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Black pepper (E), Kalimirch (H):
Named after one of the names of the sun, mar?-ca, it has the same qualities as this macrocosmic source of heat and light. It is warming, drying and stimulating to the circulatory, digestive and respiratory systems.
Digestion Useful for low appetite, sluggish digestion, abdominal pain, toxins or ama and borborygmus. Black pepper's hot and penetrating qualities are a great stimulant to agni as they help to increase enzymatic secretions. This helps to enhance absorption of nutrients and literally 'burn' ama. Its affinity for purisavahasrotas coupled with its anthelmintic qualities helps to remove worms. It can be used as part of the physical treatment of anorexia to stimulate hunger and interest in food. As it contains chromium, a component of glucose tolerance factor, black pepper is a useful part of many diabetes treatments; it normalises medas dhatu and prevents ama overflowing into the pancreas and urine. Lungs Specific for cold, wet, damp, kapha conditions in the pranavahasrotas with white, sticky mucus and a productive cough; asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and sore throats. Black pepper infused oil or ghee, applied into the nose, can be a wonderful decongestant to the sinuses blocked with kapha or ama. Fevers It can help to 'cook' the pathogens and then induce a sweat to release the misplaced agni that has moved from the stomach to the plasma tissue. It clears ama from rasa dhatu and normalises the digestive fire in the stomach. Used as part of treatment in intermittent fevers such as malaria when it is often combined with bitter and cooling herbs. Circulation Pepper has the ability to stimulate microcirculation in the capillaries. This can be useful in cirrhosis, hepatitis and skin diseases with signs of stagnant blood; red or purple patches and chronic lesions. This can also be of benefit in cold congestion in the uterus and apanaksetra with dysmenorrhoea and amenorrhoea. External application of the essential oil can help to relieve neuralgic and arthritic pain with cold swellings.