Herb of the Month: Black Pepper

Piper nigrum, also called black pepper and “The King of Spices,” has been used for thousands of years, and modern science now supports many benefits of this plant. Native to southern and southeast Asia, it is common in Ayurveda as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Piper nigrum is a pungent, warming herb that is said to “warm” the stomach and stimulate digestive fire. The fruit and seeds of the plants are traditionally used, with the seeds used internally to help with circulation and indigestion, while the essential oils of the plant also have antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

When people worldwide use black pepper as a spice, they use it as a flavor booster for the enhancement of the taste of the food. Often the health benefits are overlooked, or not even known about. Learning of the nutritional benefits is a good thing, because let’s face it, we love pepper, and the fact that it has health-supporting benefits is a plus.

Many people will ask: If I am eating a lot of pepper, isn’t that enough? Yes, in many instances it is. That said, with the heat associated with black pepper, for many it is difficult to consume the amount needed for true health benefits.

An easier way to get the benefits of black pepper and its key bioactive compounds is to take a standardized extract. The major bioactive compound identified in P. nigrum is piperine. One science-backed extract that contains piperine in a standardized form is BioPerine, which is researched, pioneered, created, and patented by Sabinsa. The company developed BioPerine as a nutritional supplement that offers a more accessible way to enjoy the health benefits associated with piperine, chemical ingredients in black pepper that are beneficial to the human body. The antioxidant properties allow BioPerine to support the body’s natural resistance, and protect against damaging free radicals. Research has shown that piperine offers anti-inflammatory benefits to people of all ages. Keeping our inflammatory levels in our body balanced is a plus in many related health areas, such as cardiovascular, circulatory, digestive and pain.

Research also has shown that many nutrients are enhanced with the addition of piperine, which has been studied for its ability to increase nutrient absorption and increase antioxidant concentrations in the body. CoQ10, Vitamin C, and Selenium are just a few nutrients that are enhanced with the addition of BioPerine. One of the most incredible enhancements is the combination with curcumin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits that are best achieved when combined with piperine. The black pepper extract has been shown to significantly increase curcumin’s bioavailability. In fact, studies have shown the BioPerine added to Curcumin can increase absorption up 2,000%.

 

References

1. Bioperine- What is it and what does it do?

  https://www.clubearlybird.com/blogs/earlybird-blog/ingredients-bioperine

2. U.S.  National Library of Science- National Institute of Health

 Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health

Susan J. Hewlings1,2,* and Douglas S. Kalman3,4