Pepper is second to salt, as the world’s most important and valued spice. Mainly cultivated for the spice industry, Black Pepper oil is now cultivated in many tropical countries around the world. The berries produced offers approximately 4 varieties of colour and pepper grades to choose from. The plant is originally a forest plant and this climbing woody vine uses trees or other supports to grow to about twenty feet high, but is normally kept to about 4 - 5 metres for commercial purposes and has a lifespan of about twenty years. Elongated, slender spikes bear minute, white ﬂowers, that develops into berries which turn from red to black as they mature.
The ﬂower spikes, each producing from 50–60 single-seeded berries, always appear on stems opposite the leaves. Therefore yield of the berries (i.e., the peppercorns) depends upon leaf number. During the third year after planting, a small crop can be harvested, with full production realised at about 7–8 years after planting. Plants are most productive at 8–20 years of age, but can continue bearing for 30 years. Ripe berries may be picked about 9 months after ﬂowering. Berries ripen over a period of 2–6 months depending on climate or latitude.
In general, the most popular uses of black pepper as home remedies accounts to its effectiveness in treating indigestion, colic, constipation, diarrhoea, heartburn, loss of appetite, nausea insomnia, minor tooth complaints, such as tooth decay, oral abscesses. Helping circulation to ease arthritis, muscular aches and pains, joint pain, hernia, neuralgia, poor circulation and muscle tone, rheumatic pain, strains and stiffness. Beneficial for catarrh and chills. Boosts the immune system against colds, flu, some infections and viruses.
Safety Precautions : Flammable.
Blends well with : Bergamot, Coriander, Clary Sage, Clove, Fennel, Frankincense, Juniper, Ginger, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Marjoram, Rosemary, Sage, Sandalwood, Ylang-Ylang, and other Spices and Floral oils.
FACT : In the early 1800's, the word ‘pepper’ was used to indicate ‘energy’ or ‘spirit’, after which it was replaced by the word pep. Prized for its value in commodity trading, it was even called as ‘Black gold’. Indian saints used pepper for acquiring endurance, especially during fasting and travelling.