Black pepper is one of the most widely used spices on the planet. In the West, we can’t imagine a world without it, lacquering our daily meals with the stuff.
Formerly termed “Piper nigrum L.,” black pepper offers many reputed health benefits:
- Improves digestion
- Eases constipation
- Acts as an anti-inflammatory
- Acts as an antioxidant
- Helps with the bioavailable transport of other herbs and spices
Well, now an upcoming study—one to be officially published in the journal Planta Medica sometime in 2018—finds that black pepper can also be considered an effective antiviral.
Black Pepper Beats Back Virus
Researchers from the University of Vienna tested a black pepper isolate, piperine, against three virus strains related to upper respiratory tract infections, including its anti-proliferative effect on vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC): coxsackle virus type B3 (CVB3), human rhinovirus type 2 (HRV2), and influenza virus type A (HK68). The researchers tested ten isolate samples in total against each virus.
What the Austrian team found is that, while pepper had no real effect against the HRV2 or HK68 strains, black pepper is an antiviral effect on the CVB3 strain, including anti-proliferative VSMC activity.
Another reason to continue lacquering your every meal in the stuff. 🙂
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