There is black pepper, green pepper, white pepper and even pink peppercorns. What’s the difference?
- Black pepper is only half-mature, about to turn red (ripe) and then dried into peppercorns
- Green pepper is from the same unripe berries
- White peppercorns are entirely ripe berries is soaked in brine to remove the dark outer skin, exposing the inner white-colored pepper seed
- All are from the same fruit (Piper nigrum). The difference is derived from the different stages of development and processing methods.
- Orange and red pepper consists of the ripe red pepper drupes from the plants being preserved in brine and vinegar.
- Pink peppercorns are from an entirely different plant, the Peruvian pepper tree (Schinus molle).
Black pepper is famous as a culinary spice, but also as a medicine used to treat digestive issues, heart disease, arthritis, depression, congestion, and headaches.
In TCM, Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is known for Warming the Stomach, Warming the Interior, Expelling Cold, Calming Rebellious Qi, Descending Qi Downwards, Reducing Pain, and as an Antimalarial herb.
Find out more about Black Pepper (Hei Hu Jiao)and how to use it from a Western and TCM perspective.