Capsicum annuum L. - Chili peppers

Capsicum annum (Chili pepper) is one of very popular spices known for their medicinal and health benefiting properties. This species is the most common and extensively cultivated of the five domesticated capsicums. The species encompasses a wide variety of shapes and sizes of peppers, both mild and hot, ranging from bell peppers to chili peppers. The chili, actually, is a fruit pod from the plant belonging to the nightshade family (Solanaceae), within the genus, capsicum. The species is a source of popular sweet peppers and hot chilies with numerous varieties cultivated all around the world. It is one of the chief spice ingredients in Nepalese, Indian, Chinese, Mexican and many other cuisines.

Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Capsicum
Species: C. annuum
Binomial name: Capsicum annuum L.
English name: chili pepper
Nepali name: khurshani
Trade name: chili peppers

Capsicum annum plant is a small, perennial shrub with woody stem, growing up to a meter in height. Today chili pepper is grown widely in many parts of the world as an important commercial crop. Depending upon cultivar type, it bears flowers which subsequently develop into fruit pods of variable size, shape, color, and pungency.  Inside, each chili fruit pod features numerous tiny, white, or cream colored, circular, flat seeds which clinging on to the central white-placenta.

To harvest, chilies can be picked up while they are green, or when they reach complete maturity and dry on the plant itself. In general, the fruits are ready for harvesting once they mature and turn red. They are then left to dry under sunlight and shrink in size.

  • Nepalese chili pepper contains an impressive list of plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties.
  • It carries a good amount of minerals like potassium, 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.
  • Chilies are also good in B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that human body requires them from external sources to replenish.
  • It contains health benefiting an alkaloid compound in them, capsaicin, which gives them strong spicy pungent character. The capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. It also found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals.
  • Nepalese fresh chili peppers, red and green, are rich source of vitamin-C. 100 g fresh chilies provide about 143.7 µg or about 240% of RDA. Vitamin C is a potent water-soluble antioxidant. It is required for the collagen synthesis inside the human body. Collagen is one of the main structural protein required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones.
  • Nepalese chili peppers are also good in other antioxidants such as vitamin-A, and flavonoids like ß-carotene, a-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin, and cryptoxanthin. These antioxidant substances in capsicum help protect the body from injurious effects of free radicals generated during stress, diseases conditions.

Medicinal uses

  • The major chemical compound capsaicin and its co-compounds are used in the preparation of ointments, rubs and tinctures for their astringent, counter-irritant and analgesic properties.
  • These formulations have been in use in the treatment of arthritic pain, post-herpetic neuropathic pain, sore muscles, etc.
  • The compound ‘capsaicin’ has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. It is used to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in obese persons.

Culinary uses
Fresh or dried or chili powder is used as one of the major spice ingredients in Nepalese, Indian, Chinese, Mexican and many other cuisines. Chili pepper is mostly used in curries, Chinese sauces, hot snacks, hot soups and many other dishes.

 

Fresh or dried or chili powder is packed in plastic bags, jute bags, paper box, and other customized packaging. We also provide different packaging as per customer/buyers’ choice and mode of shipping. Its size and quantity is depend upon the customers’ requirements.