You're slicing up meat and the knife slips. Ouch! You just cut into your finger and the blood starts to flow. Before you run off to grab a bandaid...pass the pepper, please. Wait, it's really not the time to spice up your meal. Oh, the pepper isn't for my steak. It's for my finger. What?
Have a cut somewhere? Cover it with a generous amount of black pepper. You'll want to rinse that cut first to clean it before applying the pepper. This even works with those stubborn cuts, scrapes and nicks that just won't stop bleeding. Contrary to ones thinking, the pepper will not burn or sting. Instead, black pepper will stop bleeding, is most healing, takes out the soreness and it forms a crust over the cut to keep out infection.
Dried, ground pepper is one of the most common spices in worldwide cuisine. Who doesn't have black pepper on their dining table? Even I do...and I'm not one to go for much spiciness at all. Pepper has been used since prehistoric times dating back to at least 2,000 BC. It now accounts for one fifth of the world's spice trade. Vietnam now leads the export market, followed by Indonesia and Brazil. India, where pepper was first extensively cultivated, current ranks #5 in pepper exports.
Black pepper is a flowering vine cultivated for its fruit, which is dried for use as a spice and seasoning known as a peppercorn. It's grown extensively in tropical regions. Known as ' black gold', peppercorns were prized in the past as a trade good and used as a form of commodity money.
Throughout history, pepper has been used by many cultures as a form of medicine. Pepper can dramatically increase the absorption of selenium, vitamin B and beta-carotene. It's been used in the west to aid digestion and relieve gas. In Chinese medicine, pepper has been used to treat food poisoning, cholera, dysentery and vomiting cause by hypothermia. When mixed with ghee, it's used for nasal congestion, sinusitis, epilepsy and skin erruptions. Even black pepper essential oil comes into play for pain relief, increasing blood circulation, muscle aches, rheumatic pain, toothaches, fevers and exhaustion. Pepper also contains properties as an analgesic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, cardiac, digestive, diuretic, laxative and stimulant.
The next time you take a gouge out of your hand or that little one falls and scrapes up a knee; forget the Neosporin. Head off to the kitchen and grab yourself some good, old ground black pepper. It works better, is much cheaper and it's all natural, too. Spice up that slice with a quick turn of your pepper mill. Sprinkle it on and give it a try.