Maricha - from usage as a spice to treating respiratory illness, multiple benefits.


Maricha (Black pepper) is considered the king of spices. It has been known to Indian cooking since at least 2nd century BC and as a home remedy for relief from sore throat, throat congestion, cough etc.

In Ayurvedic classics, pepper is described as Shulaghana (anti colic/ analgesic), Deepniya (appetizer), Krimighna (vermicidal). Pepper is useful in digestive issues  such as Grahaniroga (sprue syndrome), Visuchika (cholera), Ajirna (indigestion), Jwara (fever), Arsha roga (piles), Atisara (diarrhea) etc, Also, it helps to rejuvenate the respiratory system. Thus it is used frequently for the treatment of cough, coryza, cold, asthma, hoarseness of voice, tuberculosis etc.

It is used as a solo drug as well as an essential ingredient of numerous compound formulations and prescriptions of Ayurvedic medicine. Maricha is one of the ingredients of Trikatu. 

Herb - Maricha

Ayurvedic Action

Rasa (Taste)Katu,Tikta
Virya (Energy)Heating
Vipak (Post-digestive effect)Katu
Guna (Quality)Light ,Dry, Sharp
Doshic EffectBalance K-V, P increasing

Health benefits

Cough 

The antitussive activity of Black pepper is helpful in getting relief from cough.

Weight loss and Digestion

Pepper is good for weight loss as it improves the metabolism of the body. Maricha can be used for weight management when added to the diet. Pepper has Deepan (appetizer) properties that help to improve metabolism and reduce Ama (toxic remains in the body due to improper digestion).

Antitoxic properties.

Maricha kashaya is mentioned as an antidote for Vatsanabha (Aconitum ferox) seed poisoning. Vatsanabha showed mild to moderate toxicity in liver, which have been reversed by Maricha kashaya in TED dose which is suggestive by results of biochemical parameters, and histopathological studies. (Based on an experimental study - on the antidote effect of maricha).

Sexual health

Pepper is beneficial for men due to its aphrodisiac property. Piperine, a component present in peeper has inhibitory effects. This inhibitory effect of piperine improves the level of testosterone and thus enhances sexual performance. Pepper also contains zinc and magnesium which helps boost sexual drive in males.

Dosage and side effects (only after consultation with an ayurvedic doctor).

  • Part used - Churna/Powder - 3-4 pinch
  • Pepper powder is  consumed in high doses and prolonged usage can cause hyperacidity and gastritis.
  • Inhalation of pepper powder may cause respiratory irritation, pulmonary edema and respiratory arrest.
  • Safe to eat Black pepper in food amounts or in low amounts during pregnancy or lactation.

References

  1. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339378719_Critical_Review_of_Maricha_Piper_Nigrum_Linn_in_Brihat_Trayi_with_Special_Reference_to_Nighantus
  2. https://www.thepharmajournal.com/archives/?year=2018&vol=7&issue=7&ArticleId=2363

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