(Natural News) The great majority of our readers have likely never heard of cubeb pepper. But its many health benefits make it well worth learning about, especially since it has a proven track record as a staple of Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines, going back thousands of years.
What is cubeb pepper?
According to Health Benefits Times, cubeb pepper (Piper cubeba) is a type of berry that has been dried and used in natural medicine for centuries.
In traditional medicine it is used in the treatment of a wide variety of health conditions, including diarrhea, stomach pain, urogenital diseases, enteritis, syphilis, gonorrhea, dysentery, and even asthma.
Health Benefits Times explains:
It is a member of the piper family, cousin to piper longum and piper nigrum, better known as black and white pepper. The dried, wrinkled cubeb berries are similar in appearance to peppercorns, though grayish-brown in color. Their thin stalks, or “tails” that remain attached, give the fruit its nickname of “tailed pepper.” Its flavor is described as a cross between allspice and black pepper. The plant is native to Indonesia – Greater Sunda Islands. It is also cultivated in Java, Sumatra, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
In terms of modern medicine, researchers are excited by a particular type of compound in cubeb pepper: a lignan known as hinokinin. (Related: Cubeb Pepper has incredible health benefits and is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat respiratory illness.)
The benefits of lignans
As explained by Lignans for Life, lignans are both phytonutrients and antioxidants, and can boost immunity and help to balance the hormones in the body.
Studies have found that women with higher levels of lignans in their bodies experience better breast health.
And a study by researchers from the University of California, Davis found that lignans also reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), a type of cholesterol which has been linked to heart disease, stroke, heart attack, gallstones, memory loss, stomach pain and many other health problems.
According to Lignans for Life, lignans also have higher antioxidant properties than any fruit or vegetable in the USDA database. As reported by Medical News Today, antioxidants can prevent or slow down the cellular damage caused by free radicals, a process known as oxidative stress. Studies have found that oxidative stress is linked to vision loss, atherosclerosis and cancer, among other conditions.
It is thought that the free radicals cause changes in the cells that lead to these and possibly other conditions.
An intake of antioxidants is believed to reduce these risks.
According to one study: “Antioxidants act as radical scavenger, hydrogen donor, electron donor, peroxide decomposer, singlet oxygen quencher, enzyme inhibitor, synergist, and metal-chelating agents.” (Related: The health benefits of Cubeb Pepper, an exotic medicinal spice that’s naturally rich in hinokinin, a powerful phytonutrient for enhancing immunity.)
Antiviral properties of hinokinin, a lignan in cubeb pepper
As reported by AlternativeMedicine.news, the lignan hinokinin, which is found in cubeb pepper, may also pack an antiviral punch:
Hinokinin, one of the lignans found in the plant, is a powerful phytonutrient thanks to its ability to enhance immunity as well as its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. In studies, it has shown significant antiviral activity against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus.
Clearly, cubeb pepper offers a host of health-boosting benefits and should be a staple in every natural health advocate’s pantry. Learn more about the secrets in Mother Nature’s medicine arsenal at Nutrients.news.
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