Synonym. - Black Pepper. The unripe fruit of Piper Nigrum, Linne (nat. ord. Piperaceae).

Habitat

India; cultivated in the tropics.

Characters

Globular, about 4 mm. in diameter, reticulately wrinkled, brownish-black, or grayish-black, internally lighter, hollow, with an undeveloped embryo; odor aromatic; taste pungently spicy. Resembling Black Pepper. - Pimenta, which has a calyx; Cubeb, which is stalked.

Composition

The chief constituents are - (1) An Oleoresin, readily yielding a volatile oil, 1 to 2 per cent with the odor of pepper, and a resin. (2) Piperin, (see below), 6 to 8 per cent.

Dose, 5 to 20 gr.; .30 to 1.20 gm.

Preparation

Oleoresina Piperis. Oleoresin Of Pepper

By percolation with Ether, distillation and evaporation of the residue. Dose, 1/4 to 1 gr.; .015 to .06 gm.

Piperinum. Piperin

C17H19No3=284.38. A neutral principle obtained from Pepper, and obtainable also from other plants of the natural order Piperaceae.

Characters

Colorless or pale yellowish, shining, prismadc crystals, odorless and almost tasteless when first put in the mouth, but on prolonged contact producing a sharp and bitter sensation. Permanent in the air.

Solubility

Almost insoluble in water; soluble in 30 parts of Alcohol; also slightly soluble in Ether. Isomeric with Morphine, it decomposes into Piperic Acid, C12Hi0o4, and a liquid Alkaloid Piperidine, C5H11N.

Dose, 1 to 10 gr.; .06 to .60 gm.

Action Of Pepper

Pepper, because of its volatile oil, acts like other substances containing volatile oils; thus externally it is at first rubefacient and counter-irritant, and subsequently it acts as an anodyne. Internally it increases the secretions of the mouth, and in the stomach it is stomachic and carminative. During its excretion it stimulates the mucous membrane of the genito-urinary tract. Piperin is believed to be a feeble antipyretic and antiperiodic.

Therapeutics Of Pepper

Occasionally pepper is used externally as an irritant for the same class of cases as mustard. Internally it may be applied in the form of a gargle, as a stimulant for the relaxed conditions of the throat. It is taken in the form of a condiment for its stomachic properties. The confection B. P., Pepper, 2; caraway, 3; honey, 15. Synonym. - Ward's paste, or pepper lozenges are given empirically to relieve haemorrhoids, ulcers of the rectum, and fissures of the anus.