Bell peppers, alternatively known as capsicum are fruits belonging to a group called the nightshade family. As you would probably guess, they are directly related to tomatoes and most types of chili peppers, which are again primarily found in parts of Central America and South America.
Bell peppers are often called sweet peppers because of their taste and you can consume them raw, boiled, or fully cooked.
As with their popular relative chili peppers, many individuals often consume them in dry and powdered forms. In its very essence, the dried pepper is known as paprika.
Bell peppers in all their form come with extremely low calories. They also have high doses of vitamin C and a couple of other antioxidants, which make them one of the best additions to a healthy diet.
You would find bell peppers in a range of colors including (but not limited to) red, green, orange, and even yellow. The green variant of the pepper is often unripe and therefore, they aren’t as sweet as their fully ripened counterparts.
Now, while most of us consume the fruits of peppers, there’s one burning question among health enthusiasts. Should you consume the stalks of the pepper plant? Well, that is what we will find out over the following few sections.
Should You Consume the Stalk of Pepper Plants?
While it may be tempting to many, we would advise against consuming the stalk of the pepper plant. This applies to tomatoes, potato tubers, and every other plant belonging to the nightshade family. Remember, the stalks of these plants are extremely dangerous, and they may cause severe gastric ailments when consumed.
As with pepper stalks, avoid consuming stalks of eggplants, tomatoes, and potatoes as well for the same reason. Owing to their nightshade family, these plant stalks contain a toxic poison known as atropine. Atropine may lead to food poisoning and a range of other ailments.
It is only administered in a supplementary form for heart ailments. But that process is entirely artificial, and the doses are extremely small. Either way, refrain from consuming the stalk of the pepper plant, either raw or cooked.
Note that the stalk being dangerous is only applicable to chili, bell, and wax peppers all of which belong to the nightshade family. This may not be the case with black or white pepper as their vine is completely unrelated.
What Happens When You Consume the Stalk of Pepper Plants?
As you probably know at this stage, the stalk of a pepper plant contains a toxic compound called atropine which may be poisonous to humans and animals.
When consumed, it may lead to a series of health issues like dryness in the mouth, blurry vision, sudden and intense light sensitivity, chills and sweat lessness, severe dizziness, balance loss, certain hypersensitive reactions like skin rashes, tachycardia (rapid heart rate), and severe vomiting.
Over time, your condition may worsen, and you are likely to experience palpitations, dilation of pupils, issues with swallowing, a strong thirst, sweaty skin, anxiety, mild tremors, persistent fatigue, and an overall problem with coordination.
If you think you or your loved one has accidentally consumed the stalk of pepper plants, consider consulting a doctor immediately. Since the primary issue is toxicity here, it should be addressed right away.
In case you have pepper plants at home, make sure your children and pets stay away from them. You too should make it a point to always remove that part, as even accidental consumption is harmful.
Does Atropine Have Any Benefits?
Atropine is extracted from the stalks of pepper plants and is used as an antimuscarinic injection for individuals with low heart rate. However, this injection is administered by a healthcare professional and you should never attempt to try it at home.
If you are suffering from a cardiovascular ailment, especially a problem with low heart rate, consult your physician for the best results. Ideally, atropine is injected into the human body at varying dosages of 0.5 to 1 mg depending on your age and the intensity of the disease.
In some cases, it may also be administered for treating mushroom poisoning and reducing the impact of certain over the counter drugs.
Either way, we would once again suggest you refrain from consuming the stalk of pepper plant, because they do not come with any nutritional value.
What Part of Pepper Plant Should I Consume?
As previously mentioned, you should only consume the fruits of pepper plants, which are also popularly known as the pepper pods. These pods can be consumed raw or you can thaw or fully cook them.
Either way, they are incredibly delicious, and owing to their high level of antioxidants, you can always be assured of keeping diseases at bay.
Another unpopular part of the pepper plant that can be consumed would be pepper leaves. This applies to the leaves of both sweet and hot peppers as both are completely safe and incredibly delicious.
As you would probably guess, the leaves of pepper come with a milder flavor when compared to original peppers. They have a similar taste as white pepper and are extremely delicate and sweet to smell.
It will not really matter if you are using the leaves from sweet or fiery bell peppers because the popular chemical element rendering them the heat is already consolidated along the interior membranes of this plant.
Rich in antioxidants, pepper should be one of the primary additions to your diet. Not only will it ensure proper health and boost immunity, but it will also go a long way in helping you lose excess weight. What’s more, you can whip up some of the tastiest meals with this one ingredient. But like we previously mentioned, regardless of the many benefits, pepper should only be consumed as a fruit.
Since they belong to the nightshade family, stalks of the pepper plant may cause a range of toxic ailments, primarily food poisoning.
So, now that you have your answer, skip the stalk and whip up some of the most delicious meals with the fruit of the pepper plant.