Botanical Name: Bell pepper
*Capsicum abyssinicum A.Rich.
*Capsicum angulosum Mill.
*Capsicum annuum f. bicolor Makino
*Capsicum annuum f. certoides Fingerh.
*Capsicum annuum f. chlorocarpum Kuntze
Common Names: Sweet pepper, Pepper or Capsicum
Peppers are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Pepper seeds were imported to Spain in 1493 and then spread through Europe and Asia. The mild bell pepper cultivar was developed in the 1920s, in Szeged, Hungary. Preferred growing conditions for bell peppers include warm, moist soil in a temperature range of 21 to 29 °C (70 to 84 °F)
Sweet Pepper is a small, branched, mostly erect, annual or perennial herbaceous shrub sized 30 -90 cm tall. Production is best, in deep loam soil with good fertility, easy irrigation, sufficient drainage and plenty of sunshine. Sweet pepper should not be cultivated on the same soil year after year because of disease problems. It is best to rotate the crop with corn, rice, sugarcane and legume. Since it is a warm-season crop, it performs well under an extended frost-free season. Roots are normally short or deep tap root and may extend 20 to 30 cm deep. Stems are glabrescent. Leaves are alternate, solitary or paired; bright to dark green color, petiole 4–7 cm; leaf blade oblong-ovate, ovate, or ovate lanceolate, 4–13 × 1.5–4 cm, glabrescent, base narrowed, margin entire and wavy, apex short acuminate or acute. Sweet Pepper plant features star shaped, small, off-white, pendent flowers. Corolla is rotate, five-lobed white, 10 mm.
Sweet pepper plant offer sweet pepper that differ greatly in color, shape and size according to various varieties. Sweet peppers are often green or red in color, but sometimes also yellow, white, purple or black. Sweet berry is actually a berry, pericarp fleshy and firm, hollow, pendent up to 15 cm and are green while young and turns to red orange, yellow, white, brown or purple when mature. The inside of a sweet pepper is hollow and subdivided by partitions, to which the seeds are attached. The outside of the sweet pepper comprises a very shiny skin. Seeds are normally pale yellow, discoid or reniform, 3–5 mm across. Sweet pepper has mild, sweet flavor and wonderful taste due to which it is found used in a variety of food items throughout the world.
*The fruits are used for fresh consumption – raw or cooked, and they are sold as frozen, canned, dried (whole or crushed pieces) and pickled fruit.
*The fruit is also processed as fermented products, powders, sauces, salsas and coloring agents.
*Seed oil is edible and used for flavoring and seasoning.
*Chili in the form of powder or paste is a vital ingredient for curries.
*Fermented sweet peppers ( torshi felfel ) are produced in west Asia and Africa.
*In Southeast Asia and PNG the young leaves and flowers are eaten as potherb or added to soups and stew.
Apart from their mild, sweet flavor and wonderful taste sweet pepper is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Consuming 149 gram of chopped sweet pepper offers 119.8 mg of Vitamin C, 0.334 mg of Vitamin B6, 0.098 mg of Copper, 11 µg of Vitamin K, 0.182 mg of Manganese and 0.085 mg of Vitamin B1. Moreover many Amino acids like 0.018 g of Tryptophan, 0.054 g of Threonine, 0.036 g of Isoleucine, 0.054 g of Leucine and 0.058 g of Lysine are also found in 149 gram of sweet peppers.
Medicinal Uses & health Benefits:
The health benefits of sweet pepper or African Pepper include treatment of cancer, help treat anemia, arthritis, improves bone density, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, digestive health, restless leg syndrome, prevents muscle cramps and maintains skin health. Regular consumption of sweet pepper is recommended to overcome all these disorders and live healthy life.
Other traditional uses and benefits of Sweet pepper:
*The fruit is considered to be anti-haemorrhoidal, antiseptic, diaphoretic, digestive, irritant, rubefacient, sialagogue, antirheumatic, and tonic.
*It is ingested internally for the treatment of the cold stage of fevers, debility during convalescence or old age, for asthma, varicose veins and stomach upsets.
*Externally, it is used as a therapy for sprains, unbroken chilblains, neuralgia, and pleurisy.
*Fruit of the red pepper (namcho) is used to warm body coldness, to activate the stomach function, to smooth blocked internal organs, and is used to treat stomach aches, emesis, dysentery, chilblain, and scabies in Koprean traditional medicine.
*Stem is called nalchogyung and is used to treat rheumatic psychroalgia.
*Root, called nalchodoo, is used to treat asthenia of the limbs.
*Leaves are used to treat emesis, dysentery, and scabies.
*Root has been recorded as a decoction for treating gonorrhea in Peninsular Malaysia.
*Some C. annuum cultivars are grown as ornamentals particularly those displaying fruit in four or five colors on the same plant at the same time and those with unusual fruit shapes or for their dense foliage and bright colorful fruits and for their bright red fruits used as decorations during the festive season such as Christmas.
*Fruits and shoots with fruits dried or fresh are used as wreaths, house decorations and floral arrangements.
*Mature bright red chilies are hung in colorful strings (ristras) used as symbol of hospitality in New Mexico.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.