Pepper Benefits

The many pepper benefits have been known for centuries. Pepper, also known as chili and paprika, was the most sought-after spice, both the sweet and the hot varieties, by the Maya people. It was one of the first plants the Spanish carried to Europe after the discovery. The consumption of pepper soon spread all over Europe.

pepper benefits
Pepper benefits

Pepper Scientific Facts

  1. Scientific Name – Capsicum frutescens L.
  2. Other Names – Paprika, chili, cayenne.
  3. French – Piment, poivron.
  4. Spanish – Pimiento, chile, guindilla.
  5. Environment – Cultivated as vegetable or spice in almost all tropical and warm countries.
  6. Description – Plant of the Solanaceae family, with 50-odd varieties. The fruit is red, green, or yellow and spiked if it is a hot pepper.
  7. Parts of the plant used medicinally – The fruits.

Pepper Benefits

All pepper varieties contain an alkaloid called capsaicin (hot peppers contain a higher amount) and carotene and vitamins (especially vitamin C). Hot pepper of chili increases the production of gastric and intestinal juices, thus activating all digestive organs. Peppers are recommended for those suffering from bloated stomach or slow digestion, gastric ptosis (fallen stomach), and lack of appetite. Nonetheless, the dose should be small since the capsaicin peppers can cause gastritis and enteritis.

In external applications, hot chili peppers have rubefacient (irritate the skin and the mucous membrane) and revulsive properties. It attracts the blood towards the skin, thus reducing the congestion of the internal organs and tissues. Therefore, peppers treat rheumatism, lumbago, stiff neck, and muscular aches.

Sweet Pepper

Sweet pepper or paprika (capsicum annuum L.) has anti-flatulent and laxative properties when eaten raw or roasted. As with hot peppers, sweet peppers increase the production of gastric juices. They are difficult to digest if fried. Sweet peppers contain carotene (provitamin A). Due to their low content of carbohydrates and fats, they are especially recommended for diabetic and obese people.

Warning

People suffering from gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcers, colitis, or hemorrhoids, must abstain from eating hot peppers. Since the capsaicin, to which the hotness of chili peppers is due, is eliminated through the urine and irritates the mucous membrane covering the urinary tract, men suffering from prostate disorders and women suffering from cystitis must also abstain from hot chili peppers. They can cause urinary retention and inflammation of the urinary bladder.

How to use Pepper Benefits

  1. As a vegetable, in any cooking recipe.
  2. Pepper powder when dry (paprika).
  3. Poultices with hot chili peppers are applied to the painful area, then covered with a wool cloth.

REFERENCES

George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 354. Print. [pepper benefits]

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