Thursday, August 6, 2009

Black Pepper

Black pepper essential oil

Black pepper oil is extracted from the plant Piper nigrum of the Piperaceae family. The oil is made from the unripe red fruit of the plant, while white pepper for household use, is made from the same fruit, but the berry is picked when fully ripe and the outside layer (pericarp) is removed before drying.

This warm and spicy essential oil helps to increase warmth of the body and mind, relieving sore muscles and joints, boost the immune and digestive system, stimulate the kidneys and disperse bruising by increasing circulation to the skin.

Oil properties
It is a strong and sharp spicy smelling oil and is faintly reminiscent of clove oil, yet more refined. It can range in color from light amber to yellow-green and has a watery viscosity.

Origin of black pepper oil
The plant originated from India, Malaysia, Madagascar, China and Indonesia and the oil is mostly made in Singapore, India and Malaysia.

The plant
The plant is originally a forest plant and this climbing woody vine uses trees or other supports to grow to about twenty feet high, but is normally kept to about 12 feet for commercial purposes and has a lifespan of about twenty years.
The word pepper is derived from the Latin word piper, which in turn is taken from the Sanskrit word pippali.
It has been used since the times of the Ancient Romans and Greeks. Even the Turks levied a tax on pepper, while the French, Portuguese and Dutch often went to war in the middle ages to fight for this lucrative trade from the far east.

The unripe, sun-dried peppercorns (fruit) are used for the extraction of the oil, using steam distillation which produces a yield of nearly 2%.

Black pepper oil may cause irritation to sensitive skins and using too much could over-stimulate the kidneys. It should be avoided in pregnancy due to its possible skin sensitizing effect.

Therapeutic properties
The therapeutic properties of black pepper oil include analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, aphrodisiac, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, febrifuge, laxative, rubefacient and tonic (especially of the spleen).

Black pepper oil can be used to help in the treatment of pain relief, rheumatism, chills, flu, colds, increase circulation, exhaustion, muscular aches, physical and emotional coldness, nerve tonic and fevers. It furthermore increases the flow of saliva, stimulates appetite, encourages peristalsis, tones the colon muscles and is a general digestive tonic.

This warming oil can be used to great effect to help circulation and bruising and specifically to help with muscle tone, aching limbs and rheumatoid arthritis. It further helps to promote digestion, the colon as well as the kidneys.

Burners and vaporizers
In vapor therapy, black pepper oil can be used to help add warmth to chills and colds and to create an atmosphere of 'getting things done'.

Blended oil or in the bath
Black pepper oil can be used in blended massage oil, or diluted in a bath, to assist with circulation, bruises, rheumatoid arthritis and muscular aches and pains.
Blended in base cream
As a constituent in a blended cream is can be used for tired aching limbs, sore muscles, rheumatoid arthritis, stimulating the appetite and to help sort out bowel problems. In small quantities it can be used to reduce high temperatures. It increases circulation to the skin and is therefore helpful in restoring proper functioning of the skin.

Black pepper blends well with
Although essential oils blend and mix well aroma wise with one another, Black Pepper oil does go very well with other essential oils such as bergamot, clary sage, clove, coriander, fennel, frankincense, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, lavender, juniper, lemon, lime, mandarin, sage, sandalwood and ylang-ylang.

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