Black Pepper

Piper Nigrum

Family: Piperaceae

The essential oil of Black Pepper is steam distilled from the dried and crushed fruit of the pepper vine. 

The oil is rich in monoterpene hydrocarbons and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons.  Monoterpene hydrocarbons are known for their analgesic, antiseptic and tonic properties while sesquiterpene hydrocarbons may account for black pepper’s antiviral properties. The composition of black pepper oil can vary considerably according to origin and method of preparation. The greatest variation is within the monoterpene hydrocarbon group as follows:   limonene (0-40%), B-pinene (5-35%), a-phellandrene (1-27%, B-phellandrene (0-19%), sabinene (0-20%), d-3-carene (trace to 15%), myrcene (trace to 10%).   

A typical composition of black pepper is as follows: 

a-pinene (5.8%), camphene (0.1%), B-pinene (10.4%), d-3-carene (20.2%), limonene (17.1%), g-terpinene (0.2%), p-cymene (0.8%), terpinolene (1.0%), d-elemene (2.5%), a-copaene (2.3%), B-elemene (0.4%), B-carophyllene (27.8%), a-humulene (1.4%), d-cadinene (0.8%), caryophyllene oxide (0.6%)

Therapeutic Actions: analgesic,antispasmodic, antiseptic,  carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, laxative, rubefacient, stomachic, tonic

Black Pepper is incredibly beneficial for digestion as it simulates the digestive system, including promoting the secretion of digestive juices to facilitate digestion. It is also a carminative oil and helps remove gases and prevent additional gas formation in the stomach and intestines. It also helps inhibit the bacteria that are responsible for the formation of gas. Add one drop of Black Pepper essential oil and one drop of Fennel essential oil to 5ml of carrier oil and massage into the stomach in clockwise movements. Rub into the lower back area too.

Black Pepper is an effective anti-spasmodic and helps give relief in case of cramps, muscle spasms and muscle pulls. It also helps with relief from rheumatism and arthritis because it is a warming and stimulating oil, improving circulation. Hence it is very useful in the colder months of the year.  Black Pepper is also effective in removing toxins like uric acid from the blood, thereby benefiting people suffering with conditions such as chronic rheumatism, arthritis and gout. Add a drop of Black Pepper essential oil and a drop of Lavender essential oil added to 5ml carrier oil and massage into the joints that are aching.

Black Pepper is an effective antioxidant, helping to protect the body from damage done by free radicals. It  also helps delay the adverse effects of ageing such as vision loss, macular degeneration, wrinkling of the skin, degeneration and loosening of the muscles, loss of mobility in the joints, nervous disorders and memory loss.

It blends well with essential oils of Lemon, Lime, Lavender, Safe, Sandalwood, Mandarin, Ylang-Ylang, Juniper, Bergamot, Ginger, Clove, Geranium, Grapefruit, Coriander, Fennel and Frankincense.

Safety:  Black Pepper oil is non-irritating and non-sensitising. There are no contra-indications.  It has been said that excessive use can overstimulate the kidneys.

Reference: The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy – Salvatore Battaglia