English name: Black Pepper Oil
Botanical name: Piper nigrum
Black pepper belongs to the Piperaceae family and the oil is extracted from the Piper Nigrum plant. It is from ‘piper’, a Latin word, that the name pepper has been derived and that has been taken from a word called pippali in Sanskrit. The latest SCFE Co2 – a super critical extraction process is used to extract oil from the red sun dried and unripe fruit. The resulting oil is free of heavy metal traces, pesticide residue and solvents and hence most ideal for use in nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, cosmoceutical, cosmetic formulations and a range of food products.
This yellowish green to light amber colored essential oil with water viscosity also has faint reminiscence of clove oil but is much more refined. It is spicy and warm and a favorite choice amongst aromatherapists.
Chemical constituents of black pepper oil include terpinen-4-ol, a-thujone, linalool, a-pinene, b-bisabolene, camphene, b-farnesene, sabinene, caryophyllene, b-pinene, limonene, myrcene and a-phellandrene. As far as therapeutic properties are concerned, it is an antitoxic, analgesic, antispasmodic, antiseptic, diaphoretic, tonic, aphrodisiac, rubefacient, digestive, laxative, febrifuge and diuretic.
Benefits of this oil were recognized by monks in ancient India. Centuries back, it was used in treating contagious diseases like cholera and malaria. Black pepper oil helps in relieving sore joints and muscles, increasing warmth of the mind and body, giving the digestive and immune system a boost, improving circulation to the skin, kidney stimulation and aids respiratory issues. In some perfumes it is used as a fixative. It is also blended in a base cream for providing pain relief. It can cause pigmentation in skin and is useful in vitiligo.
In meat products it is used for preservation and curing. Resins and alkaloids present in it give it a pungent flavor. Piperine proves to be an excellent insecticide and is used as sprays against various pests in gardens and houseflies. Throat lozenges are also made from the oil for relieving inflammation in the throat.
Black pepper oil is also a useful treatment in fevers, pain relief, nerve pain, rheumatism, arthritis, emotional and physical coldness, chills, muscular headaches, flu, exhaustion, colds, sorting out bowel related issues and to improve circulation. It helps increase saliva flow, supports colon muscle toning, encourages peristalsis, stimulates appetite and is an excellent digestive tonic and promotes digestion in the kidneys and colon.
In aromatherapy, it is useful in adding warmth to colds, chills and creating a positive feeling. It can be diluted in bath water and blended as oil for massaging. Essential oils it blends well with are Ylang ylang, bergamot, sandalwood, clary sage, clove, mandarin, coriander, lime, coriander, lime, frankincense, lemon, geranium, juniper, ginger, lavender and grapefruit.
If black pepper oil is not used in moderation, it could lead to over-stimulation of kidneys and irritation in sensitive skin hence dilution is highly recommended. It can have sensitizing effects and hence it is best to avoid it during pregnancy. Children below 6 years of age should best avoid it. It could redden and irritate the skin if used in high concentrations.