Black pepper is one of the most common spices that we use today to flavor our dishes. A pinch of it to eggs or soups gives a unique hot flavor. But, that’s not the only reason you should be sprinkling this spice on your dish. As an essential oil, black pepper imparts quite a few medicinal benefits.
Black pepper can be used to ease the symptoms of some of the common health issues that we face today. Here are 9 such ailments that a little bit of black pepper essential oil can ease.
1. Relieves Pain And Aches
Black pepper oil has anti-inflammatory properties and, therefore, can be used to relieve muscle pain and injuries.1 It can be used as an alternative treatment for arthritis along with the conventional treatments. In a study involving 60 patients with neck pain, the topical application of a cream containing black pepper and four other essential oils showed significant improvement in the pain.2 Therefore, treat minor muscle injuries and aches by applying black pepper essential oil (mixed with a carrier oil) to the affected areas.
2. Aids Digestion
If you have a sensitive stomach and digestive issues like diarrhea, constipation, or bloating, black pepper essential oil may be a natural way to ease the discomfort.3 The pepper contains a substance called piperine, which has a warming and relaxant effect on the body. Black pepper, when used with turmeric, may even improve the secretion of stomach acids required for proper digestion.4 Just add a few drops of the oil to the food you eat, thus adding flavor and boosting digestion.
3. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Unhealthy lifestyle factors like poor diet and lack of exercise can increase cholesterol levels in the body.5 High levels of cholesterol can result in health conditions and may even impact your heart health. While making some changes to your lifestyle is a good plan, black pepper oil can help with its cholesterol-lowering effects. Just add a few drops, every day, to your dishes.6
4. Fights Staph Infections
Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that causes minor skin infections and severe illnesses like pneumonia and other respiratory issues.7 Most often, antibiotics are prescribed to fight these infections. However, if you are looking for a natural way to fight staph infections, turn to black pepper oil.8 Inhale the oil for breathing difficulties and apply with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) on the affected area for skin infections.
5. Prevents The Growth Of Cancer Cells
Black pepper possesses anticancer properties and prevents the growth of cancer cells.9 It also contains antioxidants that protect the cells from harmful free radicals, thus boosting the immune system. Adding to this, piperine gives black pepper oil anti-tumor qualities.10
6. Reduces Smoking Withdrawal Symptoms
Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable diseases and death in the United States. It is a habit extremely common among young adults between the ages 18 and 24.11 If you wish to quit smoking, try inhaling black pepper oil. One study conducted on a US campus showed that nicotine cravings were delayed after inhaling black pepper oil.12 In another study, black pepper oil reduced anxiety levels (a withdrawal symptom) of the smokers.13
7. Detoxifies The Body
Black pepper is a natural diuretic, which means it increases urination. Since your body removes most toxins from the body through urine, black pepper oil may help detox the body.14 When applied topically, it creates a warming sensation and may cause the body to sweat. Sweating is a natural process that removes dirt and excess oil from the body, making the skin glow on the outside and cleansing the body on the inside.
8. Acts As An Appetite Stimulant
Black pepper oil can behave as an appetite stimulant. Especially for those with neurological disorders and related swallowing difficulties, inhalation or ingestion of black pepper oil may ease the process of eating, particularly swallowing. A study involving children who were fed with feeding tubes reported that the olfactory stimulation (related to the sense of smell) of black pepper oil increased the oral intake of food.15 Therefore, this essential oil may be used with other treatment methods for neurological disorders to improve the process of swallowing and improve appetite.
9. Helps Preserve Food
Meat and meat products are more prone to spoilage due to microorganisms than other dry foods like grains. However, studies have shown that black pepper oil can control the microorganisms that may cause damage to foods.16 The antibacterial properties of black pepper oil may benefit the meat industry as it can be used in place of synthetically produced food preservatives that come with side effects.17
Make the most of the black pepper oil by adding a few drops to foods, inhaling it, or applying on skin, as required. If you are suffering from any respiratory issue, always talk to your doctor before going ahead with natural treatment options.
|↑1||Jeena, Kottarapat, Vijayasteltar B. Liju, N. P. Umadevi, and Ramadasan Kuttan. “Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties of black pepper essential oil (Piper nigrum Linn).” Journal of Essential oil Bearing Plants 17, no. 1 (2014): 1-12.|
|↑2||Ou, Ming-Chiu, Yu-Fei Lee, Chih-Ching Li, and Shyi-Kuen Wu. “The effectiveness of essential oils for patients with neck pain: A randomized controlled study.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 20, no. 10 (2014): 771-779.|
|↑3||Mehmood, Malik Hassan, and Anwarul Hassan Gilani. “Pharmacological basis for the medicinal use of black pepper and piperine in gastrointestinal disorders.” Journal of medicinal food 13, no. 5 (2010): 1086-1096.|
|↑4||Prasad, S., and B. B. Aggarwal. “Chapter 13: Turmeric, the Golden Spice.” Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edn. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis (2011).|
|↑5||Causes of High Cholesterol. American Heart Association.|
|↑6||R Vasanthi, Hannah, and R. P Parameswari. “Indian spices for healthy heart-an overview.” Current cardiology reviews 6, no. 4 (2010): 274-279.|
|↑7||Causes and Symptoms of Staphylococcus aureus. Minnesota Department of Health.|
|↑8||Lee, Kayeon, Jin-Hyung Lee, Soon-Il Kim, Moo Hwan Cho, and Jintae Lee. “Anti-biofilm, anti-hemolysis, and anti-virulence activities of black pepper, cananga, myrrh oils, and nerolidol against Staphylococcus aureus.” Applied microbiology and biotechnology 98, no. 22 (2014): 9447-9457.|
|↑9||Liu, Yunbao, Vivek R. Yadev, Bharat B. Aggarwal, and Muraleedharan G. Nair. “Inhibitory effects of black pepper (Piper nigrum) extracts and compounds on human tumor cell proliferation, cyclooxygenase enzymes, lipid peroxidation and nuclear transcription factor-kappa-B.” Natural product communications 5, no. 8 (2010): 1253-1257.|
|↑10||Srinivasan, K. “Black pepper and its pungent principle-piperine: a review of diverse physiological effects.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 47, no. 8 (2007): 735-748.|
|↑11||Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults in the United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.|
|↑12||Cordell, Barbara, and Jane Buckle. “The effects of aromatherapy on nicotine craving on a US campus: A small comparison study.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 19, no. 8 (2013): 709-713.|
|↑13||Rose, Jed E., and Frederique M. Behm. “Inhalation of vapor from black pepper extract reduces smoking withdrawal symptoms.” Drug and alcohol dependence 34, no. 3 (1994): 225-229.|
|↑14||Meghwal, Murlidhar, and T. K. Goswami. “Piper nigrum and piperine: an update.” Phytotherapy Research 27, no. 8 (2013): 1121-1130.|
|↑15||Munakata, Mitsutoshi, Kaori Kobayashi, Junko Niisato-Nezu, Souichiro Tanaka, Yosuke Kakisaka, Takae Ebihara, Satoru Ebihara, Kazuhiro Haginoya, Shigeru Tsuchiya, and Akira Onuma. “Olfactory stimulation using black pepper oil facilitates oral feeding in pediatric patients receiving long-term enteral nutrition.” The Tohoku journal of experimental medicine 214, no. 4 (2008): 327-332.|
|↑16||Nikolić, Miloš, Dejan Stojković, Jasmina Glamočlija, Ana Ćirić, Tatjana Marković, Marija Smiljković, and Marina Soković. “Could essential oils of green and black pepper be used as food preservatives?.” Journal of food science and technology 52, no. 10 (2015): 6565-6573.|
|↑17||Zhang, Jing, Ke-Ping Ye, Xin Zhang, Dao-Dong Pan, Yang-Ying Sun, and Jin-Xuan Cao. “Antibacterial activity and mechanism of action of black pepper essential oil on meat-borne Escherichia coli.” Frontiers in microbiology 7 (2017): 2094.|