Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a woody vine that grows to approximately 5 metres in height. The plant, a native to India, bares heart shaped leaves and small white flowers. The oil is extracted from the dried peppercorns that turn from red to black as they mature.
Black pepper has been used for over 4,000 years in China and India, but was also utilised by many other ancient cultures.
Black pepper is a member of the Piperaceae family, and has a middle to base keynote.
Camphene, carene, limonene, linalool, monoterpenes (70-80%), myrcene, oxygenated compounds, phellandrene, pinene, sabinene, thujene, sesquiterpenes.
Body systems affected:
Circulatory, digestive, immune, intestinal, respiratory, urinary.
Main therapeutic properties:
Analgesic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, carminative, diaphoretic (produces sweat), digestive, febrifuge (reduces fever) laxative, rubefacient (produces localised warmth), stimulant (circulatory and digestive) stomachic, tonic for spleen.
Main therapeutic use:
Acidity, anaemia, anorexia, arthritis, chilblains, cholera, colds, colic, constipation, coughs, debility, diarrhoea, dysentery, dyspepsia, fevers, flatulence, flu, frozen shoulder, heartburn, infectious diseases, lapsed muscle conditions, loss of appetite, muscular aches and pains, muscular atonia, nausea, neuralgia, painful joints, poor circulation, poor muscle tone, prolapsed colon, quinsy, rheumatism, sedentary state, spinal problems, sprains, stiffness, swollen joints, toothache, vertigo, viral infections, vomiting.
Secondary therapeutic use:
Anti-toxic, diuretic, stimulant (nervous).
High concentrations may cause irritation. Use in moderation and avoid during pregnancy.
Black pepper is a very stimulating oil with warming qualities. It restores muscle tone and mobilises the immune system. Its stimulating properties may be further enhanced when blended with basil. Black pepper is indicated for extreme cold conditions.