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Why black pepper is good for you

health-and-fitness Updated: Mar 27, 2010 17:23 IST
Shikha Sharma
Shikha Sharma
Hindustan Times
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Black pepper is very popular in cuisines all over the world. In fact, there was a time when it was so important that it even came to be used in place of money when it came to marketplace trade. According to ayurveda, black pepper’s biggest characteristic is that it is anti-kapha. Kapha is an element made up of earth and water.

When this element is found in the body in excess, it gives rise to conditions like sinusitis, arthritis, pneumonia, obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol. Black pepper liquifies kapha in the body, and moves it into channels from where it can be flushed out.

Black pepper is useful in these ways:

Because it makes frozen kapha in the joints liquid and flushes it out, black pepper is anti-arthritic and anti-gout. It also improves circulation in the joints at the micro level. This is most effective in winter. Peppercorn oil can also be applied for local relief

Since pepper is anti-spasmodic in nature, it helps release gas from the intestines.

Pepper increases sweating and urination. Since sweat and urination are ways for the body to flush out toxins from the body, this is an important property of pepper. People who do not sweat enough are more prone to kapha disorders than others.

It helps the body to dissolve oxidants that damage the body tissues, so it is anti-oxidant. Arthritis and cholesterol plaques result from oxidants.

The reason pepper is used in so many cuisines is that, apart from providing flavour, it is anti-bacterial and therefore anti-infective in nature.

Pepper is good for digestion as it improves the secretion of hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid is important because it breaks down foods. Pepper stimulates the entire digestive system, from the salivary glands to the glands in the stomach.

Black pepper is also rich in selenium, potassium and calcium.