An herb entry from the Ancient Herbs and Modern Herbs book by James K. Sayre, Copyright, 2001. All rights reserved.
Pepper, Red - Capsicum annum - family: Solanaceae (Nightshade Family).
This is the familiar green, yellow or red sweet pepper, which is commonly
used as a vegetable. It is a perennial plant that may grow to about five
feet high. It has oval-to-lance-shaped dark green leaves and produces bell-shaped
flowers of white or yellow. The flowers are followed by green, yellow, orange
or red peppers (fruits). Small beige-colored seeds are contained within
the fruits. Some cultivars yield smaller spicy-hot red peppers. Typically
cultivated as an annual. Peppers are used fresh, dried or canned. Paprika
is a spice made from dried sweet red peppers. Modern American folk use of
peppers as a topical remedy for pain relief for cases of arthritis, shingles,
tendinitis and tennis elbow. Modern European folk use of peppers as an internal
remedy for varicose veins. Approved by the German Commission E as an external
remedy for muscle tension and rheumatism. Native to the American tropics.
Cultivated as a food crop in North America. Tolerates temperatures down
to about 40° F. Many cultivars exist. Also see the closely related Pepper,
Chili, Capsicum frutescens entry.
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Web page last updated on 22 May 2003.