History of Black Pepper and its Medicinal Use.
- Botanical Information of Black Pepper.
- Botanical Descriptions of Piper nigrum.
- Phytochemicals and Constituents,Nutrients Analysis of Black Pepper.
- History of Black Pepper and its Medicinal Use.
- Black Pepper Directions:Common use,healing qualities and cooking tips.
- Black Pepper:Health Benefits,Traditional Uses and Applications,Modern findings.
History of Black Pepper and its Medicinal Use.
History of Black Pepper.
History Region of Origin:Since the Roman times, Pepper has been the most important spice. The cities of Alexandria, Genoa, and Venice owed their economic success to Pepper. Three thousand year old Sanskrit literature mentions Pepper. It was one of the earliest items traded Asia and Europe. In 1101, victorious Genovese soldiers were each given two pounds of Pepper as a gift for their successful Palestinian conquest. In the Middle Ages, Europeans often used Pepper to pay rent, dowries, and taxes, and Shakespeare mentions Pepper in his plays. The need for Pepper inspired Spanish exploration and spice trade in the 15th century.
Black pepper (Piper nigrum), the king of spices, is one of the oldest and the most popular spice in the world. It is a perennial, climbing vine indigenous to the Malabar Coast of India. The hotly pungent spice made from its berries is one of the earliest spices known and is probably the most widely used spice in the world today. It was mentioned as far back as 1000 BC in ancient Sanskrit literature. In early historic times black pepper was widely cultivated in the tropics of Southeast Asia, where it became an important article of overland trade between India and Europe. It became a medium of exchange, and tributes were levied in black pepper in ancient Greece and Rome. In the Middle Ages the Venetian and the Genoese became the main distributors, their virtual monopoly of the trade helping to instigate the search for an eastern sea route. The name pepper comes from the Sanskrit word pippali meaning berry.
Native to India, pepper has played a very important role throughout history and has been a prized spice since ancient times. Since ancient Greece, pepper has held such high prestige that it was not only used as a seasoning but as a currency and a sacred offering. Pepper was used to both honor the gods and to pay taxes and ransoms. During the fall of ancient Rome, the invading barbarians were even honored by being given black pepper. Additionally, in the Middle Ages the wealth of a man was oftentimes measured by his stockpile of pepper.
Black pepper, grown in Southern India since more than two thousand years, has always been much valued all over the world. After Alexander the Great had warred upon Central Asia, and indeed even reached India (4.th century BC), new trading routes were established that brought, for the very first time, pepper into the West. Within short time, pepper's growing popularity made it a most important item of commerce. Soon, arabic traders established a pepper monopoly and transferred the spice via the spice route through the Arab peninsular and Egypt to their European customers, whom they denied any knowledge about the actual origin of pepper.
Beginning in 327 B.C., when Alexander the Great invaded India and discovered the pleasures of well-seasoned food, wars have been fought, kingdoms overthrown, unknown oceans braved, and continents discovered-all for the sake of the shriveled, beadlike fruits known as peppercorns. Attila the Hun, holding all of Rome hostage, demanded 3,000 pounds of them as tribute. Throughout medieval Europe, pepper was commonly traded, ounce for ounce, for gold. In 1488, in search of a water route to the spice markets of India, Bartholomeu Dias first sailed the raging waters around Africa's Cape of Good Hope. Four years later, looking for an easier route to the same markets, Columbus landed in the New World. In the centuries that followed, European nations vied viciously with each other in colonizing tropical lands and trying to corner the spice market.
In spite of its astronomical price, pepper has been much used by the Romans (see Silphion on Roman cuisine) and became, in the Early Middle Ages, a status symbol of fine cookery. At this time, the Italian town of Venezia had monopolized trade with the Arabs to the same extent as the Arabs theirs with the Indian producers. Due to this double monopoly, comparatively few cooks in Europe could afford pepper at all; but when Europe's economical situation stabilized in the 15.th century, increasing demand for pepper led to the Age of Exploration. European sailors then tried to reach India and to obtain the spice directly from the producers, bypassing both the Arab and the Venetian monopolists.
At the end of the 15.th century, Portuguese seafarers changed the medieval view of the world: In 1487, Bartholomeu Diaz surrounded the Cape of Good Hope, thereby proving that Africa was not an impregnable obstacle on the Way to the East; only eleven years later, his countryman Vasco da Gama reached India, founded several Portuguese outposts and established permanent trade relations to local rulers. From this moment on, Lisboa, not Venezia, was the spice metropolis of Europe; of course, prices were not reduced but the profit just shifted to another country (100 years later, profits shifted again, this time to Amsterdam). Portugal's colonies in South and Southeast Asia persisted until the second half of the 20.th century, even after the spice business had been lost to England and the Netherlands
In the meantime, the Spaniards also tried their luck in seafaring: Cristoforo Colombo, an Italian who found support for his unconventional plans at the Spanish court, discovered what he had not searched for in 1492 and again eleven years later Vasco Nuez de Balboa crossed the American continent at the isthmus of Panama, thereby reaching the Pacific ocean. Consequently, it was also a Spanish enterprise to explore this new ocean and thereby to circumvent the earth: Fern?o de Magalh?es, Portuguese by birth, is usually given credit for this task, although he himself did not survive the journey, but was slain in a conflict with natives of the Philippines. After all, Spanish success was poor in Asia (the Philippines remained the only Spanish colony in the East), and although the larger part of America quickly fell under Spanish dominion, Spain could never assume a significant r?le in the spice trade, allspice and vanilla being the only profitable spices from the New World.
The reason that pepper was so cherished is that it served important culinary purposes. Not only could its pungency spice up otherwise bland foods, but it could disguise a food's lack of freshness, the latter being an especially important quality in the times before efficient means of preservation.
Pepper became an important spice that catalyzed much of the spice trade. This not only led to exploration of many undiscovered lands, but also to the development of major merchant cities in Europe and the Middle East.
History of Black Pepper used as Medicine.
Like all eastern spices, pepper was historically both a seasoning and a medicine. Long pepper, being stronger, was often the preferred medication, but both were used.
Black peppercorns figure in remedies in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medicine in India. The 5th century Syriac Book of Medicines prescribes pepper (or perhaps long pepper) for such illnesses as constipation, diarrhea, earache, gangrene, heart disease, hernia, hoarseness, indigestion, insect bites, insomnia, joint pain, liver problems, lung disease, oral abscesses, sunburn, tooth decay, and toothaches.Various sources from the 5th century onward also recommend pepper to treat eye problems, often by applying salves or poultices made with pepper directly to the eye. There is no current medical evidence that any of these treatments has any benefit; pepper applied directly to the eye would be quite uncomfortable and possibly damaging.
Pepper has long been believed to cause sneezing; this is still believed true today. Some sources say that piperine irritates the nostrils, causing the sneezing;some say that it is just the effect of the fine dust in ground pepper, and some say that pepper is not in fact a very effective sneeze-producer at all. Few if any controlled studies have been carried out to answer the question.
Pepper is eliminated from the diet of patients having abdominal surgery and ulcers because of its irritating effect upon the intestines, being replaced by what is referred to as a bland diet.Pepper is sometimes used to stop light bleeding in restaurant kitchens.
- 1.Black Pepper,Black Pepper Seed,Piper nigrum,Piper:the Kind of spices,one of the oldest and the most popular spice in the world.
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