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Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately 5 millimetres in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed.

Peppercorns, and the ground pepper derived from them, may be described simply as pepper, or more precisely as black pepper (cooked and dried unripe fruit), green pepper (dried unripe fruit) and white pepper (unripe fruit seeds).

Black pepper is native to south India, and is extensively cultivated there and elsewhere in tropical regions. Currently Vietnam is the world's largest producer and exporter of pepper, producing 34% of the world's Piper nigrum crop as of 2008.

Dried ground pepper has been used since antiquity for both its flavor and as a medicine. Black pepper is the world's most traded spice. It is one of the most common spices added to European cuisine and its descendants. The spiciness of black pepper is due to the chemical piperine, not to be confused with the capsaicin that gives fleshy peppers theirs. It is ubiquitous in the modern world as a seasoning, and is often paired with salt.

Black pepper is produced from the still-green unripe drupes of the pepper plant. The drupes are cooked briefly in hot water, both to clean them and to prepare them for drying. The heat ruptures cell walls in the pepper, speeding the work of browning enzymes during drying. The drupes are dried in the sun or by machine for several days, during which the pepper around the seed shrinks and darkens into a thin, wrinkled black layer. Once dried, the spice is called black peppercorn. On some estates, the berries are separated from the stem by hand and then sun-dried without the boiling process.

Once the peppercorns are dried, pepper spirit & oil can be extracted from the berries by crushing them. Pepper spirit is used in many medicinal and beauty products. Pepper oil is also used as an ayurvedic massage oil and used in certain beauty and herbal treatments.

Pepper has high content of Vitamins especially Vitamin K, besides Vitamin A and C. Similarly the dietary fiber content is high. Pepper has no cholesterol and it is very low in sugar content.

Pepper contains a chemical known as capsaicin, which is the ingredient that makes peppers, has hot properties. Capsaicin is also good to help you lose weight. Capsaicin is commonly found in weight loss pills and some other supplements. Capsaicin is actually burning up calories and fat with its thermal properties. Feeling the heat we feel when eating a pepper contains many will be able to burn fat.

Capsaicin also acts as an anti-inflammatory which makes it works to reduce the swelling and pain in those who suffer from arthritis.

A study by British scientists at the University of Nottingham and other studies by the American Association of Cancer Research reported that capsaicin found in peppers are actually able to kill certain cancer cells, especially prostate cancer cells.

The content of capsaicin in pepper can also serve to block neuropeptide known as substance P, which is the main transmitter of pain to the brain. So when we are eating pepper pain in the head will be able to alleviate the symptoms.

This one may seem a bit obvious. Hot pepper caused by capsaicin can clear your sinuses. It even helps to fight sinus infections with air duct cleaning. This means we really can breathe easier with the help of this pepper.

Peppers could not cure heartburn, but at least they can prevent the disease. The heat from the pepper can kill bad bacteria in the stomach and intestines that is the cause of stomach ulcers.

Pepper, chili in general has a lot of flavanoids, Vitamin C and Vitamin A, which is a substance that can lower a person's blood pressure.

Too much fluid in the body can be bad for your heart. With the abundance of fluid around the heart wall will result in a strain on the heart and it is potentially harmful cardiac performance. One sign of too much fluid retention is a swollen ankle. Other symptoms, difficulty breathing, because too much water can suppress lung.Why pepper can help maintain a healthy heart? Because pepper causes us to sweat and the more we sweat the fluids in the body is reduced.

Because of flavanoids and vitamins found in pepper so it is good for anti-oxidant, which means they work in the bloodstream to help the body fight anything that threatens the cells damage.

Read More at Wikipedia
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