Black Pepper, Blanc Poivre, Extrait de Poivre, Grain de Poivre, Hu Jiao, Kali Mirchi, Kosho, Krishna, Marich, Maricha, Pepe, Pepper, Pepper Extract, Pepper Plant, Peppercorn, Pfeffer, Pimenta, Pimienta, Pimienta Negra y Pimienta Blanca, Piper, Piper nigrum, Piperine, Poivre, Poivre Noir, Poivre Noir et Blanc, Poivre Noir et Poivre Blanc, Poivrier, Vellaja, White Pepper.<br/><br/>


Overview Information

Black pepper and white pepper are made from the Piper nigrum plant. Black pepper is ground from dried, whole unripe fruit. White pepper is ground from dried, ripe fruit that has had the outer layer removed. The black pepper and white pepper powder are used to make medicine.

People take black pepper for stomach upset, bronchitis, and cancer. They take white pepper for stomach upset, malaria, cholera, and cancer.

Black pepper is sometimes applied directly to the skin for treating nerve pain (neuralgia) and a skin disease called scabies. Black pepper and white pepper are also used topically as a counterirritant for pain.

In foods and beverages, black pepper, white pepper, and pepper oil (a product distilled from black pepper) are used as flavoring agents.

How does it work?

Black and white pepper might help fight germs (microbes) and cause the stomach to increase the flow of digestive juices. There is conflicting evidence about their role in cancer. Some evidence suggests pepper might protect against colon cancer, but other evidence suggests it might promote liver cancer.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of black and white pepper for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Black pepper and white pepper are safe when used in food amounts and might be safe for most people when used in medicinal amounts. Pepper might have a burning aftertaste. Taking large amounts of black and white pepper by mouth, which can accidentally get into the lungs, has been reported to cause death. This is especially true in children.

Black pepper and white pepper, when applied directly to the skin, are safe for most adults. However, there isn't enough information to know if use on the skin is safe for children. Black pepper and white pepper may cause redness and burning if they get into the eyes.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It’s OK to use black and white pepper in food amounts if you are pregnant. But taking larger amounts might be unsafe. There is concern that black pepper in large amounts might trigger a miscarriage. Also, avoid putting pepper on your skin. Not enough is known about the safety of using topical pepper during pregnancy.

If you are breast-feeding, limit pepper intake to food amounts. Not enough is known about the safety of using larger medicinal amounts.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Lithium interacts with BLACK PEPPER AND WHITE PEPPER

    Black pepper and white pepper might have an effect like a water pill or "diuretic." Taking black pepper and white pepper might decrease how well the body gets rid of lithium. This could increase how much lithium is in the body and result in serious side effects. Talk with your healthcare provider before using this product if you are taking lithium. Your lithium dose might need to be changed.

  • Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with BLACK PEPPER AND WHITE PEPPER

    Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.<br/><br/> Black and white pepper might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking pepper along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the chance of side effects from some medications. Before taking black or white pepper, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.<br/><br/> Some medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.

  • Medications moved by pumps in cells (P-Glycoprotein Substrates) interacts with BLACK PEPPER AND WHITE PEPPER

    Some medications are moved by pumps in cells. Black and white pepper might make these pumps less active and increase how much of some medications get absorbed by the body. This might cause more side effects from some medications.<br/><br/> Some medications that are moved by these pumps include etoposide, paclitaxel, vinblastine, vincristine, vindesine, ketoconazole, itraconazole, amprenavir, indinavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir, cimetidine, ranitidine, diltiazem, verapamil, digoxin, corticosteroids, erythromycin, cisapride (Propulsid), fexofenadine (Allegra), cyclosporine, loperamide (Imodium), quinidine, and others.

  • Phenytoin (Dilantin) interacts with BLACK PEPPER AND WHITE PEPPER

    Black and white pepper might increase how much phenytoin (Dilantin) the body absorbs. Taking black and white pepper along with phenytoin (Dilantin) might increase the effects and side effects of phenytoin (Dilantin).

  • Propranolol (Inderal) interacts with BLACK PEPPER AND WHITE PEPPER

    Black and white pepper might increase how much propranolol (Inderal) the body absorbs. Taking black and white pepper along with propranolol (Inderal) might increase the effects and side effects of propranolol (Inderal).

  • Rifampin interacts with BLACK PEPPER AND WHITE PEPPER

    Black and white pepper might increase how much rifampin the body absorbs. Taking black and white pepper along with rifampin might increase the effects and side effects of rifampin.

  • Theophylline interacts with BLACK PEPPER AND WHITE PEPPER

    Black pepper and white pepper can increase how much theophylline the body can absorb. This might cause increased effects and side effects of theophylline.

Minor Interaction

Be watchful with this combination

  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol) interacts with BLACK PEPPER AND WHITE PEPPER

    Black and white pepper might increase the amount of carbamazepine (Tegretol) absorbed by the body. It might also decrease how quickly the body breaks down and gets rid of carbamazepine. This could increase how much carbamazepine is in the body and potentially increase the chance of side effects. However, there is not enough known about this potential interaction to know if it is a big concern.



The appropriate dose of black pepper and white pepper for use as treatment depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for black pepper and white pepper. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


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