Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) Benefits and Side Effects

Other than salt, we use black pepper the most as a seasoning to enhance the taste and quality of food. It is known as the king of spices and is commonly grown in India, Brazil and Sri Lanka. Black pepper has lots of health benefits.

Health Benefits of Black Pepper:

  • Helps in proper digestion
  • prevents cancer
  • Helps in losing weight naturally
  • Can treat dandruff
  • Helps in providing you clear and blemish free skin
  • Provides you relief from cough and cold
  • Acts as a natural antidepressant

Eating too much Black Pepper Side Effects:

Black Pepper Side Effects

Along with its benefits, black pepper also has some side effects. So, you should take care not to consume it in excess. This way you can save yourself from its side effects. Consuming too much of black pepper causes some serious and some not so serious side effects.

Aggravates haemorrhoids:

Consuming excess of black pepper can aggravate the symptoms of haemorrhoids or piles. This is does so by irritating the colonic and rectal mucosa. Too much of this spice also causes diarrhoea. Severe diarrhoea can cause haemorrhoid flare ups.

Avoid during summers:

Summers are very hot. Consuming back pepper adds to the heat. Black pepper can increase the body heat and sometimes it may even lead to bleeding of the nose. So, it is better if you avoid having black pepper in summers.

Be cautious when using with herbs:

You should be very careful when you use black pepper with herbs or supplements. This is because it can cause changes in the transit time of other agents in the body and can interfere with eh effects of these agents.

Ceates burning sensation in stomach:

As we all know, black pepper is ‘hot’. So, it is important that you use it in limited amounts in your dishes. If you use it in excess, it can cause severe burning in your stomach. However, it is temporary and will soon pass away.

Can cause death:

This is one of the rarest cases. By consuming black pepper directly, it can get into your lungs and cause death. It takes place especially in children. So, it is recommended that you do not consume black pepper directly. You can mix it with food and have it.

Creates burning sensation in eyes:

Black pepper is ‘hot’. So, take care that you do not apply it directly on your skin. If it gets into your eyes accidentally, it can cause burning and redness on your eyes as well as your skin.

Contra indication with certain drugs:

You should refrain from consuming black pepper if you are taking cyclosporine A, cholinergic, digoxin and cytochrome P450.

Difficulties during pregnancy and breastfeeding:

When you are pregnant, your body may become sensitive to spices. So, it is better that you stay away from black pepper during such times. If you would like to have it, you can add a little of it to your favourite dish. But make sure that it of minimal quantity. By consuming it in normal amount, black pepper will not harm pregnancy. But if you have it in excess, it may cause miscarriage. It is also advised not to apply black pepper directly to the skin during pregnancy. The hot flavour and taste of black pepper may get transferred to the breast milk. This can cause problems for the infant. So, try not to have it when you are breastfeeding.


You may suffer from serious health problems like edema by inhaling too much of black pepper. This is because of the presence of volatile compounds in black pepper. This causes swelling of the delicate tissues present in the throat and the lungs. This in turn results in the retention of fluid in the lungs called pulmonary edema.

Gastrointestinal disorders:

Black pepper can cause stomach upset and gastrointestinal problems. So, if you are suffering from gastrointestinal issues you should not consume black pepper. The natural pungent natural of black pepper can increase the acid levels in the stomach. When there is a sudden increase in gastric acid, you suffer from fullness, nausea, bloating, acid reflux and stomach pain. Excessive consumption of black pepper may damage the gastric mucosal lining, which is very delicate.

Increases skin dryness:

Make sure that you do not consume black pepper in excess. This can cause dryness of the skin. If you already have a dry skin, then you should not consume it at all.

May lead to respiratory problems:

You should never inhale black pepper. This can cause respiratory problems like asthma, respiratory irritation and so on. Aspiration of too much of black pepper can cause hypoxia, which is that your body does not get adequate oxygen supply. In severe cases it can block the airways. This may even lead to death. Black pepper also causes irritation to the delicate lining of the airways and the lungs.

May cause irritation:

Sometimes, when you consume black pepper, you may suffer from skin irritation like swelling, itching and redness of the skin.

By comparing the pros and cons of black pepper, you can see that the pros are more than the cons. the only way that black [pepper can cause harm to you is by consuming it in large quantities. by having it in limited amounts you will enjoy the benefits of this spice and also save yourself from its side effects.

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