Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Sili - The truth about it!

Siling labuyo is a small chili pepper cultivar[commonly found in the Philippines. The cultivar name is Tagalog, and literally it translates to "wild chili." Other local names for it include chileng bundok, siling palay, pasitis, pasite (Tagalog), katumbal, kitikot, siling kolikot (Bisaya), silit-diablo (Ilocano), lada, rimorimo (Bicolano), and paktin (Ifugao). - Wikipedia

Sili is a very popular hot spice in Naga City, Bikol. It is pronounced as "silly" as in foolish or stupid in the English language. Sili is also what it is called mostly in many dialects in the Philippines (Spanish Malaya) from Tagalog to Bisaya and even the Ilocanos. But do you know the truth about chili? It is not originally from the Americas or Europe but unknown to many the true origin of the fruit is from the Garden of Eden. One of many fruit yielding plants in the Garden of God that was cultivated by our first parents Adam and Eve.

Yes, God created this plant that we now all popularly called Capsicum. Chili bush or Capsicum plant after the global flood of Noah was widely cultivated by the ancient inhabitants of what we call now the New World or the Americas. Specifically in the southern region of America, in where it was native after Noah's flood because of the cool climate and dry fertile soil. The Capsicum seed needs at least 20°C to germinate which is easy to grow anywhere in the world. Although it is very difficult to properly trace back in history who and when the first inhabitants of Americas cultivated Capsicum plants, but on the other hand we have archaelogical evidences recently discovered that in the pre-Colombian civilizations of South America that Sili were widely used in their everyday cooking as well as for medicinal purposes then were cultivated in large quantities.

"These [are] the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread." - Genesis 9:19

"And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there." - Genesis 11:1-2

That land of Shinar is Babel or Babylon and there the Bible says GOD confounded their language and from there they scattered out across the face of the whole earth. So, we know that the descendants who originally came from Shinar managed to reach now what we call Mexico and cultivated chili plants in that region for thousands of years after the "Confusion of Tongues".

Then during the time of conquests and exploration of the New World by mainly European colonizers and settlers, chili was one of their main spice used in the spice trade which roughly spread across the globe in about 50 years time.


Piri piri (/ˌpiːriˈpiːri/ pee-ree-pee-ree, also spelled peri peri, pili pili), also called African bird's eye chili, is a cultivar of Capsicum frutescens, one of the sources of chili pepper that grows both wild and domesticated. - Wikipedia
'' The Portuguese took the chilli pepper (most notably the piri-piri chilli) back to Portugal and the Cape Verde islands. But as they sought to exploit their foothold in the Americas they brought chillies to West Africa and African slaves to Brazil. Chillies, most notably, the piri-piri did so well in West Africa that they became wild and naturalized and now the piri-piri grows wild in West Africa (which is why, even to this day it's often mistaken as an African native). It's also true that the chilli was quickly incorporated into the African diet." - Migration of Chillies from the New World to the Old


Fig 1: Map showing the routes by which chillies travelled from the Americas to Africa and Eurasia. The tale starts with Columbus' voyage of 1495 (green line), but the true spread of chillies occurred concurrent with the Portuguese voyages (red lines) from 1498 to 1549 as they traversed the globe from Africa through Arabia, India, the Spice Islands, China and Japan. Also shown (blue lines) are the ancient overland routes from India to China, the Spice route from Arabia to China and the trade route from Arabia to Central Europe. In yellow is a slightly more speculative voyage, made prior to 1549 from Japan to Mexico in Spanish-designed ships. ( Source: Migration of Chillies from the New World to the Old )

Now chili of different varieties, small, large, hot, medium hot, color green, yellow and red is found freshly available all over the world. I know there are many names of chili depending of course of its kind and place of cultivation. However, Capsicum plant is originally a plant in God's garden when Adam was still perfect and blameless without sin.


Chili Verde or Green Chili is also widely available in Naga City, Bikol.
 "The fruit of most species of Capsicum contains capsaicin (methyl vanillyl nonenamide), a lipophilic chemical that can produce a strong burning sensation (pungency or spiciness) in the mouth of the unaccustomed eater. Most mammals find this unpleasant, whereas birds are unaffected. The secretion of capsaicin protects the fruit from consumption by insects and mammals, while the bright colours attract birds that will disperse the seeds." - Wikipedia

The main component in chilies is a chemical called Capsaicin, which is responsible for the intense heat felt. But what else does Capsaicin do? Well here are some health benefits of chilli. It lowers Blood Sugar Levels, then improve heart health, boost our blood circulation, thins blood which helps protect against strokes in the body. Medical scientists have also discovered that chillies can help fight cancer cells in our body boosting our immune defense system. Weight loss can also be achieve if we properly eat chili in certain amount coupled with good diet and exercise. It helps burn fat in our body literally.

Chilies are also excellent source of Vit A, B, C and E with minerals like molybdenum, potassium, manganese, folate, thiamin, and copper. 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.

Chilies have antioxidants that can destroy cholesterol which could cause major disease like atherosclerosis and other heart diseases. Other disease like eye cataracts and arthritis, like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It also dilates airway of lungs which reduces asthma and wheezing. 

Live long, strong and healthy, eat SILI everyday! Chili is good for you...that is the truth about it! 

 

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