Black pepper or Kali Mirch is one of the most popular spices in India. Native to the west coast (Malabar), its cultivation has now spread in many parts of the world. The main black pepper growing areas in Kerala are Cannanore, Kozhikode, Kottayam, Trivandrum, Ernakulum, and Quilon. Almost every homestead in Kerala grows pepper. The other important black pepper growing states are Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Union territory of Pondicherry. On a limited scale, it also grows in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and the Andaman. Pepper cultivation is also being tried in the north eastern region. Outside India it is also grown in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, Thailand, and in some other tropical countries. Pepper is used for a variety of purposes.
The ancient Aryans considered it a powerful remedy for various disorders of the anatomical system and prescribed it for dyspepsia, malaria, delirium, tremors, haemorrhoids, etc. The Egyptians used it for embalming. The Asians are said to have used it as an aphrodisiac. Dutch and French housewives use it as an insect-repellent and moth killer! However, its value as an essential preservative for meats and other perishable foods has been known for centuries. It is, therefore, largely used by meat packers and in canning, pickling, baking, confectioneries and preparation of beverages. One of the principle values of pepper is its ability to correct the seasoning of dishes. Just before the end of cooking, a final dash of pepper can be used effectively to adjust the flavour. Oil of pepper is a valuable adjunct in the flavouring of sausages, canned meats, soups, table sauces and certain beverages and liquors. It is used in perfumery, particularly in bouquets of the oriental type to which it imparts spicy notes difficult to identify.
The oil is also used in carnation compound for soaps. It finds uses in medicines. Black pepper constitutes an important component of culinary seasonings of universal use and essential ingredient of numerous commercial foodstuffs. It is an important constituent of whole pickling spice and many ground spice formulae of seasonings, etc. for poultry dressings, sausages, and hamburger and frankfurter seasonings. Eating black pepper increases the antioxidants that you get from your diet. Black pepper possibly alleviates haemorrhoids, alleviates gas and alleviates constipation. Black pepper stimulates the taste buds, alerting your stomach to increase its hydrochloric acid secretion and improves digestion. Pepper is a source of manganese, iron, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin K and dietary fibre. It is also an anti-inflammatory agent. Inclusion of pepper in our diet promotes sweating and urination. Pepper helps you shed weight. Pepper is added in tonics for cold and cough in the practice of the ancient Indian medicine of Ayurveda. It gives relief from sinusitis and nasal congestion. Adding pepper to our diet helps to keep your arteries clean. Pepper is good for conditions of hernia, hoarseness and insect bites. It relieves joint pain. Pepper is beneficial for respiratory conditions like asthma and whooping cough. Black pepper helps to improve taste and digestion. It also improves our overall health and well-being.