Ground Pepper - Piper nigrum

Were you aware that ground pepper comes from a perennial vine?

It grows bunches of peppercorns in clusters like you would see on a grape vine which are picked as they turn red. Once they are harvested they are put into boiling water for something like 10 minutes until they turn a brown/black colour and then they are dried out and ground into a powder.

Many of you ask if I grow the herbs I use in my teas and while I would love to be able to answer you yes, the real answer goes a little deeper than a simple yes or no.

First of all there are some things that just wont grow in the climate I live in and Piper nigrum is one of them. It needs humidity and high rainfall. While Southland holds its own on the rainfall side of things there is definitely no real humidity present when it is. There are some places in Australia that grow it but generally speaking it is a tropical plant.

Secondly while I do grow many of my own herbs for personal use, to be able to blend into teas and sell you need a food licence and the one I have obtained at this point only allows me to purchase the herbs I use so I am careful to only buy certified organic ingredients. I will look into whether I extend my food licence at a later date but that really comes down to you.....would you rather I grow my own or use Certified Organic Ingredients? Let me know in the comments below.

The final reason is that I am just one person and I also work 32 hours a week in another job, raise my daughters, look after the home and gardens, study towards being a naturopath, run this little hobby of mine and also manage the Beef business. Time is tight so growing enough to supply what I need at this point just isn't viable right now.

Piper nigrum in fruit
Piper nigrum

If you can tolerate the taste of Ground Pepper you should most definitely consume some every day if possible and it is the easiest herb to incorporate into your diet of them all!

Pepper every day wont hurt you as long as you don't go overboard and by overboard I mean more than a couple of teaspoons full each day.

Sprinkle it on your evening meal whenever possible because it really is an amazing wee plant with more health benefits than I'll bet you were ever taught about.

What Is It Good For?

Protection from radical damage

Free Radical damage is caused by exposure to things like smoking, the sun and pollution.

While you could avoid smoking you are going to find it hard to avoid the sun and pollution caused by our modern way of living, The toxic molecules these things produce attack our bodies cells, causing premature aging and disease. Piper nigrum contains a compound called piperine which is an anti oxidant and according to this study antioxidants can prevent and slow down the damage caused by Free Radical exposure.

Helps absorption of other compounds

An example of this is Tumeric, it contains a compound called Curcumin which is a known anti-inflammatory however when you consume Tumeric your body on its on is only able to absorb around 3% of the Curcumin in what you are ingesting. If you were to add Ground Pepper to the dish with Tumeric it would increase the amount of Curcumin you body would absorb as much as 2000% This make Ground Pepper so beneficial when adding to your basic meals.

Potential Cancer Fighting Properties

I am not saying you should turn away from chemotherapy or modern cancer treatments or that Ground Pepper will cure your cancer because it wont.

That being said if you do have cancer it is definitely something you want to be consuming regularly.

This study shows that it helps reverse drug resistance in cancer cells which is a big deal if your going through chemotherapy as it improves its efficacy.

And then this study shows that Ground Pepper extract actually slows down the replication of certain types of cancer cells. I should mention though that this particular study has only been done in test tubes not actually on people so there is still a lot more work to do on this.

Brain Function

Piperine has according to this paper also been shown to help with symptoms of neurological disease like Alzheimers & Parkinsons by decreasing the formation of something called amalyoid plaques which is a type of protein that attacks brain cells.


According to this paper and many others this magical little compound mentioned earlier "piperine" contain anti-inflammatory properties as well!

Imagine if you were to add that to another known anti inflammatory such as Tumeric for it to not only enhance the anti inflammatory compounds within it but also share those of its own!

What Products Do I Use It In?

This one should be pretty obvious.... Anti-Inflammatory Tea alongside Tumeric.

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