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Generic Name: Piper nigrum

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Bisalkaloids, black pepper oil, Brazilian black pepper, dipiperamide D, dipiperamide E, green pepper, pink pepper, Piperaceae (family), piperine, piptigrine, red pepper, white pepper, wisanine.

Note: Black pepper, white pepper, green pepper, pink pepper, and red pepper are all differently preserved berries or seeds of the Piper nigrum plant.

Background

Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is native to India and other southeastern Asian countries. Black pepper, white pepper, green pepper, pink pepper, and red pepper are all differently preserved berries or seeds of the Piper nigrum plant. Although black pepper has been used as a spice for millennia, it has also traditionally been used in India to treat diarrhea. In the Ayurvedic tradition, a preparation called Trikatu (black pepper, long pepper, and ginger) is prescribed routinely for a variety of diseases.

Recent laboratory studies indicate that black pepper may also be beneficial in pain and Alzheimer's disease. In clinical trials, inhalation of black pepper oil improved withdrawal symptoms of cigarette smoking and the ability to swallow in post-stroke patients.

Ingestion of black pepper may cause dyspepsia (upset stomach) and other gastrointestinal adverse effects. Inhalation of black pepper has caused respiratory irritation, edema, and even respiratory arrest, severe anoxia, and death. There may also be a link between ingestion of black pepper and nasopharyngeal or esophageal cancer.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved black pepper, black pepper oil, black pepper oleoresin, piperidine, and piperine as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) for use in foods in the United States.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Smoking cessation: Sensory cues associated with cigarette smoking can suppress certain smoking withdrawal symptoms, including the craving for cigarettes. Inhalation of black pepper essential oil may reduce cravings and physical symptoms associated with cigarette smoking withdrawal.
Grade: C

Stroke recovery (difficulty swallowing): Nasal inhalation of volatile black pepper oil in post-stroke patients may improve swallowing dysfunction symptoms. However, more research is needed in this area.
Grade: C

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Allergic rhinitis, Alzheimer's disease, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, diarrhea, food uses, Helicobacter pylori infection, insecticidal, measles, obesity, pain, positive energy balance.

Dosing

Adults (over 18 years old)

There is no proven effective dose for black pepper in adults. However, nasal inhalation of volatile black pepper oil for one minute for up to one month has been studied to help with difficulty swallowing during stroke recovery.

Children (under 18 years old)

There is no proven effective dose for black pepper in children.

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All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
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Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
 
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