Sometimes, if you look close enough, you can find tiny miracles in plants and herbs, and even in your everyday table spices. Sitting at the front of your spice rack, looking unassuming, is probably a shaker of black pepper. I bet you would never guess in a million years that this modest spice could have so many health benefits and healing properties… but it does!
Black pepper (in particular black pepper essential oil) has numerous remedial properties, including expectorant, febrifuge, antioxidant, diuretic, anti-arthritic, circulatory, analgesic, antibacterial, stimulant, anthelmintic, antiseptic, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, laxative, aphrodisiac, anticatarrhal, rubefacient, anti-inflammatory and carminative. These properties can be used to treat a variety of illnesses, symptoms, or discomforts.
Aids in digestion
Black pepper is amazing for digestion because it stimulates hydrochloric acid secretion, which is vital for digestion. The result is antidiarrheal, gastro-protective, and antispasmodic activities that help relieve constipation, diarrhea, and gas. Add black pepper when preparing foods, especially sauces, and you’ll be providing a delicious and beneficial addition to your meal.
Helps fight cancer
This ordinary table spice is not so ordinary after all, when you consider that it helps fight cancer. Black pepper essential oil exhibits anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer activities. Although the compound piperine was found to be the most effective, studies show that all black pepper compounds suppressed human cancer cell proliferation.
Lends a hand in detoxifying the body
Research shows that the compound piperine helps normalize blood pressure, reduces inflammation, and improves liver function and glucose tolerance. The result is a normalization of blood sugar levels and reduced symptoms of human metabolic syndrome, thanks to piperine’s ability to help remove toxins and reduce inflammation.
Furthermore, black pepper essential oils have been known to cause a warming sensation when applied topically. This sensation caused by the oil increases sweating which helps remove toxins from the body as well. Furthermore, the oil functions as a diuretic, helping to remove toxins and excess water, in turn reducing swelling and inflammation and lowering blood pressure naturally.
Helps relieve pain
Black pepper essential oil is also excellent for easing aches and pains. In addition to its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, this oil can be applied topically to ease the pain associated with muscle tension or injuries, cramps, or tendonitis, and it can even help to relieve symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism.
Acts as a safe anti-virulent
A study conducted on 83 essential oils found that black pepper was one of three essential oils that inhibited staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation and almost abolished the hemolytic (destruction of red blood cells) activity of S. aureus. The research shows that black pepper extract has anti-virulence properties and can target bacterial virulence without affecting cell viability. This means that black pepper extract has anti-virulent properties, but doesn’t promote viral resistance.
Helps lower cholesterol
Research conducted in 2002 revealed that black pepper has the ability to lower levels of cholesterol, free fatty acids, phospholipids and triglycerides. The study was conducted on rats fed a high-fight diet. When the researchers supplemented black pepper to the rats, they discovered that they had an elevated concentration of HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) and a reduced concentration of LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and VLDL cholesterol in the plasma of the test subjects. To best reduce cholesterol and high triglycerides, take black pepper essential oil orally.
- Taken orally, black pepper essential oil promotes circulation and stimulates mucus and bile flow.
- Helps in the swallowing function in people with neurological disorders
- Black pepper essential oil can be used to stimulate the olfactory response, assisting the swallowing function in people with neurological disorders. Either through inhalation or ingestion, black pepper essential oil activates the insular or orbitofrontal cortex. The result is an improvement in the swallowing reflex.
Can help reduce stress and anxiety
Black pepper oil has been known to be effective in relieving symptoms of stress and anxiety, especially when inhaled. One of the strongest pieces of evidence for the reduction of stress and anxiety is a 1994 study that conducted research on smoking withdrawal symptoms. The study was conducted on 48 smokers who had recently been deprived of smoking. The test subjects were separated into three groups and each given a device that delivered vapor. One group inhaled vapor from black pepper essential oils, another group received vapor from a mint/menthol cartridge, and the final group was given empty cartridges. During a three hour session with the cartridges, the group who had received the black pepper essential oil vapor reported significantly reduced cravings.
Furthermore, the anxiety that sometimes comes with consuming THC is reduced with the use of black pepper essential oil. The sesquiterpene, caryophyllene, can be found in both cannabis and black pepper. Caryophyllene has been shown to activate the CB2 receptor and acts as a non-psychoactive anti-inflammatory compound. Terpenes, like caryophyllene, have also been found to have pain-relieving, anti-anxiety or sedative effects, most notably caryophyllene, linalool and myrcene. In a study called “Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and Phyto cannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects,” scientists discovered that terpenes found in cannabis and in other plants, spices, and herbs “may contribute meaningfully to the entourage effects of cannabis-based medicinal extracts,” including help in reducing anxiety sometimes experienced by people who medicate with cannabis.
Black pepper is one of the most commonly used spices in the world, but it is also clearly one of the most taken for granted spices. After all, who could guess that this black pepper had so many health benefits and healing properties? Use black pepper essential oil orally, topically, or through inhalation to take advantage of its abundant healing properties and health benefits.