Monday 5 October 2015

Black Pepper the Currency Spices in ancient times.

Pepper, Black Pepper, Blanc Poivre, Hu Jiao, Kali Mirchi, Maricha or scientific name Piper Nigrum are well known spice widely used in every household around the world. Originated from India, this spice has been known to Indian cooking since at least 2000 BCE.
Young Pepper corn and black pepper

Pepper has played a very important role throughout history and has been a prized spice since ancient times. Often referred as "black gold" and used as a form of commodity money. Known in Greece as early as the 4th century BCE, pepper held such high prestige probably an uncommon and expensive item that only the very rich could afford.  It was not only used for seasoning but as a currency and to pay taxes and ransoms it was also use as sacred offering to honor the god.  During the fall of ancient Rome, the invading barbarians were even honoured by being given black pepper. It is said that Alaric the Visigoth and Attila the Hun each demand from Rome a ransom of more than a ton of pepper when they besieged the city in 5th century.

referred to as "black gold" and used as a form of commodity money
Until during Middle Ages, the wealth of a man was oftentimes measured by his stockpile of pepper. Virtually all of the black pepper found in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa traveled there from India's Malabar region.
Black pepper found in Europe, Middle East and North African traveled there by Malabar region.
Black pepper comes from the pepper plant, a smooth woody vine that can grow up to 33 feet in hot and humid tropical climates


Besides using black pepper as Seasoning and spice, Black pepper is commonly used to treat some illness such as nausea, stomach ache, abdominal flatulence and abdominal bloating; it is also used to treat of constipation and to treat people with a lack of appetite.
As for herbal remedy, the essential oil from the black pepper is used to reduce the symptoms associated with rheumatic pain and to treat the painful sensations associated with toothaches and other dental problems. The black pepper based herbal remedies are also known to have antiseptic and antibacterial actions, and they are used in bringing down the temperature of fever.

The Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology reported that the compound piperine in black pepper increases the cognitive function of the brain and helps beat depression. Research found that pepper eaten on a regular basis helps the brain function properly. Add it to your daily meal, or eat it as seasoning on a salad. Pepper in any form can make you smarter and less depressed.
Another research carried out by the University of Michigan Cancer Center, black pepper was found to prevent the development of breast cancer tumors. They found that the piperine content of black pepper plays a key role in preventing cancers.
whole black pepper

Black pepper is available whole, crushed or ground into powder. To ensure best flavor, buy whole peppercorns and grind them yourself . In addition, buying whole peppercorns will help to ensure that you are purchasing unprocessed pepper since ground pepper is oftentimes mixed with other spices. Whole peppercorns should be heavy, compact and free of any blemishes.

For More Infomation on Buying good quality of black pepper please Contact Muhibah International at

Heinemann, J. (2013). Food and chemical toxicology. Food And Chemical Toxicology, 53, 442.

1 comment:

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