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.