Black pepper (botanical name Piper nigrum) is a blossoming vine belonging to the Piperaceae family. Black pepper clings to tall trees for shade as well as support. This plant is grown for its fruit that is generally dried and used for culinary as well as medicinal purposes. This species is indigenous to India and presently widely grown in other tropical regions of the world. Generally, the reddish spines of undeveloped berries are collected and put out to dry in the sun. When dried, the color of the berries changes from red to black. While the major part of black pepper is used as spice, only a small portion is used to prepare essential oil. Singapore is the commercial hub for making black pepper essential oil. The oil is distilled on the spot in places, such as Comorro and Nossi Be islands of the nation. These places usually produce superior quality of black pepper essential oil. This oil has a greenish-yellow hue and a pungent smell.
Basically, black pepper is a spice that is widely used all over the world to add essence to food. In fact, it is very popular worldwide and used in cooking. Black pepper has a hot flavour and also has a pleasant appetizing scent. In fact, black pepper is a dried out fruit of the pepper plant.
Long back, black pepper was regarded as something blessed and was also used as coinage. In fact, black pepper was such a prized commodity that it was used to exchange with gold - in those days, value of gold was much less compared to black pepper. It was a valuable commodity that was exported from India to other countries of the world. Chemical analysis of black pepper essential oil has revealed that it encloses chemical substances, such as alpha termineol, beta bisabolene, beta caryophyllene, camphene, linalol, limonene, myrcene, pinene, phellandrene, pinocarveol, sabinene and alpha terpenene. In addition to these substances, black pepper essential oil also has high concentration of essential minerals as well as vitamins. While it contains minerals like iron, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and potassium, the vitamins enclosed by this essential oil include vitamin K and vitamin A.
The essential oil obtained from black pepper possesses the aptitude to stimulate the mind and emotions and facilitates enhancement of stamina and aid awareness. This essential oil is also recommended to help in augmenting concentration and treating memory loss. In addition, black pepper is also known to act as an aphrodisiac.
Black pepper essential oil is said to be an excellent remedy for treating as well as preventing cold and flu. Add a few drops of black pepper essential oil to jojoba, and use it for a chest massage or rubbing on the feet during the cold and flu season and it will not only help to heat up the body, but also encourage blood circulation and boost up the immune system. This essential oil possesses analgesic (pain killing) as well as rubifacient (warming) properties, which makes it an important ingredient in massage oils used by sportspersons for treating throbbing muscles, aches and stiffness.
People suffering from nausea will benefit if they inhale black pepper essential oil. Take a tissue paper and put a couple of drops of this oil and breathe in its hot and balmy fragrance for one or two minutes. It will provide relief from nausea. According to the findings of a few researches, inhaling black pepper essential oil helps people desiring to quit smoking. In addition, the essential oil extracted from black pepper also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. As a result of this property, using this oil promotes blood circulation and also helps to generate warmth. It is known to be an effective remedy for chronic inflammation in body parts that are not warm or have a stiff and rigid sensation.
Black pepper essential oil is also effective in treating flatulence and constipation and stimulates the digestive system. If you are enduring any of the above mentioned problems, simply add a few drops of this essential oil to a suitable lotion and massage the blend on your tummy to get relief from flatulence, constipation as well as encourage digestion. It is important that this oil need to be used in a watered down state of one per cent, for instance, five to six drops of the oil for every ounce of the carrier oil.
As discussed above, the essential oil extracted from black pepper possesses numerous health benefits. It is used to treat as well as prevent various medical conditions. Below is a brief discussion on the condition specific use of this valuable essential oil.
Caution needs to be exercised while using the essential oil obtained from black pepper. Always water down or dilute this essential oil before use to avoid skin irritation. In addition, black pepper essential oil is very potent primarily enclosing sesquiterpenes (any of specific type of terpene whose molecules enclose one and a half times as many atoms as a normal terpene) and, hence, it needs to be used in small doses. Apart from causing skin irritation, black pepper essential oil may also result in irritation and invigorate the kidneys when used in excessive amounts. In fact, using this essential oil in high doses may also cause damage to the skin. Like in the case of using any essential oil, additional precaution needs to be taken while using black pepper essential oil. It should never be used without consulting any professional aromatherapist or one who is familiar with the use of essential oils.