Maricha (Piper nigrum)
Maricha - Piper nigrum
Maricha is commonly known as “Black pepper”. The value of Maricha gave the pet name called “Black gold”. It is a glabrous climber commonly seen all over the South India and Western coast of India. The brown or brownish black dry seeds of this plant in powder form are effectively used in different diseases including worm infestations and allergies.
Several experimental studies being conducted by Dr. Gupta’s IAFA on the effects of Maricha and proven that it is a good stimulant, carminative, stomachic, appetizer, vermifuge, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-tumor, anti-mutagenic, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and antiallergic. White pepper is also used in medicine in clinical conditions like eye diseases and as an anti poisonous drug. Many studies have been conducted to determine the effect of black pepper on allergies. These studies has shown some significant results like the inhibition of histamine release from the mast cells plays an important role in the mechanism of anti-allergic effects. On examination of histamine release inhibitory activity of Piper nigrum extract has shown that Piper nigrum extract has in vivo anti-allergic effect against allergy and in vitro inhibitory activity on histamine release from peritoneal mast cells. Thus this drug can effectively be used in various allergic conditions.
Action of Piper nigrum or Maricha in Allergies
Phytoconstituents naturally found in Piper nigrum are 5-9% alkaloid, 1-2.5% volatile oil, 6% pungent resin, piperidine and starch. These chemicals do different actions in body like carminative, stomachic, appetizer, vermifuge, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-tumor, anti-mutagenic, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti allergic activities.
Allergic reactions are mediated mainly by Histamine H1 receptor (H R) and Histadine Decarboxylase(HDC) genes. It has been known that the inhibition of histamine release from the mast cells plays an important role in the mechanism of anti-allergic effects. Piper nigrum extract contain piperidine and has in vivo anti-allergic effect against allergy and in vitro inhibitory activity on histamine release from rat mast cells. Thus this drug can effectively be used in various allergic conditions.
Vernacular Names and Botanical Classification
|Botanical name||Piper Nigrum Linn.|
|Hindi name||Kali Mirch, Mirch, Gul Mirch, Gol Mirch, Choco mirch|
|Sanskrit name||Ushana, Krishna, Suvrutta, Shakanga, Vantari, Shirovrutta, Kofaka, Village, Dharmapattana, Maricha, Yavanestha|
|English name||Black Pepper, Common Pepper, Pepper|
|Bengali name||Golmarich, Vellajung, Murichung, Kolukung, Maricha, Kala maricha|
|Marathi name||Mirin, Kalamiri|
|Kannada name||Kari Manesu, Kalu Menasu, Olle Menasu|
|Telgu name||Miriyalu, maricha, shavyamu|
|Malayalam name||Nalla muluka, Kurumulaku, Lada, Nallamulaku|
|Urdu name||Filfil Yah, Kali Mirch|
|Arabian name||Filfil aswad|
|Persian name||Filfile siyah, Pilpil, Filfile aswad|
Ayurvedic Reference of Maricha
Parts Used of Piper nigrum or Maricha
Fruit, Dried Unripe Fruits, known as Peppercorns (Black pepper)
Preparations and Dosage of Piper nigrum or Maricha
- Powder: 250 mg to 2 grams in divided doses per day.
- Paste: for external uses as a single ingredients or in combination with other herbs
- Oil: for external uses
- Decoction: for external uses as gargles
Medicinal Properties and Uses of Piper nigrum or Maricha
- Food allergy: because of its Chedana (cutting) and Shoshana) drying effects, it increases digestive fire (agni) and balances Kapha and Vata Dosha
- Chest and nasal allergy- it alleviates kapha doshas caused due to vitiated vata dosha
- Cardiac disorders: helps to prevent blood arthrosclerosis
- Hypothyroidism: helps to stimulate thyroid gland along with other herb like trikatu choornam due to its teekshan property.
- Colon cleanser: it has scrapping effect over the intestine thus inducing cleansing effect.
- Obesity management: helps in reduction of weight
- Skin Diseases: antifungal, antibacterial and insecticidal
Home remedies of Piper nigrum or Maricha
Natural friendly lifestyle is attracting people to use more herbs in daily life. Pepper is a common herb used all over the world as a spicing up agent to the food. The dry fine powder of Pepper has a general anti-inflammatory and antiallergenic effect.
- Maricha in dysentery(Pravahika): Fine powder of Pippali (Piper longum) and Maricha are used in curing dysentery. 2 gram each can be added to warm rice soup and taken twice daily for the best results.
- Maricha in sprue(Grahani): Powder of Maricha, Citraka (Plumbago zeylanica) and Sochal salt are taken with buttermilk. 100 ml butter milk with 2 gram each of herbal powders and required quantity of salt is suggestive for the best results.
- Maricha in cough (Kasa): Powder of Maricha with mixed ghee, honey and sugar and taken internally cures cough. Half teaspoon Maricha powder along one teaspoon of above mentioned ingredients, taken once daily for three days is suggestive for fast curing.
- Maricha in digestive disorders: Maricha powder can be used as a carminative and added to light vegetable soups in case of improper digestion.
- Maricha in rejuvenation: used as a rejuvenative herb in combination with jaggery or sugar.
- Maricha in poisoning: powder can be used against poisoning. In severe poisoning Maricha powder is uses for nasal inhalation. This method should be performed only under the guidance of an Ayurveda specialist.
- Maricha in eye disorders: Diseases of eye can be cured with unique Maricha powder scraping performed with buds of Hibiscus flower ( Hibiscus rosa –sinensis). This method should be only performed under the guidance of an experienced specialist.
Article Written By: Dr. Sahil Gupta, Ayurvedic Allergist