Our Top 4 Ways to Use Black Pepper - Naturally Blended

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Naturally Blended

Our Top 4 Ways to Use Black Pepper

By Katrina Scampini, Certified Aromatherapist

Black Pepper Essential Oil by Plant TherapyWhen you think of the words “black pepper” what comes to mind? Was it a bottle of essential oil? Probably not! More likely, your mind wandered over to that humble spice that’s always unassumingly made its home in your kitchen cupboard. Nowadays, having black pepper in your spice rack seems like a no-brainer, right? But actually, it took thousands upon thousands of years for black pepper to become the common household spice it is today.

Black pepper plant

Historical records going as far back as Ancient Greece tell us it was valued highly enough to be used as currency. In India and Indonesia, the pepper was used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for its warming and revitalizing properties [1]. Ancient traders in Southern Arabia amassed tremendous wealth built primarily off of pepper trading. They would cultivate dire warnings about dragons guarding “pepper pits” to scare off anyone thinking they could take part in this lucrative trade.

Black pepper also helped inspire the completion of ancient trade routes, such as the Silk Road. It even inadvertently led to the discovery of the Americas, as it was one of the spices Christopher Columbus sought to find new trade routes for [2]. All this for that delicious ground up peppercorn that many of us take for granted. We sprinkle it on all our foods that need a little extra zing to taste good.

Black Pepper Essential Oil by Plant Therapy

Well, it’s from that same pepper our beloved Black Pepper Essential Oil comes from!

While this essential oil might not be on your radar just yet, it will hopefully become as invaluable to you as the go-to spice in your cupboard. The essential oils are steam distilled from the peppercorn of the vigorous, woody climbing pepper vine (Piper nigrum) after they are sun-dried. It’s spicy, warm, and woody aroma will be instantly familiar to anyone who uses fresh peppercorns while cooking. This stimulating oil not only adds a bit of pep to essential oil blends but also has some very practical therapeutic uses that can help you make the most out of each day.

Soothes aches and discomfort.

Woman holding her lower back on a running track

Hands down, the quality most often associated with Black Pepper Essential Oil is its incredible warming capabilities. It helps soothe muscular discomfort by providing localized warmth that helps relax inflamed or spastic muscles. So whether your legs are cramping up after a long run or your neck is feeling sore from sitting at a desk all day, applying Black Pepper topically is a great way to increase circulation to a specific area and help relax tensed up muscles [3]. It may also be helpful in relieving uncomfortable symptoms of joint pain, like those often associated with rheumatoid arthritis [4].

Use Black Pepper in a warm bath to help relieve feelings of discomfort and stiffness. Try adding 3 drops of Black Pepper, 2 drops of Juniper Berry, and 4 drops of Lavender to one tablespoon of unscented body wash and add to a running bath. For some added support, mix in half a cup of Epsom salt and you’re going to be feeling great in no time!

Helps settle a sour stomach.

Woman crouching in stomach pain

A stomach in distress can mean all kinds of things. Maybe it’s just gas, or cramping, bloating, or unhappy bowels…but whatever it is, we want it gone. Black Pepper is known to help with a wide variety of gastrointestinal issues and can help improve the overall digestion process [5]. It does this by stimulating the digestive system, helping to reduce spasms in the intestines and uterus, while also easing symptoms of constipation, diarrhea, and nausea [4].

We recommend topical application of Black Pepper to help dissolve your stomach upset—please do not ingest Black Pepper Essential Oil! Instead, add 3 drops to a teaspoon of carrier oil or lotion. Then, gently massage onto your stomach in a clockwise manner. You should notice relief soon after. Your intestines will relax, release tension, and begin to get everything moving along in the right direction! Blending a drop or two of Ginger Root CO2 or Dill Weed with Black Pepper will also provide wonderful support, just make sure to dilute accordingly.

Supports that resolution to quit smoking!

Hands breaking a cigarette

If you’ve read anything about using essential oils to help curb the habit, you’ve probably seen at least a few mentions of Black Pepper. That’s because Black Pepper Essential Oil has helped some people tremendously when it comes to their resolve to quit smoking. It has properties that support easing the tense and anxious feelings you can get when suffering from nicotine withdrawal, which consequently helps reduce cravings for cigarettes over time. Inhaling Black Pepper also stimulates respiratory tract sensations, which plays an important role in alleviating smoking-withdrawal symptoms [4].

Give Black Pepper the chance to take the edge off of your nerves! Use it in your convenient aromatherapy inhaler. This is a quick and convenient way for you to have it on hand. That way, you can reach for it as often as you need! This is a great opportunity to blend it with another stress relieving oil, such as Lavender, for some instant relief and calm. Or, check out our Curb the Urge Inhaler Blend for a powerful blend of essential oils that can help reduce feelings of irritability associated with withdrawal.

Aids the immune system when seasonal illness strikes.

Finally, this spicy essential oil is a great choice to bust out when you’re feeling under the weather. It helps strengthen the immune system, allowing you to get better faster [4]! Diffuse alongside essential oils like Eucalyptus Globulus, Bergamot, Tea Tree, and Lemon to help create a healthy and clean atmosphere in your home.

Black pepper drupes on a white background

Add Black Pepper to your cart

Want more ideas on ways to use your Black Pepper Essential Oil? Head on over to our Safe Essential Oil Recipes Facebook group for information and inspiration!

Sources:

[1]  Harding, J. (2008). The essential oils handbook: all the oils you will ever need for health, vitality and well-being. London: Watkins Media Ltd. pgs. 176-177

[2]. Butler, S. (2013). Off the Spice Rack: The Story of Pepper. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/news/off-the-spice-rack-the-story-of-pepper

[3] Ou, M., Lee, Y., Li, C., & Wu, S. (2014). The effectiveness of essential oils for patients with neck pain: a randomized controlled study. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25192562

[4] Purchon, N., & Cantele, L. (2014). The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition. (Novato, CA: New World Library. Pg. 40-41.

[5] Mehmood, M. & Gilani, A. (2010). Pharmacological basis for the medicinal use of black pepper and piperine in gastrointestinal disorders. Retrieved from  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20828313

95 thoughts on “Our Top 4 Ways to Use Black Pepper”

  1. I wasn’t aware Black Pepper was useful for digestion issues. I’ve been using peppermint and ginger root, but will try adding black pepper. Thanks for the info.

  2. We LOVE Black Pepper. Its a great massage oil for sore back muscles. There’s really not any heat but a subtle warmth that penetrates the skin to the muscles. Plus, we just love the smell. I actually have used it for menstrual cramps too.

    Definitely an oil I keep in my “oil medicine cabinet”.

  3. I ordered black pepper a while ago, but hadn’t used it yet. I’m so thankful to Plant Therapy for making essential oil usage so easy. I love the bit about history in the beginning. Who thought this oil had so many uses?! I’ll be using it today.

  4. In the first week of using it, it’s been such a help with my chronic GI health issues — all thanks to your suggestions!

  5. Black Pepper for nausea? Yep! I went on a cruise and added Ginger to it and it helped immediately with my nausea. I am so glad I took all of my PT oils with me. Without them, my first cruise would have kept me in our suite. It has taught me to listen to recommendations a lot better.

  6. I just ordered black pepper. I’m so excited to get it and try it for different things. I plan on using it for my husband’s pain and to diffuse it.

  7. Thank you PT for all this great information. I bought and use black pepper for joint pain and had no idea of these other uses. It’s so great that you teach your customers how the products can benefit them. One of the many reasons I love PT!

  8. I love black pepper for pain and an energy boost but had no idea it was also immune boosting. After reading the comments I will now be diffusing black pepper and grapefruit tomorrow!

  9. I have always loved Black Pepper…the spice on my food. My mother used it in a tissue for my chronic earaches/infections when I was little. So, when I saw this was an essential oil, I naturally had to have a bottle. I have it in an inhaler and I use it in the pain blends that I make for myself, family, and co-workers. I was not aware of the tummy benefits. Now, I have something new to try.

  10. I love the smell of black pepper and found that I like it very much with other oils, especially the woodsy aromas. Getting ginger soon and I’m excited to try them together. Very informative blog, thank you!

  11. Was in my wishlist for a while and had to get it when it went on sale. Can’t wait to try it for tummy issues!

  12. I love to add a drop to other blends to “spice” them up just a bit. But, now I added black pepper to the copaiba and frankincense (in a carrier blend) that I was already using to help with a broken toe. Now I ordered an extra bottle (and personal diffusers) to give to my son to encourage him to stop smoking! LOVE IT!

  13. Black pepper has all the properties i’m looking for in an oil. Muscle aid, Immune support & help ease upset stomachs. Love that its also kidsafe so they can take advantage of this powerhouse!

  14. I’ve had Black Pepper for awhile and never knew what to use it for other than pain blends. I didn’t know it was good for tummy issues and the immune system, so I will definitely be trying it for those.

    1. They have very similar therapeutic uses, which is interesting since pink pepper (also called pink berries, false pepper, Christmasberry, and Florida Holly) is not related to any plant in the Pepper family. We had Pink Berries CO2 as one of our Oil of the Month selections back in November; if you’d like to learn more about it, check out this blog: https://blog.planttherapy.com/blog/2018/11/29/november-essential-oil-of-the-month-pink-berries-co2/

  15. I just purchased black pepper a few weeks ago. The recipes in this blog are perfect. Just started a new job and my back is sore from sitting at my desk doing training all day. Going home tonight to massage some black pepper on my back!

  16. I never knew that black pepper was good for stomach issues, which I have plenty of. I love that it could help with spasming. I haven’t tried this oil, it wasn’t on my radar but I think it just earned it’s spot! Thank you for the useful information about this oil, looking forward to trying it.

  17. These are great! Thank you. So far, I’ve only been using black pepper to add a spark to various diffuser blends, but can’t wait to try some of these ideas, too.

  18. Can I use the recipe above for aches and pains in the PT Olive Lotion for a pain rub? I also have the Healing Balm that I could use I’ve broken my foot and really need a good blend for pain relief.

    1. Not necessarily; there are a lot of variables that go into that question. Feel free to reach out to our team of aromatherapists at [email protected] for a one-on-one conversation to help address this question 🙂

  19. Wondering which would work better on an upset stomach – black pepper or ginger? Wishing there was a way to purchase small samples before purchasing full bottles of EOs.

    1. Angie, Ginger is one of the absolute best essential oils to use for stomach issues, so I would recommend trying that one first 🙂

  20. I love black pepper love the smell of pepper. It’s great for pain. I used for pms pain. Mix with castor oil and grapefruit and Clary sage. I love this oil.

  21. I am loving all the uses of Black Pepper. I have a lot of sore muscles from exercising and I am putting this on my list to try. Thank you for showing me what different uses Black Pepper has.

  22. I love Black Pepper Oil. I used it just last night with ginger and carrier oil, rubbed on my belly after having a little of a nauseous stomach due to some new med I am on. It worked like a charm. I keep a small lotion pump bottle of carrier oil handy so I can just mix up a concoction on the fly in my palm. I few squirts of CO and then add a drop or 2 of EO and apply.

  23. I love diffusing black pepper with grapefruit or lemon. Will have to try applying topically for gut issues. Thanks for the info!

  24. Well written, Katrina! I’ve been wanting to add black pepper to my collection for a while, but I didn’t know all of the benefits! Sounds amazing and I can’t wait to try it for neck and tummy aches!!

  25. Wow I never even realized that black pepper was an essential oil! Since the article says it helps with sour stomachs I think this is definitely an oil I am going to have to try.

  26. So happy to have read this blog!!! Black Pepper is an oil that I really don’t use much of. This article has given me some wonderful ways to implement more of it into my oil rotations, especially with all hip joint pain I’ve been having!

  27. I suffer from overworked muscles a lot and I love black pepper for pain relief. I will definitely be trying that bath soak too!!!

  28. I have been wanting to try black pepper. I am trying to figure out how to best use turmeric (diffuser, inhaler, or topical), ginger root, and black pepper. I know they can work well for reducing inflammation.

  29. I love the scent of black pepper! I use it for energy blends and have also used it in blends for aching muscles. I find it extremely effective. I am going to need to try it for digestion and immunity as well. Thanks for the useful info, PT!

  30. Can’t wait to try this!!! It hits so many of my current issues. Thanks for explaining all of the wonderful potentials.

  31. Black Pepper was part of my first ever PT order and has been a versatile go-to ever since! I love using it to add complexity to diffuser blends as well as in rollers for aches and pains! I also put just a drop or two in my husband’s beard oil, as it is a dominant note in the cologne he used to wear.

  32. I really love black pepper. It is unique and I have had great success in using for muscle aches. I am going to try the blend of Black Pepper, Juniper Berry, and Lavender mention above in my bath today!

  33. Sounds like we will get much use out of the Black Pepper I just received. Can’t wait to make a few rollers, and try diffusing it. I always learn something from these posts. Thank you Plant Therapy!

  34. I love black pepper for sore muscles! I’m also discovering that it’s in a lot of my favorite synergies, which I hadn’t paid attention to before. Thank’s for making it the spotlight oil!

  35. Wow, I wasn’t going to purchase black pepper EO but after reading this and the benefits I’m now need it for my collection

  36. I can’t wait to try Black Pepper. Everything it helps with I have issues with lol. So it should be perfect for me!

  37. Thank you for the information! I even got some great tips from the comments! It’s so nice that each day you post ways to use these oils beyond the basic and well known recipes! You’re the best, PT.

  38. Great article! I knew nothing about this oil before reading this, I had only heard about it once or twice before. Very helpful information!

  39. Black Pepper is really great! I’ll order a second bottle now that PT has a special. This EO works wonders with pain (mixed with a carrier oil)

  40. I’ve only ever read about using black pepper to warm yourself in the winter and in my cooking! Can’t wait to try it for digestion!

  41. I love black pepper! I add it to our diffuser regularly, and have made multiple rollers with it! I’m not a fan of black pepper on my food, but I love the smell of the oil!

  42. Super excited to give this a try. I’m planning to try the pain reliever DIY recipes and with grapefruit in a diffuser. Can’t wait for it to arrive!

  43. I bought this for my husband to use to quit smoking and I don’t think he was mentally ready as it didn’t work. I will have to try it for back pain.

    1. Keep trying, it helped me stop smoking after 30 years, a few drops on my wrists and behind my ears helped with the nicotine cravings. Good luck!

  44. Black pepper has always been one of my favorite oils for digestion, I mix it with vanilla and put them in shea butter for a rub and it works wonderfully!

  45. Black pepper has amazing healing qualities. I have a salve that I use on sore muscles, and it instantly goes to work!

  46. Just for the smell of it, black pepper and grapefruit smell amazing in the diffuser. It lends to giving me a bit more energy and concentration.

    1. There are so many great reasons to use black pepper. Using it for those pesky problems that seem overwhelming is so beneficial!

      1. My cousin has recommended this to support the immune system-she swears by black pepper. But after reading all your comments, I would now be using this for my occasional back pain. Great to learn a lot just by reading through here

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