Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is presently consumed more than all other spices combined. For several centuries, it was the primary staple of world trade. Throughout much of the Middle Ages, peppercorns were so costly that they served as hard currency. Taxes, dowries, and other tributes allegedly included levies of pepper. Dock men unloading pepper ships were not allowed pockets in their clothing due to concerns that they might attempt to steal some corns.
Native to India, black pepper today is cultivated extensively in tropical climates worldwide, most notably in
فِلْفِل أسود Fulful aswad
فلفل أبيض (falafuli ‘abyad)
فلفل أخضر (falifuli ‘akhdur)
فلفل أسود (falafuli ‘aswad)
فُلْفُل أَبْيَض (fulful ‘abyad)
فُلْفُل أَخْضَر (fulful ‘akhdar)
فُلْفُل أَسْوَد (fulful ‘aswad)
فِلْفِل أَبْيَض (filfil ‘abyad)
فِلْفِل أَخْضَر (filfil ‘akhdar)
فِلْفِل أَسْوَد (filfil ‘aswad)
Indonesia. Black, green, and white pepper represent three stages of ripeness in the pea-sized berries produced by the climbing bush.
In addition to its universal appeal as a preservative and seasoning for food, black pepper possesses a number of medicinal uses. It has long been considered an aid to digestion; as early as 400 B.C., Hippocrates declared that it assisted the functioning of gastric juices. In Egypt, a decoration of the spice has long been used as a mouthwash to ease toothache pain. A Philippine folk remedy consists of warming equal amounts of black pepper and anise with brandy to reduce high body temperature due to fever.
John Herman relates that a Miami policeman, responsible for disposing of voodoo sacrifices left at the Dada County Courthouse by
relatives of defendants on trial for alleged crimes, indicated that pep¬per is one of various foods associated with voodoo rituals. For instance, black pepper is employed to keep someone in jail for a lengthy period of time.