Paminta is a stout climber with
smooth branches, 2 to 3.5 millimeters in diameter. Leaves are somewhat leathery, broadly ovate to oblong-elliptic, 10 to 13
centimeters long, 3.5 to 8 centimeters wide, with pointed, rounded, or heart-shaped based, 7-plinerved, smooth on both surfaces. Rachis is hairy. Bracts of the female cupular receptacles are short, whole, adnate, without raised margins. Flowers are usually dioecious
(having the male and female organs). Female spikes are pendulous, 6.5 to 10.5 centimeters long. Fruits are crowded, sessile, rounded, about 4 millimeters long, 3 millimeters in diameter, with 3 or 4 stigmas.
- Limited cultivation in the Philippines.
- Also cultivated in all tropical countries of the Old World, and also in Brazil and in the West Indies.
- Black pepper has been found to contain piperine, alkamides, piptigrine, wisanine, dipiperamide D, and dipiperamide E.
The pepper contains an active resin (oleoresin, responsible for the known
pungent taste and aromatic odor), a volatile oil, starch, gum, a small quantity of fatty oil in the mesocarp, and about 5% of inorganic matter, besides the alkaloid, peperine, and a volatile alkaloid probably identical with pepperidine.
Contains an alkaloid piperine, 5 - 9%;
piperidine, 5%; mesocarp contains chavicine.
- Piperine the active principle, has the same chemical composition as morphine, although it is almost devoid of taste, color or smell, and is resolvable into piperic acid and a colorless liquid alkaloid, piperidine.
- Study yielded six bioactive compounds i.e. piperine, pellitorine, guineensine, pipnoohine, trichostachine, and piperonal. (16)
- Study of essential oil from root distillation yielded a total yield of 0.39% essential oil, with contents of trans- and ciscaryophyllene, -3-canene, humulene, limonene, pinene in the oil were 51.2, 6.76, 6.00, 3.76, 2.97, 1.35% respectively. (22)
- Nutrient analysis per 100 g yielded: (principles) energy 255 Kcal, carbohydrates 64.81 g, protein 10.95 g, total fat 3.25 g, cholesterol 0 mg, dietary fiber 26.5 g; (vitamins) choline 11.3 mg, folic acid 10 mcg, niacin 1.142 mg, pyridoxine 0.340 mg, riboflavin 0.240 mg, thiamine 0.109 mg, vitamin A 299 IU, vitamin C 21 mg, vitamin E? 4.56 mg, vitamin K 163.7 mcg; (electrolytes) sodium 44 mg, potassium 1259 mg; (minerals) calcium 437 mg, copper 1.127 mg, iron 28.86 mg, magnesium 194 mg, manganese 5.625 mg, phosphorus 173 mg, zinc 1.42 mg; (phytonutrients) carotene-ß 156 mcg, carotene-α 0 mcg, crypto-xanthin-ß 48 mcg, lutein-zeaxanthin 205 mcg, lycopene 6 mcg. (28)
- Study on antioxidant activity showed 74.61 ± 0.02% with an IC50 of 14.15 ± 0.02 µg/ml. (29)
- Phytochemical screening yielded the presence of alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, cardiac glycosides. (see study below) (31)
- Major chemical compounds responsible for aroma, pungency and medicinal properties are: α-terpineol (floral), acetophenone (irritant, sharp), hexonal (green apple) nerol (fresh, floral, herbal), nerolidol (mild spicy, rooty), 1,8-cineol (camphory), dihydrocarveol (warm, woody), citral (citrussy), α-pinene (terperic, oxidized), piperolnol (sweet, floral.) (32)
- Considered acrid, astringent, rubefacient, stimulant, counterirritant, stomachic,
- Roots considered tonic, stimulant, cordial and anthelmintic.
- Studies have shown cholinergic, antispasmodic, analgesic, antibacterial, larvicidal, antiepileptic, antioxidant, hypolipidemic, immune-enhancing properties.
Roots, leaves, seeds.
Edibility / Culinary
• The dried fruits furnish the
black pepper of commerce. When the outer shell is removed, the product
is white pepper.
• The use of pepper as spice and condiment dates back to early times.
• Used for large-scale preservation of food, sausage making, etc.
• Study showed heating black peppercorns between 100˚C and 150˚C for 15 to 30 minutes in a microwave, simulating dry roasting, made little change in the amount of volatile oil. (See study below) (20)
- In the Philippines, used as stimulant and rubefacient. Piperine also used as antiperiodic.
- Decoction used as mouthwash for toothache.
- Used as
rubefacient in alopecia and
- Used in preparing liniments used in chronic rheumatism.
- Used in dyspepsia, flatulence, gonorrhea, cough, hemorrhoids and intermittent fevers.
- Decoction used for obstinate intermittent fever and flatulent dyspepsia.
- Used a febrifuge, with brandy and anise, in various forms of malarial fevers.
- Externally pepper is rubefacient and used as counterirritant.
- In decoction, used as mouthwash for toothache.
- Used as rubefacient in alopecia and skin diseases.
- Infusion used as gargle for afflictions of the throat.
- Juice of leaves boiled in oil and applied externally for scabies.
- Ointment mixed with lard used against Tinea capitis.
- Used in shellfish and mushroom poisoning.
- Mixed with honey and ginger, used by Malays as abortifacient.
- Roots used as antihelmintic.
- Toasted berries used for stopping vomiting associated with cholera.
- Used for vertigo, paralytic and arthritic disorders.
- Black pepper is corrective for fish, flesh, shell-fish and mushroom poisoning.
- Malay women use black pepper as an abortifacient, taken in pills with honey and ginger.
- In Iranian traditional medicine, used to relieve
menorrhagia in women.
- In Ayurveda, paste of black pepper is used
for boils, piles, rheumatic pains, headache, prolapsed rectum, toothaches.
Pepper is given for dyspepsia, flatulence, diarrhea, cholera, cough, gonorrhea
and malarial fever.
- In India used in traditional medicine for constipation, diarrhea, earache, gangrene, heartburn, hernia, hoarseness, indigestion, insect bites, liver and lung problems, sunburn, dental caries, and toothaches. (16)
• Spasmolytic / Anti-menorrhagia:Study showed a spasmolytic effect of the black
pepper extract probably through involved voltage dependent calcium channels
and B-adrenoreceptors. Results support its traditional use to relieve menorrhagia.(1)
• Anticholinesterase Inhibitory Activity: In vitro study of extract of P. nigrum seeds showed 50-65% inhibitory activity on acetylcholinesterase.
• Antispasmodic: Antispasmodic Effect of P Nigrum Fruit Hot Water Extract
on Rat Ileum: Study showed spasmolytic effect on rat ileum probably
mediated via Ca+ influx.
• Analgesic: Analgesic Activity Of Piper Nigrum Extract Per Se And Its Interaction
With Diclofenac Sodium And Pentazocine In Albino Mice: Piper nigrum alone did not show any significant analgesic activity. (4) However
PN extract significantly increased the analgesic activity of diclofenac
sodium and pentazocine.
• Pharmacognostical Studies: Root distillation yielded 0.39% essential oil, with a total yield of 0.79% piperine from the root. (5)
• Neural Effects / Piperine: In vitro study using whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology, piperine, a pungent alkaloid, showed a similar agonist effect on human vanilloid receptor TRPV1 as capsaicin. Piperine, however, could induce greater receptor desensitization and exhibit greater efficacy than capsaicin.
• Antibacterial: (1) Study yielded an isobutyleicosatrienamide, pellitorine, trachone, pergumidiene and isopiperolein B. All the isolated compounds were active against B subtilis, B spaericus, K aerogenes and Chromobacterium violaceum. (2) Study results showed excellent inhibition of the growth of Gram positive bacteria ( Staph aureus, followed by Bacillus cereus and Strep faecalis) and Gram negative bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa followed by Salmonella typhi and E coli.)
• Larvicidal : Study demonstrated the potential of P nigrum extracts against larvae of Cx quinquefasciatus and its benefits for the development of new cost-effective and environmentally friendly larvicide for mosquito control.(7)
• Antiepileptic : Study demonstrated anticonvulsant activity of the water extract of P nigrum attributed to an antagonistic action at NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors.(8)
• Antioxidant : Study showed both water extract and ethanol extract exhibited strong total antioxidant activity.(9)
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study in Wistar albino rats of a polyhedral formulation containing extracts from seven medicinal plants including P. nigrum showed 31.3% inhibition against carrageenan-induced acute inflammation.
• Diabetes Protective Effects: Study in Alloxan-induced diabetic rats showed oxidative stress playing a key role in diabetes, and treatment with P. nigrum and V. rosea are useful in controlling not only glucose and lipid levels but may also help in strengthening the antioxidant potential.(11)
• Anti-Hepatotoxic / Antioxidant: Study showed an ethanol extract of P. nigrum root is an efficient hepatoprotective and antioxidant agent against CCl4-induced liver injury. The hepatoprotective effect was supported by histopathological observations.(12)
• Hepatoprotective / Thioacetamide-Induced Fibrosis: Study evaluated the antifibrotic effect of an ethanol extract of P. nigrum in rats with liver fibrosis induced by thioacetaminde. Mice treated with the extract showed significant reduction of HP, serum enzymes and TBL and inhibition of fibrosis induced by thioacetamide. (24)
• Antidiarrheal Effect: Study evaluated an aqueous extract for antidiarrheal, antimotility, and antisecretory activity in mice. Results showed significant and dose-dependent antidiarrheal activity against castor oil and magnesium sulfate induced diarrhea. Antimotility, and antisecretory effects. The antimotility and antisecretory effects may be due to the presence of carbohydrates and alkaloids.(17)
• Thermogenesis / Piperine Effect: Study suggests Piper nigrum enhances and encourages thermogenesis of lipids (fat molecules) and accelerates energy metabolism in the body, probably from the active principle in crushed pepper, piperine.(18)
• Acute and Subchronic Toxicity Studies: Study showed a water extract from dried fruits of P. nigrum did not cause acute or subchronic toxicities in either male or female rats.(19)
• Roasting / Heat Effect: Study showed heating black peppercorns between 100˚C and 150˚C for 15 to 30 minutes in a microwave, simulating dry roasting, made little change in the amount of volatile oil. However, there were some changes in volatile oil composition, probably from loss of a few volatile oils and/or release of glycosidically bound terpenoids. (20)
• Antioxidant / Piperine / High Fat Diet-Induced Oxidative Stress: Study explored black pepper effect on tissue lipid peroxidation, enzymic and non-enzymic antioxidants in rats on a high-fat diet. Results showed supplementation with black pepper or the active principle, piperine, can reduce high-fat diet induced oxidative stress to the cells.(21)
• Anti-Asthmatic: Study evaluated the anti-asthmatic activity of an aqueous extract of fruits on acetylcholine induced contraction on isolated goat trachea. Results showed significant inhibition of acetylcholine induced bronchoconstriction, suggesting a significant anti-asthmatic potential for the extract. (23)
• Testosterone 5-Alpha-Reductase Inhibitory Activity: Fractionation of P. nigrum leaf extract isolated
(-)-cubebin (1) and (-)-3,4-dimethoxy-3,4-desmethylenedioxycubebin (2). Study on testosterone 5-allpha reductase activity showed potent inhibitory effect of 1 and piperine. Also, the leaf extract showed in vivo-androgenic activity using a hair regrowth assay in testosterone sensitive male strain of mice.(25)
• Antimicrobial: Study of evaluated 28 extracts from the fruits of four species, viz. Piper cubeba, P. retrofractum, P. longum, and P. nigrum against bacterial pathogens Staphylococcus aureus, S. typhi, P. aeuriginosa, E. coli and Bacillus megaterium and one fungus, Aspergillus niger. Compared to Streptomycin all extracts showed good antibacterial activity. Some exhibited antifungal activity. (26)
• Piperine / Constipation and Diarrhea Studies: Study evaluated the use of pepper and its principal alkaloid, piperine, in constipation and diarrhea using in vitro and in vivo assays. In isolated guinea pig ileum, crude extract of pepper and piperine caused a concentration-dependent and atropine-sensitive stimulant effect. in rabbit jejunum, they relaxed spontaneous contractions, similar to loperamide and nifedipine. Results suggest the presence of spasmodic (cholinergic) and antispasmodic (opioid agonist and Ca(2+) antagonist effects, providing explanation for use of pepper and piperine in gastrointestinal motility disorders. (27)
• Anticancer / NMU-Induced Mammary Tumorigenesis / Piperine-Free Extract: Study investigated the anticancer and cancer preventive activity of a piperine-free P. nigrum extract (PFPE) against breast cancer cells and N-nitrosomethylurea (NMU)-induced mammary tumorigenesis in female Sprague-Dawley rats. Results showed inhibition of growth of luminal-like breast cancer cells by induction of apoptosis. The extract also exhibited greater selectivity against breast cancer cells than colorectal cancer, lung cancer, and neuroblastoma cells. (30)
• Acute Toxicity Study / Piperine-Free Extract: In acute toxicity study, a single oral administration of PFPE at a dose of 5,000 mg/kbw resulted in no mortality and morbidity during a 14-day observation period. (30)
• Antibacterial Against Some Human Pathogens: Pepper plant extracts were evaluated for antibacterial activity against some human pathogens. Methanol and chloroform extracts showed activity against all test bacteria ( S. aureus, S. typhi, E. coli, P. mirabilis) except Pseudomonas aeruginosa. (31)
• Wound Healing: Study evaluated the potential wound healing properties of black pepper berries. Results demonstrated the extracts of black berries of Piper nigrum (0.32-1.0 µg/ml) encouraged cell migration activity. Observed wound healing activity was probably related to phytochemicals, viz. flavonoids and triterpenes. (33)
• Piperine Healing: Review describes a novel natural cyclobutane-containing alkaloid piperine isolated from Piper species. It exhibits potential anti-microbial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, anti-depressant, anti-apoptotic, antipyretic and analgesic activities. Review presents the origin, structure, and biological properties, together with applications of piperine. (34)
• Gastroprotective / Aspirin-Induced Ulcer: Study evaluated the effect of aqueous extract of Piper nigrum on hematological and biochemical parameters in aspirin-induced gastric ulcers in female rabbits. Results showed a gastroprotective effect possibly through an effect on prostaglandin synthesis in the gastric tissue. The gastric antisecretory activity may be due to peripheral parasympathetic blockade. The constituent responsible for gastroprotective activity is likely a piperine effect on the endogenous levels of coenzyme Q10. (35)
• Memory Enhancing / Antioxidant / Fruits: Study evaluated the possible memory-enhancing and antioxidant properties of the methanolic extract of P. nigrum fruits in an amyloid-beta rat model of Alzheimer's disease. Study showed antioxidant potential and significant improvement in memory performance. Results suggest the plant extract ameliorates amyloid-beta (1-21)-induced spatial memory impairment by attenuation of the oxidative stress in the rat hippocampus. (36)
• Synergism of P. nigrum and Allium sativum Against Food Pathogens: Study investigated the synergistic antimicrobial effects of Piper nigrum and Allium sativum as spice extracts. Results show the combination of pepper-garlic extract showed the best antimicrobial activity when compared with individual extracts of pepper and garlic. (37)
• Alkamides / ACAT Inhibition: Bioactivity-guided fractionation of MeOH extracts of fruits of Piper nigrum isolated alkamide (5) and five-previously identified alkamides viz. retrofractamide A (1), pipercide (2), piperchabamide D (3), pellitorin (4), dehydroretrofractamide C (5) and dehydropipernonaline (6), with IC50 values of 24.5, 3.7, 13.5, 40.5, 60, 90 muM, respectively. All the compounds inhibited cholesterol esterification in HepG2 cells. (38)
• Antitubercular Activity: Study evaluated in vitro anti-tubercular activity of five medicinal plants viz., Syzygium aromaticum, Piper nigrum, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Aegele marmelos and Lawsonia inermis against Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv strain. All five plant extracts exhibited anti-tuberculosis activity. (39)
• Increased Effect of Midazolam Induced Hypnosis: Study evaluated the effect of ethanolic extract of P. nigrum fruits on Midazolam (substrate for CYP3A4)-induced hypnosis in rats. Results showed significantly increased sleeping time to 35% to that of control of Midazolam induced hypnosis without affecting sleep latency. The extract might have inhibited the metabolism of the drug via inhibition of CYP3A4 which increases the efficacy of the drug. (40)
• Effect of P. nigrum on In-Vitro Release of Rifampicin Microspheres: A bioenhanceris an agent that can enhance the bioavailability and bioefficacy of a particular drug with which it is combined. Microspheres is one of the multiparticulate drug delivery system to prolong drug delivery, improve bioavailablity, stability, and target drug to specific sites. In the study, small amount of P. nigrum extract was incorporated as a bioenhancer of rifampicin. The most important finding relates to the very significant enhancement of drug release (46.81 to 86.16%) due to co-administration of 15 mg bioenhancer along with each dose of rifampicin microspheres. (41)
• Immunomodulatory / Anti-Cancer: Study investigated the potential immunomodulatory effects of black pepper (Piper nigrum) and cardamon (Elettaria cardamomum). Both extracts significantly enhanced splenocyte proliferation in a dose-dependent and synergistic manner. Results suggest black pepper and cardamom exert immunomodulatory roles and antitumor activities, with the potential as natural agents to maintain a healthy immune system, regulate inflammatory responses and prevent/ attenuate carcinogenesis. (42)
- Seeds and supplements in the cybermarket.