Black pepper is one of the oldest known spices and is used extensively in the food industry. The essential oil has a fresh, woody, spicy scent and is known for its warming and stimulating properties. It is produced from the dried, crushed peppercorns of the Piper nigrum vine, which is native to southern India and Indonesia. The essential oil is mainly produced in tropical countries but is also distilled in Europe and America from the imported dried fruits.
Black pepper essential oil has demonstrated anti-spasmodic and antibacterial properties. Traditionally, black pepper is used in Chinese medicine to treat malaria, cholera, dysentery, diarrhoea, stomach ache and other digestive problems. In Greece it is used for intermittent fever and to fortify the stomach. The essential oil of black pepper may be helpful for:
Black pepper is associated with the colour red and the base chakra. Red is the element of fire and represents energy, zest for life and being alive. Red rays give heat that is vitalising, energising, motivating, stimulating and helps to boost circulation. The base chakra is associated with physical needs, basic human survival and our connection with the earth. Feeling ungrounded, confused, scared and insecure can indicate an imbalance of the base chakra, along with poor circulation, high/low blood pressure, anaemia, arthritis, osteoporosis, digestive disorders and problems with the feet/legs.
Black pepper essential oil may cause skin irritation in large quantities; therefore it should be used in moderation only. Black pepper may interfere with the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies.
This month I'm using black pepper in my Winter Warmer Aromatherapy Massage along with nutmeg, clove and bergamot. Black pepper is one of my favourite essential oils to use for helping to relieve muscular aches and pains as it is really effective and can be blended with more invigorating oils, such as ginger and cinnamon, or more relaxing oils, such as lavender and marjoram, all of which are great for muscle tension. If you suffer from muscle or joint pain, or any of the above health complaints, why not ask for black pepper during your next aromatherapy massage appointment?