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Black pepper (Piper nigrum L.) is a plant of the Piperaceae family, cultivated for its fruits, which are then dried to be used as spices. The same fruit, through different processing procedures, is used to produce white pepper, black pepper and green pepper.
The plant is native to southern India and is cultivated extensively both in India and in tropical countries. The ripe fruit looks like a dark red berry, has a diameter of about five millimeters and contains only one seed.
One of the universally recognized properties of black pepper is the digestive one resulting in a stimulation of the metabolism; these benefits are due to the presence of piperine which, in addition to promoting the production of gastric juices, is also able to improve the absorption of nutrients present in foods introduced into our body.
According to some studies that have not yet been proven, it seems that piperine is able to stimulate endorphin production at the cerebral level and is therefore considered a substance with antidepressant properties. The pepper is attributed other therapeutic properties that can bring benefits in case of inflammation and water retention.
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