black pepper

    Black pepper is a plant and an herb.

botanical information:

    Botanical name: Piper nigrum

    Common name: black pepper, pepper

    Use the botanical name when ordering seeds (bulbs, etc.) or when looking up information in the library. Common names vary by nation, culture, and region, and sometimes the same common name is applied to different plants.

    Peppercorns are the fruit of Piper nigrum, an evergreen climbing vine. Black, white, and green peppercorns all come form the same plant, but they are harvested at different times and handled in different ways. To make black pepper, the clusters are plucked when they are not quite ripe. They are then left in piles to ferment. After a few days, the berries are spread out on a mat and left to dry in the sun for two or three more days until they are shriveled and nearly black.
    To make white pepper, the berry is picked fully ripe. Its outer shrunken skin is rubbed off, exposing the dried, grayish-white pepper inside. White pepper has a milder, more delicate flavor than black pepper, and is useful for adding a peppery flavor to light-colored sauces and soup without adding black color. White pepper is popular in European cuisines.

Information courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs


    History: Around 100 C.E. the Roman Empire established a direct sea route to the pepper markets of the Malabar Coast in India. Knowledge of the monsoon cycle made these sea routes possible.

    History: Black pepper has been cultivated for thousands of years on the Malabar coast of southwestern India, in the region defined by the modern state of Kerala. For much of the last two thousands years, black pepper was a luxury for the very rich, a commodity so valuable that it was even used as money. Nowadays black pepper is common around world and used in the cuisine of almost every nation.

Information courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs

part used:

    Part Used (black pepper): The dried whole berries, ground.

Information courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs

    Part Used (white pepper): The dried whole berries, ground just prior to use.

Information courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs

nutritional information:

    Black pepper is a source of chromium.

    A dash of celery salt or black pepper can also improve the flavor of tomato juice. Fresh lemon juice, celery salt, and black pepper can be stirred into tomato juice with a celery stalk.

magickal correspondences and uses:

    Magickal uses: courage

    Magickal uses: black peppercorn love spell

    Magickal substitutions: Rosemary usually may be safely substituted for any herb in magick spells and rituals. Roses may safely be substituted for any flower.

essential oil:

    Essential Oil: Black pepper oil essential oil can be used for both aromatherapy and magick.
    Aromatherapy Uses: burnout, concentration, exhaustion, fatigue, memory

    Using essential oils: Essential oils are just too concentrated and too expensve to use without dilution. If you purchase pure essential oil from a source such as Mountain Rose, you will want to place just a drop or two into a neutral carrier vegetable oil or jojoba. This conservation is typical of the use of essential oils in spells and other magick. It is wise to test a bit of any essential oil on your inner wrist before use. If any irritation occurs, do not use the essential oil. Keep essential oils out of reach of children and pets and away from heat and light. See the article on essential oils for detailed information on how to mix and use essential oils.

health care uses:

    Health Notice: Attempting to be an amateur doctor is potentially dangerous to your health. This web page is not professional medical advice. Nothing on this website should be considered as a substitute or replacement for professional medical advice. Persons should seek the advice of qualified health providers. Self-medication should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care. Please confirm all self-medication with your doctor or health care professional. See the article on healing for recommended healers.

Ayurvedic herbalism:

    Ayurvedic Doshas: KV- P+ Kapha decreases; Vata decreases; Pitta increases.

    For more information, see the article on Ayurvedic medicine.

herbal healing:

    The black pepper many of us use every day to season food has a wide variety of medicinal applications. Ancient herbalists used pepper as a stimulant to weak membranes, especially to treat runny nose, and also to treat hemorrhoids. Ayurvedic medicines use tiny amounts of black pepper to make the other herbs in the formula more available to the body. White pepper has similar but milder effects.

Information courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs

cautions and contraindications:

    Cautions and contraindications: Black pepper is believed to be safe.

    Wild gathering: Avoid wild gathering. Some plants are endangered species. Please grow your own herbs in your own goddess garden (or window boxes).

See also: herbs

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