Black Pepper Essential Oil: Uses, Benefits, and Blends
Black pepper essential oil is perhaps one of the most important essential oils an aromatherapist can use. It is both internally and externally warming and lends a spicy top note that invigorates the spirit and heats the body.
Scientific Name: Piper nigrum
Plant Part: Peppercorns
Composition of Oil: Limonene, Pinene, Myrcene, Phellandrene, Beta-caryophyllene, B-bisabolene, Sabinene, Linalol, Pinocarveol, a-Terpineol, Camphene, a-Terpinene
Scent: Crisp, fresh, and somewhat peppery
Perfumery Note: Middle
Initial Aroma Strength: Medium
Extraction Method: Steam Distilled
Suitable Blending Oils: Bergamot, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Coriander, Fennel, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Juniper, Lemon, Lime, Mandarin, Sandalwood, and Ylang-ylang
Before we get into black pepper essential oil uses, let’s have a sneaky peek at some of the constituents that do the heavy lifting in the healing processes.
Black Pepper Essential Oil Benefits: Component Breakdown
- Limonene - appears mainly in essential oils that have been expressed from citrus fruit rinds, but also in some conifer resins and spices. It is very good at cleaning things, able to dissolve oily residues, so is often found in cleaning products. In the same way, it has mild effects on thick conditions in the body, like phlegm, and can sometimes be indicated for bronchitis. Limonene also has a vital part to play in the insecticidal actions of trees.
- Pinene - is proven to have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, analgesic, and bronchodilatory actions.
- Myrcene - is proven to have antibiotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, sedative, and antimutagenic effects.
- Phellandrene - is believed to reduce pain and increase energy levels.
- Β-caryophyllene - has a weak binding affinity to the CB2 receptor (See copaiba balsam essential oil). It is reputed to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antioxidant benefits.
- B-bisabolene - may have antitumor properties.
- Sabinene - is also a dominant constituent in carrot seed and black contributes to black pepper essential oil’s spiciness. Sabinene has been studied for its possible uses for soothing skin eruptions, relieving arthritis pain, and digestion complaints. Sabinene is demonstrated to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
- Linalol - A component appearing in many essential oils, clinical trials demonstrate linalool to have anti-inflammatory and anti-depressive properties.
- Pinocarveol- donated the camphoraceous aroma of black pepper essential oil. Alone, it has a woody-minty fragrance.
- α-Terpineol - In isolation, has an almost lilac fragrance to it. This molecule attracts a great deal of scientific interest and is currently being researched for its antioxidant, antihypertensive, anticonvulsant, antiulcer, anti-nociceptive, and anticancer actions. It can be used to enhance skin penetration of topical drugs, and also possesses insecticidal properties.,
- Camphene- reputed to reduce pain and to have antifungal benefits.
- α-Terpinene is believed to possess antioxidant benefits.
According to Chrissie Wildwood in her Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy: the main black pepper essential oil properties are:
Analgesic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-toxic, appetite stimulant, bactericidal, carminative, digestive, diuretic, febrifugal, laxative, rubefacient, stimulant (nervous, circulatory, digestive), stomachic, sudorific, tonic.
Historical Uses of Black Pepper Essential Oil
Historical successes of using black pepper essential oil have included:
- Antispasmodic (to the gut)
- Stimulates the kidneys
- Anaemia, stimulates the spleen
- Muscular pain and fatigue
- Withdrawal symptoms
The History Behind Black Pepper Essential Oil
Consider this, if it weren’t for the spice trade of antiquity, the world would not look as it does today. The promise of the exorbitant wealth available to merchants trading spices such as pepper, nutmeg, and cloves was one of the catalysts for exploration of Asia, Africa, and the Americas, and indeed throughout human history, black pepper has been the most sought-after of all the spices. Native to Sri Lanka and southwest India, its cultivation spread to the Philippines and Indonesia to the east, and Madagascar to the south.
Theophrastus described it in his Materia Medica, in the fourth century BCE, making it one of the oldest known medicinal ingredients in our pharmacopeia.
By the 13th century, Venetian and Genoan wealth derived almost entirely from the spice trade. Portugal’s hunger for a slice of this lucrative business drove the motivation for finding a Northwest passage to India, and in 1498 Vasco Da Gama finally arrived on the West Coast of India, after circumnavigating the entirety of Africa. All that, so Vinevida could eventually bring you the finest Indian black pepper essential oil!
And you thought it was just a sweet-smelling bottle, didn’t you?
In all seriousness though, it’s all too easy to gloss over this as a basic history lesson, to imagine the ships coming into port, and even conjure those fragrances of the cargoes, but what’s vital to consider is why they wanted or needed them at all.
For cooking, yes, of course.
For perfumery, certainly.
But at a time when antibiotics did not yet exist, and fevers could kill, spices were an extremely important medicine. Black pepper has a fire to it that pushes fevers up and up until they burst. If you remember nothing else about black pepper essential oil, remember its heat.
What is Black Pepper Essential Oil Good For?
Black pepper essential oil is rubefacient. Now, there’s a word aromatherapists bandy about, that means absolutely nothing to anyone else! It means, it brings redness to the skin, which on the surface level might feel like a bad thing, but redness shows better blood supply, and as such, more warmth. This has so many applications, especially for the elderly and for sportspeople trying to bulk up.
Consider how useful black pepper essential oil would be to put warmth into someone’s muscles who has rheumatism. It has beautiful effects for anyone suffering from cold hands and feet; that might be Raynaud’s Disease, but equally, just shivering in the wintertime. It invigorates circulation generally, so is useful if somebody has been convalescing and unable to get out of bed. In these situations, circulation becomes compromised, and muscles weakened.
In the same way, we might consider using black pepper essential oil for neurological pain, fibromyalgia, sciatica, or for neurasthenia. In particular, it may be of use for someone experiencing jaw pain, sensitive teeth, or trigeminal neuralgia, where pain sensors are activated by cold, and thus may be switched down by black pepper essential oil.
Black Pepper Essential Oil to Aid Blood Testing
Used in a clinical setting, Jane Buckle proved that using a 5% dilution of black pepper essential oil on the skin made it easier to take blood from patients who would otherwise have difficulty finding veins.
Like all of the spices, of course, black pepper is wonderful for digestive complaints especially indigestion, flatulence, bloating, stomach cramps, and loss of appetite.
Whilst black pepper wouldn’t necessarily be considered as a respiratory specific oil, like Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) or frankincense (Boswellia carterii) essential oils are, for example, it does, however, have a tremendous effect on non-productive coughs (combine with hyssop: Hyssopus officinalis) and infection generally.
The Energetics of Black Pepper Essential Oil
Black Pepper essential oil has a warming effect on all aspects of the body and that extends to the mental and emotional faculties too, so whilst it might not be a traditional choice for an aphrodisiac blend, (and indeed if you did use it you would only use tiny, tiny amounts, because of its dermal irritant aspect) black pepper essential oil would add spice and warmth to the blend.
Black pepper essential oil benefits people who tend to give all their warmth and energy to other people too. Mums who have no idea how to center attention on themselves and whose energy eventually becomes very depleted. It helps them redirect that warmth and energy back to themselves without feeling guilty about doing it.
Black Pepper Heat...
Peter Holmes describes it for people who are suffering from apathy or have lost all motivation in life or feel insecure. He tells of how he uses it for loss of confidence and for people who feel vulnerable and fearful.
The main action of black pepper essential oil is how it tonifies Yang, warms the interior, and strengthens Shen.
Where, in Traditional Chinese Medicine Yin is feminine, damp, soft, receptive, Yang is hot, motivated, active, dry, and hard, so black pepper essential oil brings robustness to the emotional, mental, and physical faculties.
Indeed, Ayurveda says that black pepper invigorates the metabolic fire of Agni, again warming, drying, and stoking the internal flames and combatting dampness that causes phlegm, catarrh, edema, runny noses, and rheumy joints.
In the same way, in TCM, Shen is described as the spirit that moves through the body; Black Pepper essential oil nourishes it, adding confidence, motivation, and drive.
Black Pepper Essential Oil To Stop Smoking
One particularly important modern use is the way this yang aspect is leveraged to fight symptoms of withdrawal Jane Buckle first described black pepper to stop smoking and to help conquer nicotine cravings. Over time this has also become a common aid for people in drug rehabilitation. It should however be stressed, that whilst black pepper can be used as an aid, it in no way replaces the importance of professional help here.
Black Pepper Essential Oil For Help Recuperating After Strokes
Black Pepper's rich fragrance and memory profile has also been proven to help people who have suffered strokes and find it difficult to swallow. Inhaling black pepper essential oil encourages swallow reflexes perhaps because of how the mouth waters when we spell it.
Black Pepper Essential Oil Uses: For Wholesale Purposes
Black Pepper Essential Oil Uses in Aromatherapy
Body massage for warming and relaxing the body.
Digestive difficulties, especially if the system is sluggish.
Emotionally warming and cultivating a more positive and robust outlook.
Black Pepper Essential Oil Benefits for Soapmakers
While black pepper essential oil would lead a deliciously warm and spicy edge to your blend, only use in minute dilutions. Black pepper essential oil is a dermal irritant, and to the mucus membranes
Black Pepper Essential oil Uses in Natural Perfumery
The fragrance of the Black pepper essential oil smell has very close proximity to the actual spice, with a fresh, dry, warm-spicy aroma that is almost woody. Just like in cooking, its high odor intensity needs a delicate hand. Just the tiniest amount brings a hot spicy edge to a blend.
For inspiration, consider how peppers are used in YSL Opium and black Opium and also Bohoboc’s delicious Vanilla and Black Pepper perfume.
Black Pepper Essential Oil Blends: DIY Recipes
How To Use Black Pepper Essential Oil to Stop Smoking
The original trial done by Buckle and Cordel had nicotine-dependent students inhaling black pepper essential oil from a tissue for two minutes each time they felt a craving. It was found to be more effective than a previous study, where angelica root essential oil had been used, however, angelica root seemed to help the cravings stay away longer.
This blend, which also includes rose essential oil which has good effects against withdrawal, again should be placed onto a tissue and inhaled for two minutes each time cravings arise.
- 1 drop Rose essential oil (Rosa damascena)
- 1 drop Black Pepper essential oil (Piper nigrum)
- 1 drop Angelica Root essential oil (Angelica archangelica)
Black Pepper Essential Oil Sports Massage Rub
This blend is designed to be used after training. Both black pepper and grapefruits are reputed to have fat-burning effects where black pepper and juniper are reputed to be detoxifying.
- 10ml Grapeseed carrier oil (Vitis vinifera)
- 10 drops Tamanu carrier oil (Calophyllum inophyllum)
- 1 drop Black Pepper essential oil (Piper nigrum)
- 1 drop Grapefruit essential oil (Citrus paradisii)
- 1 drop Juniper essential oil (Juniperus communis)
Safety: Grapefruit essential oil is contraindicated if you have a clotting disorder, or are on blood-thinning medications. Not suitable for use during pregnancy (Juniper).
- Not suitable for use in the first 16 weeks of pregnancy.
- Moderate risk of skin irritation, so not advised for use in the bath.
Why Choose Vinevida
At VINEVIDA, we love botanicals and the planet they come from. We believe in stocking the best at affordable prices and supplying to the discerning, which is why we are also members of both the Alliance of International Aromatherapists and the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy. In recognition of our excellent standard of product, we are proud to hold a 2021 Certificate of Registration as a Cosmetic Products Establishment with the U.S. Drugs and Food Administration.
Our joy at seeing people make beautiful things means we stock from the smallest amounts to the largest. Our wholesale essential oil prices begin with our smallest carrier oil of 120ml to our largest of 396lb, meaning any manufacturing company can afford to stock as many or as few oils their business can accommodate without running the risk of spoilage of some of nature’s most precious commodities. Why not see if you can save money by buying your black pepper essential oil in bulk?
Don’t forget too, we like to look after our customers with reasonable prices and excellent customer service and reward the loyal ones with money off discounts over the year.
Why not check out if you qualify for our loyalty scheme and start saving today with an environmentally friendly choice of oil for skin, hair, massage oils, and soapmaking.
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In line with the recent increase in demand for clean, organic products, many people want to buy soaps they know are free of synthetic chemicals. Essential oils are the perfect addition to natural soaps, as they offer strong fragrances without all the toxins. Here at VINEVIDA, we offer bulk essential oils with competitive wholesale pricing. Contact us now to find out how we can provide you with what you need.