Ayurveda expert on best ways to consume black pepper, health benefits
Black pepper also known as Mareech in Ayurveda not only lends a distinctive flavour to your dishes but also provides wonderful benefits to body and mind.
Black pepper's pungent, hot and aromatic flavour makes it a popular spice in culinary space. The active ingredient in it called piperine lends not only a distinct taste to the curries, stir-fries, salads, soups, apart from a variety of dishes but also provides many benefits to our body and mind thanks to its wonderful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity that keeps chronic diseases at bay from arthritis, diabetes, cancer to Alzheimer's disease. (Also read: Black pepper: healthy or not?)
According to National Library of Medicine, the key alkaloid components of Piper Nigrum, that is, piperine assist in cognitive brain functioning, boost nutrient's absorption and improve gastrointestinal functionality. Black pepper improves nutrient absorption which means more of nutrients would be available for your body's use. Black pepper also aids in weight loss, relief in cough and cold, reducing bloating, improving immunity and digestion.
The properties of black pepper have also been recognised by Ayurveda and it has been used in its medicinal formulations since thousands of years. According to the ancient medicinal practice, black pepper has "carminative" properties which means it relieves flatulence and other digestive troubles. Black pepper is considered good for pacifying Kapha, Vata and strengthen Pitta.
"You may not be aware that an item that is in your kitchen right now might have one of the most impressive lists of health benefits out there. But it’s true: the black pepper sitting innocently in your shaker is an incredibly powerful little spice used for millennia to heal the sick," writes Ayurveda expert Dr Dixa Bhavsar in her recent Instagram post.
Here's everything you need to know about this humble spice black pepper known as Mareech in Ayurveda.
Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a strong and pungent spice. It is hot in potency and balances Vata and Kapha.
BENEFITS OF BLACK PEPPER
Dr Bhavsar lists all the benefits of black pepper or mareech.
- Improves taste (relieves anorexia)
- Good for cough and cold
- Improves immunity
- Works in reducing inflammation in joints and gut
- Relieves bloating and excess vata disorders
- Eliminates toxins
- Improves digestion
- Promotes oral health
- Clears nasal blockage (wonderful for allergies and sinusitis)
- Improves blood circulation (good for skin diseases)
- Melts fat (utmost useful in reducing obesity)
- Good for the liver and heart (works in managing cholesterol, diabetes & blood pressure)
- Helps with Alzheimer’s and overall brain health
- Useful in hairfall caused due to dandruff/fungus.
- Possible smoking cessation aid
- Helps prevent & even fight cancer
HOW TO CONSUME BLACK PEPPER
Dr Bhavsar says 1 black pepper daily is enough for prevention of diseases and maintenance of health. The expert also shares how the spice can be consumed.
- Can be sucked or chewed in morning on an empty stomach - for hormonal balance, diabetes, amenorrhoea, delayed periods and everything else.
- Can be had with 1 tsp turmeric and honey for immunity and respiratory issues.
- Can be had with a pinch of dry ginger powder in milk at bedtime for good sleep, immunity and arthritis (relieving joint pain).
- Can be had with 1 tsp desi cow ghee at bedtime for improving immunity and mental health.
Dr Bhavsar adds that people with high pitta issues should consume it only after consulting an ayurvedic doctor.