¶Of Pipere. cap. 131.
PEpper is called Piper, and is the séed or the fruit of a trée, that groweth in the South side of ye hill Caucasus, in the strong heate of the Sun, as Diosc. sayth li. 17. The leaues thereof, be like to the leaues of Iuniperus, and serpents kéepe the woods that pepper groweth in, and when the woods of pepper be ripe, men of that country setteth them on fire, and chace away the serpents by vyolence of fire, and by such burning, the graine of pepper, that was white by kind, is made blacke and ri•ely. And of pepper are 3. manner kindes, as he saith: for some pepper is long, and that is not ripe: some is white, and that is not corrupte by fire, nor blemished with fire, and some is black and riuelled without, with par∣ching and rosting of the heate of ye fire. And blacke pepper is most vertuous, and Page [unnumbered] may longest be kept in heate, & is stron∣ger than other Pepper, and the more heauie it is, the better it is, and the more new, as he saith, and is fayned new by scand and guile of merchandise: for they couer the most eldest pepper, and spring thereon oare of siluer or of lead, for it should so seeme fresh and newe, because of the while huske. Huc vsque Isid. And lib. 12. cap. 8. Plinius sayth, that Pepper is made black and riueled, by long burn∣ing of the sunne, and that not without wrong done to the pepper: for Pepper should be white by kinde, and wexeth, so blacke by distempering of heauen, and men of that lande suffereth that, that it may the better be kepte, and the longer time. But Diosco. saith, that Saracens putteth the pepper into an ouen, when it is new gathered, and parcheth & rost∣eth it so, and taketh so away from it the vertue of gendring and of springing, for it should not spring and beare fruite in other landes. And pepper is hot and dry in the fourth degrée, as it is said in Plat. And hath vertue to temper and dissolue, to consume and to wast, and to drawe. Powder thereof maketh sneesing, & pur∣geth and cleanseth the braine of fluma∣tike superfluitie, and fretteth dead flesh, and consumeth and wasteth the web in the eye, and cleanseth the spiritual mem∣bers of superfluities that be cold & gley∣mie, and namely if it be taken with dry figs, and also it hath vertue to heate, and comfort the stomacke, and to excite ap∣petite, but the vse of pepper is not profi∣table to sanguine men, neither to chola∣ricke: for pepper dissolueth and dryeth, and burneth the bloud, and bréedeth at last meselrye, and other full euill sicknes∣ses & euils, as it is said in Plat. Also the pepper graine is soule in sight, and black without, and white within, hot in sa∣uour, with good smell, little in quantity, most in vertue, colde in déede, and hot in might. The vertue thereof is not felte, while it whole and sound, but when it is chewed or ground.
It were long to recken all the ver∣tues thereof at full: and though it bée right precious among vs, for the vertue thereof & might: yet for the great plen∣tie therof among the Indes, it is accoun∣ted lesse worthy than Palegium, as Ier. saith, and Isidore also.
(*The elder Writers der set foorthe 3. kindes of peper, the long, the white, & the blacke pepper. Pepper is hot & drye in the third degrée.)