India is the native land of spices and black pepper has been widely used to add flavor to foods. Besides adding taste to dishes, black pepper has also been traditionally used in India to treat various diseases like diarrhea. An Ayurvedic preparation called Trikatu is used to treat a number of other disorders. But, the usage of black pepper is safe when consumed in right amounts. If taken in large quantities, it may show side effects on the body. Below is a list of bad effects to keep you aware of them.
Side effects of black pepper
1. Poses risky if enters the lungs
Although this is uncommon and rare, direct consumption of black pepper may cause death by finding its way into the lungs.
Death by black pepper is possible if you accidentally inhale the fine peppercorn dust, and get it directly passes through the airway passages, ling bronchi, and mucus layers where it comes into contact with the lungs.
As black pepper cannot be metabolized in the lungs, it’ will finally reach your bloodstream which would cause death.
Kids should always stay away from fine ground pepper shakers and jars as there could be a chance that they would play around with it. And in some cases, the black pepper must be mixed into your dishes to lower the risk of direct inhalation.
2. Can react with certain medications
Black pepper does not work properly when mixed with some drugs like antihistamines which is used to relieve the symptoms of allergies, reducing the effectiveness of the intestinal absorption and hepatic metabolism some drugs. Cyclosporine A is used to prevent organ rejection, and cytochrome P450 must never be consumed alongside the black pepper, reducing the production of those enzymes. Cytochrome p450 is generally used for the metabolism of toxic substances and catabolism of the waste produced by body from the destruction of aged and deformed red blood cells.
3. May cause acid reflux and skin irritation
Irritation, redness, and itchiness of the skin are a few of the symptoms which are commonly experienced when consuming or using the black pepper on the skin.
The over use of the black pepper in a single meal could cause people to have a burning sensation in the stomach, generally caused by acid reflux. Although this is a temporary side effect of the black pepper, if overused very often it could lead to a chronic acid reflux condition, chronic heartburn, and indigestion.
4. Troubles during pregnancy
Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers need to avoid consuming large quantity of black pepper as it does not get metabolized in the bloodstream. Black pepper could reach babies through umbilical cord or breast milk in pregnant women.
It could lead to miscarriage and making the pregnancy harder on mothers, especially in the third to fourth trimesters when the fetus starts exerting noticeable pressure on mother’s digestive system.
During pregnancy, a woman becomes more sensitive to all types of spices, which includes the black pepper. For breastfeeding mother, piperine can be transported to the mother’s breast milk that would be unpleasant and can potentially harm the baby in the large quantities.
5. May affect male fertility
Piperine might affect the male fertility as well. In a study of rats, the compound was considered to damage sperm. It can increase the concentration of harmful radicals in epididymis (a duct found in the male reproductive system in which sperm is stored).
6. Can cause skin redness
There is very limited research on this fact. A study showed that cosmoperine, a compound found in black pepper, causes skin redness due to vascular engorgement, a condition in which the vascular tissue is filled with blood and other fluids. It is accompanied by skin tingling sensation.
7. Can make you sneeze
This might not be a serious side effect; however it is necessary to be aware of this. The piperine in the black pepper is an irritant. Sometimes, inhaling the smell of the black pepper may irritate the nerve ending in nasal mucous membranes. This causes people to sneeze as nose may want to excrete the irritants.
Black pepper can be a popular and more common ingredient in most of the dishes. It is important to know when not to consume it – as some of its side effects could be severe.
Black pepper is no doubt healthy. Although overindulging in it is unlikely, it could cause problems. So, have normal food amounts.
Pregnant and lactating women and people with gastrointestinal or fertility problems should avoid having black pepper. They should also consult their doctor. Any other adverse effects of the black pepper you think we missed? Let us know in the comment box.