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Pepper is a wonderful spice and a well-known ingredient that no respectable household, restaurant or fast food joint can do without. It’s probably the second most used seasoning (second to salt) and it originates from plants included in the Piperaceae family. The common pepper dust or beads come from the plant’s fruits, which are dried, crushed in a fine and spicy dust or simply used whole; the whole dried fruit is known as peppercorn. The usage of pepper in both gastronomy and medicine dates back since antiquity. The term “pepper” is derived from the Dravidian term pippali, which was later turned into peperi by the romans; the used peperi for both the black pepper and the long pepper. In today’s modern languages, the term shifted into pfeffer (German), poivre (French), pepe (Italian), piper (Romanian) and of course pepper (English). What gives pepper its bite is a chemical called piperine.
Pepper has a long established reputation in the kitchen, but having some around can solve a lot of problems around the house. There are many unusual uses for pepper which will give great results. Here’s what you can use it for:
1. Keep ants away
Ants are naturally attracted by sugar compounds, so as long as you give them a reason, they’ll come invading your kitchen or wherever else they might find something sweet to take back to the colony. If you have some pepper in hand, you can sprinkle it every here and there, where you might think I’d get in the ants way. If the ants encounter pepper along their trail, they’ll most likely g thrown off and they’ll turn back.
2. Keep garden parasites at bay
Your garden won’t be safe until you take some measures. Your plants are in danger ever since they begin sprouting; as soon as they’re out, there are all sort of bugs that are ready to feast on the fruits of your labor. To keep these pesky parasites away, just mix black pepper and flour (equal parts) and sprinkle the mixture around the plants.
3. Keep away squirrels from the bird feeder
If you have a squirrel problem around the bird feeder, you can solve it by simply adding some cayenne pepper. Sprinkle the spice around the feed, and you won’t see squirrels around ever gain. This won’t bother the birds that have a natural tolerance for the pepper; not only won’t they feel it, but the high amounts of vitamin A found in the pepper will also improve their plumage.
4. Brighten the colors of your clothes
If you wish to keep you clothes looking like new as long as possible or simply bring back to life some of the older clothes with faded colors, you don’t need any fancy and expensive products to get the job done. If you have some pepper around the house, just add a teaspoon of the spicy dust to the wash. The pepper thrown in the mix will keep bright colors as strong as ever and will prevent them from running too.
If you find yourself having a strong headache for no apparent reason, some are claiming that pepper can save the day. Just get a regular glass of water and add half a teaspoon of pepper, mix it up good and drink the concoction. If you have a smaller glass, ¼ teaspoon of pepper will suffice. If in 40 minutes time you have had no results, repeat the procedure.
6. Clear up your sinuses
If you’ve caught a nasty cold or if your sinuses are acting up, you may be able to ease up the situation by adding some extra pepper you or meals. However, if you’re intolerant to spicy food, there’s another solution for your problems: you can get eucalyptus drops and mix them up with liquid pepper; put them in the steamer and they’ll do wonders for your clogged sinuses in no time at all.
7. Detoxify the liver
If you’ve been having liver problems lately or if simply you want to give your liver a hand, you’ll need to mix up the following in a small glass: 1 cup of flat, filtered water; 1 entire lemon (or lime) squeezed; 1 teaspoon of maple syrup (or other natural sweetener) and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. You should have this drink every morning, before breakfast.
Thanks to its natural properties, the common pepper s far more than a simple food spice. It can be used as pest repellant, as a fabric brightener and even as a natural remedy for various afflictions. Having some around the house can be very convenient if you should ever find yourself in the need for any of its uses.
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