West African Pepper: High Piperine Content

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Piper guineense is a West African species of Piper; the spice derived from its dried fruit is known as West African pepper, Ashanti pepper, Benin pepper, false cubeb, Guinea cubeb, uziza pepper or (ambiguously) “Guinea pepper”, and called locally kale, kukauabe, masoro, sasema and soro wisa.

It is a close relative of cubeb pepper and a relative of black pepper and long pepper. Unlike cubeb pepper, which is large and spherical in shape, Ashanti peppers are prolate spheroids, smaller and smoother than Cubeb pepper in appearance and generally bear a reddish tinge.

Ashanti peppers contain 5-8% of the chemical piperine which gives them their ‘heat’.

westafrican2

West African Pepper plant

West African Pepper contains the following active compounds:

West African Pepper Compounds

West African Pepper 
CatagoryCompound
Piperine
Terpenes
Beta-caryophyllene
Alpha-phellandrene
Phenyl­propanoids
Dillapiol
Elemicin
Myristicin
Safrole

The Table list the recognized and researched studies on the health benefit of West African Pepper:

West African Pepper Health Benefits

West African Pepper  
CategoryBenefitReference
Lipid Peroxidation
Piper guineense inhibits
Fe2+- Induced Lipid Peroxidation
1
Beta-caryophyllene
Beta-caryophyllene was shown to be selective agonist of cannabinoid receptor type-2 (CB2) and to exert significant neuroprotective effects.2
Anxiolytic
Results suggest that inhalation of P. guineense essential oil might induce a mild tranquilizing effect.3
Anticonvulsant
Results indicate that the extract of P. guineense has prolonged anticonvulsant activity at doses which do not cause significant CNS depression.4


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