Essential Oil Spotlight: Black Pepper

black-pepperBlack pepper essential oil is steam-distilled from the berries of a tree in the Piperaceae family. Its odor is spicy and musky with herbaceous undertones.

Some properties of this oil include analgesic, anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, aphrodisiac, expectorant, laxative, rubefacient, and stimulant (nervous, circulatory, and digestive).

Pepper has been used for thousands of years to treat malaria, cholera, and other digestive problems. It is currently also used to increase cellular oxygenation, support digestive glands, stimulate the endocrine system, increase energy, and help rheumatoid arthritis. Black pepper essential oil may also help with loss of appetite, catarrh, chills, colds, colic, constipation, coughs, diarrhea, dysentery, flatulence (combine with fennel), flu, heartburn, nausea, neuralgia, poor circulation, poor muscle tone, sprains, and vertigo.

Research has found that inhaling black pepper essential oil can reduce cravings for cigarettes and symptoms of anxiety in smokers.

Applications of Black Pepper Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Dilute black pepper essential oil with a carrier oil for children and those with sensitive skin. Apply to reflex points and/or directly on area of concern.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale the aroma of black pepper essential oil directly. The aroma of black pepper is comforting and stimulating.
Internal Application: Black pepper essential oil can be used as a flavoring in cooking.

5 Ways to Use Black Pepper Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Here are a couple great diffuser blends to help you get energized and motivated:

2. Use in a Massage Oil

Black pepper essential oil is beneficial for warming cold or stiff hands. Try this Hand Rejuvenator recipe—massage into the hands starting at the fingertips, then work your way up the arm to the shoulder.

Hand Rejuvenator:
5 drops grapefruit
5 drops black pepper
5 drops spearmint
5 drops ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp. (23 ml) fractionated coconut oil
(or other carrier oil)

Black pepper is also really great at helping to relax muscles and relieve aches and pains. Here is a recipe for a Sore Muscles Salve. You can also try one of the following massage recipes:

Muscle Relaxer
Massage Blend:

10 drops ginger
10 drops cypress
5 drops juniper berry
5 drops black pepper
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) Sesame Seed Oil
(or other carrier oil)
Aches & Pains
Massage Blend:

4 drops black pepper
4 drops Roman chamomile
4 drops marjoram
2 drops lavender
2 Tbsp. (24 g) Coconut Oil
(or other carrier oil)
Sore Muscles
Massage Blend:

15 drops ginger
9 drops ylang ylang
6 drops black pepper
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) Sesame Seed Oil
(or other carrier oil)

3. Roll on for Constipation Relief
Black pepper essential oil has been used for helping with digestive problems, including constipation. Try rolling this blend on your lower back and lower abdomen to help get things moving.

Constipation Blend:
1 drop black pepper
1 drop lavender
1 drop marjoram
1 drop fennel
1 tsp. (5 ml) carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil
Add oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle, or double the recipe if using a 10 ml roll-on bottle. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with a carrier oil.


4. Add to a Warm Bath
Black pepper can help you warm up when cold. Try this warming bath when you feel particularly cold.

Warming Bath Salts:
2 drops black pepper
5 drops juniper berry
5 drops lavender
1 cup (240 g) epsom salt
Mix ingredients together. Add 1/4–1/2 cup (60–120 g) of bath salts to the bathtub as it fills up with water.

5. Add to Cooking Recipes
Black pepper essential oil can be added to any of your favorite cooking recipes. Just use 1 drop of black pepper oil for every 1/4–1/2 tsp. (0.5–1 g) of ground black pepper. For recipes that call for less black pepper, try dipping a toothpick in the oil and stirring it into the mixture. These are a few of our recipes that include black pepper essential oil:

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, p. 43.

Healing Oils: 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol & David Schiller

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