Commonly called Piper Nigrum, Black Pepper actually is one of the three products that come from the tropical plant Piper Nigrum, which produces Green Peppercorn, Black Peppercorn, and White Peppercorn.
"The same pepper vine (of the Piper Nigrum) produces three different spices depending on the maturity of the pepper berry when picked and how it is dried. Black Peppercorn (are the) mature green berries that have been harvested and sun dried for seven to ten days," the McCormick Website’s Black Pepper Fast Facts said.
According to McCormick, Black Pepper is the number one selling spice in America, which consumes more than 112 million pounds of pepper in 2004 setting a record of 80% over the past two decades.
Could the reason behind this increase be solely due to the King of Spice’s culinary benefits or is it a soon-to-be king of America’s herbal supplements counters?
Bioperine, the active ingredient found in Black Pepper, is used in many products in the United States from chewing gums to medicated oils used to heal ailments and even as an aid to weight loss.
Black Pepper products on the web, in terms of search engine results on supplements (keyword: US black pepper supplements status), produced 665,000 webpages—a far cry from the search results of Hoodia Gordonii products (keyword: US hoodia gordonii supplements status).
However, type the keyword "US piper nigrum supplements status" at Google.com and you end up with only 862 pages. It seems that Black pepper is only beginning to be used as an aid to cure ailments or prevent it in the United States, remaining to be more of the king of spice.