Essential Oil: Black Pepper

Unripe pepper on the vine. Photo from Myhouseholdcapers.blogspot.com

Essential Oil:  Black Pepper

Botanical Name:  Piper nigrum

Botanical Family:   Piperaceae

The black pepper we all know and love is a plant native to Indonesia and southern India.  It’s been cultivated in that part of the world for well over 1,000 years.  Peppercorns are the unripe fruits harvested from pepper vines.  They are dried and then packaged either for use as a spice or steam distilled for essential oil production.

In aromatherapy, Black Pepper essential oil is used primarily for its warming and stimulating properties.  It should be noted that Black Pepper essential oil can be a skin irritant and should be used with care, generously diluted before applying to skin.

Black Pepper is rubefacient, which means it helps increase local circulation.  This makes it an ideal addition to massage oils for sore muscles and stiff joints.  The rapid increase in blood flow to the muscle tissue helps alleviate the conditions that cause painful knots.  Additionally black pepper is a pain reliever, so the oil can decrease the sensation of pain while working to eliminate the cause.  Because of its potential to irritate skin black pepper should be avoided in hot baths and compresses.

Black Pepper is also useful for stimulating circulation and promoting perspiration.  This makes it a great oil to add to detoxifying and immune building essential oil blends.  This rapid boost in circulation and energy is the reason black pepper is added to ‘stop smoking’ essential oil blends.  The stimulating action of the oil helps replace the high a person would normally get from nicotine and the oil also contributes to cleansing the body of the effects of smoking.

All of this energizing action makes black pepper one of the best oils for boosting physical and mental energy.  It is an oil that can be used to bolster courage and confidence.  Stimulating, cleansing, and fortifying.  Black Pepper is the perfect essential oil for people who need help kick starting a project or healthy lifestyle change.  If you want to start working out but can’t seem to get moving, give black pepper a try.  In my experience the best results come from topical application of this oil.  The scent is awakening but it doesn’t compare to the energy you’ll feel when it penetrates your bloodstream.  Be advised, the first couple of times you use black pepper oil you will taste it shortly after application.  Remember it can irritate skin so dilute well.  Try 3 drops per ounce of carrier first and only add more if needed.

Try this Total Energy blend- it stimulates, detoxes, and boosts immunity:

2 drops Black Pepper
3 drops Ginger
5 drops Lemon
2 drops Lavender

Add to 2 ounces of your favorite body oil or lotion and apply as needed.  I like to add this blend to a 2oz. mister bottle with water and spray it on after dry skin brushing but before hopping in the shower.  This is an incredible way to start your day.  Enjoy!


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