Pink pepper in the kitchen uses and benefits

You may not know it but pink pepper is not actually a variety of pepper. For this reason, in fact, it is also called “false pepper”.

The origin of the name is given by the similarity between the three pink pepper berries and the fruits of Piper Nigrum, the plant from which black pepper, green pepper, red pepper and white pepper derive.

What is Pink Pepper?

Its spicy aroma and slight spiciness make it a very versatile spice, used in cuisines all over the world, including Italy.

This spice is also rich in beneficial properties and for this reason it is widely used in herbal medicine and phytotherapy, for the preparation of natural remedies.

Pink pepper in the kitchen uses and benefits

It is a grain spice with an intense, pungent, but also sweet and floral aroma.

Its taste is less spicy than that of other types of pepper, more similar to that of juniper berries, with a lemon aftertaste and a touch of honey.

The fruits of pink pepper are small pink berries, produced by a plant belonging to the Anacardiaceae family, genus Schinus, soft species.

The plant flowers in spring producing small yellowish-white flowers, which as they grow give way to clusters of green berries, very similar to those of pepper. The berries reach full maturity in August, assuming the characteristic intense pink colour.

Pink pepper nutritional values

From a nutritional point of view, inside the “false pepper” berries we find precious micronutrients such as resins, tannins, glucose and gum-resins, which make it an ally for the health of body and mind.

It also contains up to 10% essential oils, such as pinene and limonene. It is a low-calorie food, just think that three pink peppercorns correspond to only 1 calorie.

Furthermore, although it is mainly composed of fats and carbohydrates, the quantity used in cooking is always very small.

Benefits of pink pepper

The micronutrients contained in its pink berries have various beneficial properties and make this food a valid aid for our psychophysical well-being.

Pink pepper contains:


It is an alkaloid with antioxidant, anticonvulsant, antimicrobial, neuroprotective, antiparasitic and anticancer properties.

The percentage of piperine contained in pink pepper berries increases salivation and the production of gastric juices, optimizing the conversion of food into energy and facilitating the digestive process, with positive effects also on the metabolism.

This makes pink pepper an ally against obesity by helping the body burn fat.


The presence of gum-resins supports the body in the disposal of waste materials, promoting a purifying action. For this purpose it is taken in the form of herbal tea, by boiling the pink pepper berries in boiling water.


They are molecules synthesized by plants and endowed with astringent, antidiarrheal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity.

They therefore have many beneficial effects on the body, because they inhibit the production of free radicals, fight intestinal problems such as diarrhea and hemorrhoids and also skin inflammation, minor burns and glandular hypersecretions.

Mineral salts (calcium, phosphorus and potassium)

They are essential micronutrients for the correct functioning of our body, of which they regulate the hydro-saline balance, thus promoting a good state of health of cells and tissues, essential for muscle contraction and the functionality of the nervous system.


The “rutin” contained in pink pepper berries is a flavonoid known for its ability to increase the production of serotonin and dopamine, counteracting stress and mental fatigue.

To make the most of this beneficial property of pink pepper, the ideal is to vaporize a little pink pepper essential oil into the room.

Antioxidants and Polyphenols

The former give the “false pepper” berries their distinctive pink colour and, together with the polyphenols, fight the action of free radicals, contrasting the oxidation and cellular aging process.

Pink pepper in the kitchen

Pink pepper, thanks to its composition and the advantageous properties deriving from it, is used in many ways and in different fields, from the medical to the gastronomic one, in agriculture as in phytotherapy.

It lends itself to both sweet and savory dishes and today it is also a widely used spice in Italy.

Find out also what cocoa beans are, in our article.