Black Pepper Essential Oil
In recent years, researchers have explored the many benefits of piperine, or black pepper essential oil, which has the ability to protect against oxidative damage and to enhance the digestive system. Black pepper essential oil is also used to enhance mental clarity and to invigorate the senses. Athletes often use it for its energizing, warming properties. According to Butt, et al, (2013), research suggests that the active ingredients in black pepper might also play a role in the control of tumor progression.
The word pepper comes from the Latin word, “piper.” This was taken borrowed from the Sanskrit word, “pippali.” Black pepper essential oil comes from the piperine plant, which originated in the forests of Indonesia, China, Madagascar, India and Malaysia. It has been used since the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Archaeological evidence suggests that pepper usage dates back to at least 2000 B.C. in India.
The piperine plant is a woody climbing vine that uses trees to grow to approximately 20 feet high. Cultivators of this plant generally trim it to around 12 feet for commercial purposes. Piperine plants have a lifespan of around 20 years.
Today, black pepper essential oil is made primarily in Singapore, Malaysia and India. The unripe peppercorns (fruit) are used for the extraction of the oil after they have dried in the sun. The steam distillation method is used for oil extraction, which produces a yield of approximately 2%.
What is steam distillation?
Extracting essential oils by steam distillation takes place three different ways:
- Straight steam
- Water distillation
- Steam/water distillation
Extracting essential oils using straight steam entails forcing steam through the plant material, then collecting the oil.
Water distillation is the method used when plant material is submerged into boiling water. The oils and steam are physically captured, then separated. Essential oils are the result.
The steam/water distillation method of essential oil extraction take place when water and steam are pushed through and around the plant material. As the oils and steam are collected, they are separated to produce the essential oil. Arborvitae essential oil is extracted using this method.
Uses for Black Pepper Essential Oil
According to Dr. Axe of Food is Medicine, black pepper essential oil can be used for the following:
- Relief of aches and pains
- Digestive aid
- Cholesterol lowering agent
- Increases circulation
- Demonstrates anticancer activity
- Relieves cigarette cravings
- Eases anxiety
- Works as a detoxifier
- Stimulates the appetite
- Food preservative
- Food spice
Black pepper essential oil may be diffused at home, inhaled directly from the bottle, taken internally in small doses and applied topically. It is important to purchase only highest quality, 100% pure grade black pepper essential oil to get the most benefits.
When applied to the skin, black pepper oil results in a pleasant warming sensation. Therefore, it is wise to use small doses that have been diluted with a carrier oil. Use a 1 to 1 ration of black pepper oil to carrier oil.
Allergic Reactions and Precautions
Butt, MS, Pasha, I, Sultan, MT, Randhawa, MA, Saeed, F, Ahmed, W. 2013;53(9):875-86. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.571799. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr.
Black pepper and health claims; a comprehensive treatise.
In recent years, researchers have explored the many benefits of piperine, or black pepper essential oil, which has the ability to protect against oxidative damage and to enhance the digestive system. Black pepper essential oil is also used to enhance mental clarity and to invigorate the senses.