Place of origin: Native to south west India
Description: A perennial woody vine up to 5 metres high with heart shaped leaves and small white flowers.
The berries turn red to black as they mature. Black pepper is the dried fully –grown unripe fruit.
Method of extraction: Steam distillation.
History: A very old and highly revered spice, used in India for over 4000 years, mainly for urinary and liver disorders.
The Greeks used it extensively for combating fever.
In medieval England, black pepper was used in charms and amulets for protection.
Mind and Spirit: Strengthens the nervous system, useful for stimulating the mental faculties and energising the body.
It has a warming comforting quality so is useful for extreme cold, either of a physical or emotional nature.
Good for muscular aches and pains and arthritic aches.
Black pepper can be added to a massage oil to treat severe bruising.