Black Pepper is so common that we barely know it exists. It has become an unquestioned part of everyday life and an irreplaceable mainstay of our kitchen spice collection. Each time we unquestionably sprinkle some crushed or ground black pepper on to our food, we are also sprinkling a host of minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories, as well as a Piperine, a valuable compound which stimulates our stomach lining to produce more hydrochloric acid, which in turn eases digestion.
However aside from being part of the family, this ancient commodity has a lustrous past.
Valuable enough to be used as Currency, precious enough to be included in a Brides’ dowry, and expensive enough to be a cooking ‘status symbol’ of the Middle Ages, the Master Spice known as Black Pepper, was relied upon by Hippocrates, as it readily increased the bio-availability of many of his other ingredients. One well-known example of this is black pepper aiding the absorption of Curcumin. Black peppercorns are usually added to the classic Indian tonic affectionately known as Golden Milk, a drink made from Turmeric, milk and black peppercorns.
The most versatile fruit in the food chain, Black peppercorns are the dried fruit of the Piper Nigrum vine and contain a very special alkaloid known as Piperine. This active component of black pepper, acts like a little helper, increasing the bioavailability of essential Pineal gland detoxification ingredients featured in our Third Eye Activator products, such as selenium and Curcumin, to absorb more efficiently. Long used in traditional and herbal medicine, it is also a reliable anti-inflammatory and immunomodulator, assisting our immune system to keep things balanced as we start to break down and eliminate heavy metals from our body and brain. Another important contributor to pineal gland activation is the group of fat-soluble vitamins known as Vitamin K which helps to regulate how the body uses calcium. The Vitamin K and calcium link and potential support to pineal decalcification and depositing of calcium into the bones is another reason Black Pepper is helpful in attaining and maintaining pineal gland health.
About Black Pepper
Botanical name – Piper Nigrum
Nickname – King of Spices
Status – World’s most commonly used Spice
Black Pepper is Native to the Western Ghats mountain range of Kerala in South India. The Western Ghats are a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the world most bio-diverse hot spots.
Travel back in time to around 500 years ago and the “King of Spice” black pepper brought together literal Kings and their Kinsmen, specifically promoting trade among Eastern and Western leaders. Worth its weight in Gold, Black Pepper was a rare and valuable spice. Profits were huge and global demand was rife.
Among these ancient honors, Black Pepper is not just a spice. Several health benefits have been associated with this pungent charred black dried fruit. Learn about some of Black Peppers additional therapeutic applications below:
Active in black pepper is an alkaloid compound known as Piperine. This naturally occurring compound inhibits enzymes responsible for the breaking down of the neurotransmitter serotonin, and that of Melatonin as well. Due to Piperine’s active protectiveness of Serotonin, it is a potentially valuable source of nutrition to strength our shield against mood disorders. It can also help us to regulate our sleep due to protecting our Melatonin from enzymatic breakdown and, better sleep is directly linked to better mood.
Piperine can inhibit certain enzymes that degrades one of the brains neurotransmitters called dopamine. In the substantia nigra, which is a part of the brain, contains dopamine cells which are deficient in patients with Parkinsons diseases. Most importantly studies show that the brain very readily absorbs Piperine, which means that consuming black pepper or pipeline extract, is a valuable tool in protecting our brain health and staving off brain disease.
Piperine is a powerful brain protective and neuroprotective compound because studies have revealed our brain’s particular affinity for this bio-active compound found in black pepper. Strong anti-inflammatory benefits along with the neuroprotective qualities of Piperine have been indicated in improved cognitive function due to the prevention of premature brain cell death and is linked to reduced depression and mood regulation.
An animal study published in the 2010 issue of Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, on Piperine’s use in treating epilepsy in mice, demonstrated Piperine’s ability to inhibit epileptic seizures by tightly regulating the flow of calcium, improving the synchronisation of nerve cells releasing neurotransmitters. This improved harmony between nerve cells and neurotransmitters seemed to have a calming effect on seizure activity in the brain of mice.
In a human study, published in September 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, participants of the study, whom had suffered a stroke and were involved in the rehabilitation process, inhaled infused black pepper oil for one month only, at a rate of one minute per day. After one month, results showed an increased swallow reflex ability in participants, due to increased activity in the cerebral cortex, the brain region responsible for regulating the swallow reflex.
Packed full of minerals, black pepper is not just an essential flavor enhancer, but an unsuspecting mineral and vitamin provider. Full of Calcium, thiamin, magnesium, vitamin E, manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin K, iron, copper and dietary fibre (to name only a portion of the nutritional compounds) black pepper is a constant source of health-promoting vitamins and minerals, assisting the health of hundreds of millions of people on a daily basis, supporting our immune systems against free-radical damage, reducing acute inflammation and providing cardiovascular benefits.