Phytochemical and Pharmacognostic studies on Piper nigrum L.
Madhushree MV Rao, Vijay Danapur
Piper nigrum is an evergreen climber, origin in Sri Lanka and India. Pepper is known as the master spice because it can be stored for many years without losing its irresistible aroma. Black or white pepper is a product of the same tropical Vine Piper Nigrum. Pepper berries grow in racemes like grapes. They turn from green to yellow and then to red as they ripen. Black pepper is made from under ripe berries. As they dry, the color changes to the familiar deep mahogany shade. White pepper is made from the completely ripe Piper Nigrum berry. Pepper is one the most widely used spices in the world, no exception in India. Many people prefer pepper instead of chillies to make the preparation hotter and spicier. Traditionally Pepper is used as energizer, for increasing circulation, to warm and relieve muscle aches and stiffness, for fighting colds, flu and infections. East Africans are believed that body odor produced after eating substantial amounts of pepper repels mosquitoes. Pepper powder is used to flavour varieties of food in all parts of world. The oils extracted from peppercorns goes into perfumes and flavorings. It is also an effective insecticide against houseflies. Gardeners use pepper sprays against several kinds of pests.