(22) Thirty Days of Grateful Praise: Black Pepper

This should be both in your kitchen cabinet and in your first aid kit. Seriously.

Our local newspaper used to feature a “Chef of the Week,” with a Q & A feature where they asked the chef random questions like “What do you like to eat late at night when you get home from the restaurant?”  (I always loved it when they said something like “Cheetos” or “Cocoa Puffs.”)

One of the most frequent questions was “What is your favorite spice?” Most of the time, it was something ridiculously exotic, like…I dunno…salt distilled from the sweat of Tibetan yaks or something.  Seriously, some of the spices they named seemed about that outlandish.

That’s why I was so delighted when one of the chefs said, simply, “Black Pepper.”  I was delighted not only because it’s the most commonplace, everyday spice you could possibly name, but because it happens to be my favorite spice, too.

Here at my house we buy black pepper in the gargantuan economy-size containers.  I use it for almost everything I cook except desserts.  And if the recipe calls for a teaspoon, I make it a super-duper heaping one.  I do it not only because it tastes good, but because black pepper has real health benefits.  Studies have shown it to have both antibiotic and antioxidant effects in the human body.  And, hey, it’s cheap.  I can buy a colossal canister from the warehouse club for only a few dollars.

We buy it by the quart  not only for all those reasons, but because we’ll never, ever forget that twice it saved our bacon.  Yes, it really did.  Because the most important thing I can tell you about black pepper is that it stops bleeding.  On two separate occasions in the past few years, Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man and I have had unfortunate encounters with well-sharpened household implements.  In his case, a razor-knife; in mine, an electric hedge trimmer.  If you like you can read about them here:

http://blueridgebluecollargirl.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/a-well-seasoned-man/  and http://blueridgebluecollargirl.wordpress.com/2009/07/06/of-fireworks-fireflies-fingers-and-the-fourth-of-july/

I won’t rehash the harrowing tales here, but I will tell you that both involved COPIOUS amounts of blood.  And in both cases, black pepper stopped the bleeding immediately.  Not only that, it really does have a significant antibiotic effect, as both of our very serious wounds healed with no infection.

I just hope nobody tells the pharmaceutical companies about how amazing it is.  They’ll buy up all the black pepper, put it in a capsule, call it some silly name, and charge us an arm and a leg for it.

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9 Responses to “(22) Thirty Days of Grateful Praise: Black Pepper”

  1. Benjamin Says:

    Great grisly pun!

  2. Vicki Lane Says:

    Stops bleeding? I had no idea. I knew about using cobwebs but this is new to me.

  3. betsyfromtennessee Says:

    Hi Beth, We use alot of pepper also…. However, we don’t use regular salt anymore —but use sea salt instead….

    I did NOT know that black pepper stopped bleeding… That’s great to know. THANKS!!!!

    Hugs,
    Betsy

  4. afitme Says:

    I am allergic to black pepper so don’t eat much of it, but I wonder how it would affect me on a wound?!? I can tolerate it in small amounts but do not cook with it for obvious reasons.

    What a great post.

  5. Plowing Through Life (Martha) Says:

    How wonderful that a chef would choose such a simple, common spice like pepper. I use it frequently because it adds a nice flavour to our meals. I had no idea about pepper being able to stop bleeding like that. What a great tip. I will keep that in mind!

  6. Bikbik & Roro Says:

    I’d say black pepper too! Or white! I think they can stand in for styptic powder if need be.

  7. Jes Says:

    Stops bleeding?! So you just sprinkle it on? What a great tip–I would have never figured that out myself.

    And you should try pepper in desserts sometimes. I made a vanilla buttercream with cracked black pepper on top and it was amazing!

  8. Chris Says:

    I like pepper a lot and I did know about it stopping bleeding, have used it that way. May I recommend a pepper mill and grinding your own for culinary use. Many of the beneficial volatile oils in pepper are released as soon as the seeds are ground so you get the most nutritional benefits if you grind it just before use.

  9. Jeff Says:

    I didn’t know that black pepper stopped bleeding. Thanks for the tip! Here’s another that you may or may not know: raw honey is a wonderful anti-biotic and healing agent. I’ve used it numerous times to great effect. Wash the wound with soap and water and then rub raw honey into it. Put some on the bandage also. It works vastly better than NeoSporin.

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