thermogenic effect on the body. What this means is, it can slightly increase the core temperature of the body temporarily after consumption, which increases metabolism. It has also been found to assist in the breakdown of brown fat cells in the body.
There is research that demonstrates black pepper’s ability to aid in respiratory conditions such as asthma because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to breakdown phlegm in the respiratory tract, and aids in both opening and draining the sinuses. Its antioxidant properties help to repair the damage our body sustains from free radicals found in both unhealthy foods and in toxins from the environment.
There is a particular compound found in pepper called Piperine, which has been linked to improvements in memory and cognition. In addition to all these health benefits, there is also more and more research coming out that shows black pepper might be beneficial in killing cancer cells found in the body. While there is more research to needed in this area, the preliminary findings are encouraging, and given all the other amazing benefits of this powerful spice, use it and use it often!
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In Wellness and Love,
Dr. Christopher Weaver DC, PAK is a Doctor of Chiropractic and Professional Applied Kinesiologist. He's published two books on health and Wellness.