Black pepper is one of the most popular spices used in a variety of food preparations and is a household remedy for many ailments. Volatile oil of black pepper, the alkaloid piperine and the pungent substance chavicin act directly as gastric stimulants by secreting more saliva and gastric juice. It increases gastrointestinal movements and expels the strangulated gas thereby relaxing the intestines. It is therefore, used as an excellent carminative and digestive agent in dyspepsia, indigestion, flatulent colic, diarrhea, and fermentation of food, if taken along with thin buttermilk.
Pepper has a dilating influence on the renal arteries and superficial vessels of the skin. It causes profuse sweating and urination, creates a feeling of warmth in the beginning and then follows the cool sensation. Due to this diaphoretic and diuretic action, the infusion prepared from a pinch of pounded pepper and two cloves of garlic in half a glass of water is taken thrice daily with honey in malarial fever, scanty urination, etc. The same is also gargled in sore throat, relaxed uvula, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, etc.
Asthma: Take black pepper powder and yavakshaara, (alkali obtained after burning the green spikes of barley) with warm water.
Congestive headache: Prepare paste by pounding two peppers with goat’s milk and put in the nostrils.
Convulsions: Mix powders of pepper and acorus calamus (bach) in equal proportions and mix with sour curd. Take internally on empty stomach.
Coryza: Take the pepper mixed with jaggery. Alternately a pinch of pepper powder, boiled in milk with a pinch of turmeric powder can be used once daily for three days with good results.
Cough: Take the black pepper powder with honey. Boil jaggery in water and allow it to cool. Add honey, pepper, and take internally. In case of cough with hoarseness of voice, take pepper powder with ghee, honey and sugar or paste of zizyphus (bair) leaves fried in ghee and mixed with rock salt. Sucking three peppercorns with a pinch of ajwain seeds and a crystal, of common salt is an effective remedy for cough.
Eczema: Take pepper powder along with fresh cow ghee; it pacifies eczema and scabies.
Excessive sleep: Rub the pepper with honey and apply as eye ointment. It eliminates excessive sleep.
Obesity: Take one betel leaf with 10 grains of pepper, followed by intake of cold water for two months. This makes you lean and thin.
Edema in children: Give butter, topped with pepper powder.
Pimples: Mix pepper powder with ox-bile and apply externally.
Snake bite: Pepper infusion is given in cases of snake bite, opium intoxication and scorpion stings.