Known as the 'king of spices', black pepper has remained the most precious and valuable form of spices in the world. It is the 3rd most added ingredient in food among the wide range of spices. India is one of the largest producers of black pepper, after China and Vietnam. Black pepper has played a pivotal role in India's international trade and it is said that the Europeans came to India primarily for this very spice. A wide variety of black pepper is traded at an international level, with India as one of the top five exporters of black pepper, along with Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil and Malaysia.
Uses of Black Pepper
Black Pepper, being the most oldest spice in the world, is seen both as a taste enhancer and as a medicine. Its importance can be judged from the following points:
Because of its strong flavor and aroma, it is highly used as an added ingredient in food to make it tasty and delectable
Owing its strong influence on health, black pepper has been used in many traditional medicine systems like Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha
Black pepper acts as an antidepressant and also as an antioxidant that helps in lowering the cholesterol level to a great extent
The essential oil present in the black pepper helps in relieving muscular pain, fever, etc. and also helps in increasing blood circulation
Black pepper also acts as an effective deterrent to insects. When added with a quarter amount of water, it acts as an effective toxin, capable of killing rodents, ants, potato bugs, etc.