Black Pepper’s inviting scent and flavor has made it one of the world’s oldest and most used spices. As with many other spices, black pepper (Piper nigrum) was a traded commodity in the ancient world.
But, by middle ages, around the time of Columbus, Europe began sending explorers in search of this and other spices. At one time black pepper accounted for 70 percent of the international spice trade. When it became more available, its valued dropped opening the opportunity for the world to experience the wonder of pepper.
About Black Pepper
Black Pepper is desired for its culinary virtue as well as its many health benefits. But more recently black pepper is being used in targeted research surrounding a number of possible health benefits. So far, the evidence for medicinal uses of Black Pepper is largely anecdotal, but more research is being done to help quantify health benefits for this and other essential oils.
For example, The National Institute of Health’s (NIH) National Library of Medicine sites a small 2014 controlled study using a blend of essential oils in cream as a possible pain reliever for neck pain.
Sixty people were divided into two groups: experimental and control. For 4 weeks each group rubbed 2g of cream on their neck after bathing or showering. The experimental group was given a 3% blend, in cream, of Black Pepper, Marjoram, Lavender, and Peppermint. The control group was given a scent cream.
Assessment was via a combination of questionnaire and quantitative analysis measurements. The end results showed that while the control group did indicate some improvement, the experimental group by far had the most improvement quantitatively.
Modes of assessment include Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Neck Disability Index (NDI) questionnaire, Pressure Pain Threshold (PPT) using an algometer, Motion Analysis Systems (MAS)
- Relieves pain of muscles and joints
- Assists digestion
- Eases airway congestion in the chest
- Lowers blood pressure
- Decreases cholesterol
- Improves circulation and blood flow
- Aids in detoxification
- Calms anxiety and cigarette cravings
- Adds flavor to food
Some common uses for Black Pepper Oil (BPO) are:
- Relieve the pain of inflammation due to sore muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments. Dilute enough BPO in cream or oil to make about a 3% solution (9.7g cream to .3 g BPO) and rub on areas of concern
- Increase circulation and blood flow to the muscles and nerves, and ease the discomfort of constipation, diarrhea, and gas by adding 3–5 drops of black pepper oil to a warm compress and apply to the abdomen or areas of concern.
- Open congested airways by inhaling directly from the bottle, diffuse 5-6 drops in water for 15 to 20 minutes or, mix 5 drops in a tablespoon of oil or cream and apply topically to the chest.
- Inhale directly from bottle to aid in smoking cessation
- Ease the pain from arthritis or rheumatism. Start with a 3% solution in cream or oil and apply to the areas of concern. Increase the concentration until you achieve the desired effect.
- Add flavor to your food by adding 1 to 2 drops. Only use pharmaceutical grade 100% organic oils for flavoring. Taken internally may help detox the body. Note AIA guidelines for internal use.
- Detox the body by applying 1 to 2 drops neat to the bottom of your feet.
*DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for educational purposes only, not to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose any disease or condition, or prescribe in any way. The data presented here may not be complete or fully accurate. As with all essential oils, do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner.
*SAFETY WARNING: If applying an essential oil to skin, always perform a small patch test by properly diluting the oil in an appropriate carrier oil and applying to an insensitive part of the body, such as inside of elbow. Use vegetable or milk to remove any essential oils causing irritation. Always keep essential oils and blends away from children. To slow oxidation and protect shelf life, store in a cool, dark place with lids tightly secured. Never put oils in the ear canal or eyes. Tell all your health care providers about any Alternative health products you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.