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An overview of different herbal realities focusing on the medicinal value of plants, indigenous herbs of South Africa
and aspects of the herbal industry that affect the person in the street.
Since time does not allow most of us to read long newsletters, this newsletter will only deal with one herb at a time starting with the series kitchenwise and streetwise.


• Kitchen-wise-Medicinal herbs and spices in the kitchen
• Hot Flushes

Piper nigrum

Imagine a time when wealth was measured by the amount of pepper you had. Some changes have taken place since then and who knows, that might yet come back into fashion considering the junk status of the rand. We use pepper to stimulate the digestion.

The taste of pepper stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. This stimulation of hydrochloric acid explains why pepper also helps to decrease discomfort from excess gas production.The process of digestion is not delayed also preventing heartburn. Whether it would work to decrease the political drivel spoken by accomplished gasbags at the higher banking, pharmaceutical and other devious corporations, especially government owned which affect masses, is dubious.

The active ingredient is Piperine. Piperine may be very helpful for depression so a pinch a day may keep the blues away. Pepper is possibly great as an anti depressant but needs to be administered (if used in high dosages) by a professional as it inhibits certain enzymes, which decrease some neurotransmitters. So doses need to discussed with a professional even though pepper is regarded as safe for humans (an evolving species occupying certain spaces on planet earth striving to attain spiritual maturity)

Through Piperine, pepper is able to affect and enhance the absorption and distribution of substances in the body
Pepper affects drugs, which are changed by the liver, and you need to consult with your practitioner as to its safety. Many allopathic drugs undergo metabolism in the liver.
A process in the liver called glucuronidation, which attaches a molecule (glucuronide) to drugs to signal for their urinary excretion, is inhibited with piperine.
So In some cases the piperine can lead to elevated levels of certain drugs in the blood. Again, elevated levels could be good or bad depending on context; regardless, caution should be taken when approaching this compound. Much like when approaching someone whose predilection is psychology and /or politics (at many levels, not only governments) -psychology being the study of the soul which western psychologists question and politics, which is the manipulation of people.

This process where the regulatory process is passed is good in some cases, Piperine does help with the ingestion of certain substances--eg circumin in turmeric absorption is greatly increased `(2000%) by piperine which helps to distribute it in the body quickly before it is excreted. Similarly, B vitamins, selenium and beta-carotene are absorbed more efficiently and in larger doses.

Within cells are pumps which move some medications.the different pumps are powered by ATP, which is the bodies sustaining energy system. 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.

Black peppercorns contain a good amount of minerals like Potassium, Calcium, Zinc, Manganese, Iron and Magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for cellular respiration and blood cell production.
Black peppercorns are also an excellent source of many vital B-complex groups of vitamins such as Pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamin and niacin.
Peppercorns are a good source of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-C and vitamin-A. They are also rich in flavonoid polyphenolic anti-oxidants like carotenes, xanthine and lycopene. These compounds help the body remove harmful free radicals and help protect from cancers and diseases, as peppercorns are also anti-inflammatory.

Vitiligo is a disease in which the pigment cells of the skin, melanocytes, are destroyed in certain areas. resulting in depigmented, or white, patches of skin in any location on the body.black pepper stimulates melanocyte growth which is useful for repigmentation. In addition Black pepper promotes sweating and urination

Peppers have been used therapeutically in dentistry as an antiseptic for tooth-decay and gum swellings. A bit of pepper on an ear bud dipped onto a sore tooth may help.

Apparently pepper increases the flavor of yogurt and vanilla flavoured foods such as ice cream, which goes back to the Chinese and Monguls---our commercial ice creams, are just copycats.
Black pepper is not the same as cayenne pepper.Black pepper comes from the berries of the pepper vine. Black pepper, green pepper and white peppercorns are actually the same fruit (Piper nigrum); the difference in their colour is a reflection of varying stages of development and processing methods.

Black peppercorns are made by picking the pepper berries when they are half ripe and just about to turn red. They are then left to dry which causes them to shrivel and become dark in colour. Alternatively, green peppercorns are picked while still unripe and green in colour, while white peppercorns are picked when very ripe, and subsequently soaked in brine to remove their dark outer shell leaving just the white pepper seed.
Home remedies for malaria use pepper including making a potion of holy basil and black pepper powder: also a tea of cinnamon and black pepper is said to lower the fever and promote a cure.


When dealing with a breakdown in one aspect of the body health, it may be wise to treat the whole system rather than focus on a single organ or system. In this way mixtures of herbs may work more effectively than a single herb—some helping with elimination and detoxing.Our mixtures contain herbs, which do all that and fortify the mineral and vitamin supply hence providing a more complete healing process with no side effects.

The process of cutting a herb generates heat so the finer the cut of the herb so too does the potency diminish that little bit. So I recommend the rough tea cut rather than teabags even though it appears to be a mission to make in the rush rush everyday world.


Guidance with professional health practitioners from the naturopath, sangoma, dietician, alternative healer to a MD is an responsible course of action when dealing with any substance affecting your health.
For more in depth details about herbs visit < our website > or go to <<herb info and pictures page.>>



In the next newsletter we will deal with GINKO BILOBA in the series called Streetwise - talking about medicinal properties of herbs found growing in the streets, garden and the wild.

Hormones are tiny protein messengers that flow through the bodies superhighway-the blood stream.
Different hormones perform specific roles inside of your body. Some of these hormones work quickly to start or stop a process, and some will continually work over the course of a long period of time to perform their necessary jobs. Some of these jobs include the body's growth and development, metabolism (or production of energy), sexual function and reproduction.
Hormones are made in the endocrine glands, which are situated in various parts of the body.
When transported they are often attached to a carrier (a specific binding globulin) in the bloodstream. Much like a taxi.
The hormone is released when it gets close to a cell and floats through the cell membrane into the fleshy part of the cell (cytoplasm).
If it finds an appropriate receptor, they move to the nucleus of the cell and join with the building blocks DNA and eventually. RNA to accomplish its job
If the hormone does not find an appropriate receptor it just floats out again..
The tee-shirt that hormones wear reads “don’t push the river”

The Endocrine Glands
The endocrine glands are a highly specialized group of cells responsible for making hormones. These glands are located throughout your entire body.
These endocrine glands are like an efficient factory producing and storing the hormone for when it is needed.
Each gland produces a specific hormone for a specific function to keep the body in balance.
The Pituitary gland is concerned with the overall well being of the body. It works closely with the hypothalamus, its close neighbour that feeds it information via hormones.

The pituitary, often called the master gland as it controls the other endocrine glands, will send instructions to a specific gland producing a specific hormone if it recognises that the state of continual balance of the body, viz homeostasis is off.
For e.g.
If you become very hot, a hormone will go to the tissues to produce sweating and heat and that sensation motivates movement toward cooling hence maintaining good internal balance.

The following glands make up the endocrine system:
Pituitary Gland
Pineal Gland
Adrenal Glands
Some esotericists draw a parallel between the chakra and endocrine systems

The different endocrine glands will be discussed in further newsletters.


Non-invasive and gentle ways are the intent of nature and the right to self-treatment is empowering.

So what’s part of the balance in a society with chemical and pesticide rich food? You can go organic, plant your own, join an organic co op. Start with doing your own sprouts, so easy and a great source of vitamins minerals and essential nutrients.(see newsletter no 19). Spend sometime in nature, quietly. Link with people who create wellbeing and good vibes. Save and swop organic seed. Consider alternatives to surgery (2nd opinions from Homeopaths, reputable alternative practitioners including sangomas) and keep the faith china.

We are also a mail order source for our own organic teas , singles and herbal products. Working with you, we can develop custom formulations specific to your practice. Our goal is long term working relationships that evolve over time.

If you have a problem getting the herbs contact us at <<herbs@herbsorganic.co za 2>>and we will do our best to help you find them.

A list of our products can be viewed at Our Products on our website.



Glossary(meanings of some fancy words)

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