There’s a pretty good chance you’ve used black pepper before. But what about black pepper essential oil? Research has shown that black pepper essential oil has numerous health benefits, including anticancer properties.
Check out these six amazing benefits of black pepper essential oil:
- Relieves Aches and Pains
Because of its warming, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, black pepper oil works to reduce muscle injuries, tendonitis, and symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine assessed the efficacy of aromatic essential oils on neck pain. When patients applied a cream composed of black pepper, marjoram, lavender and peppermint essential oils to the neck daily for a four-week period, the group reported improved pain tolerance and significant improvement of neck pain.
- Aids Digestion
Black pepper oil may help ease the discomfort of constipation, diarrhea and gas. In vitro and in vivo animal research has shown that depending on the dosage, black pepper’s piperine exhibits antidiarrheal and antispasmodic activities or it can actually have a spasmodic effect, which is helpful for constipation relief. Overall, black pepper and piperine appear to have possible medicinal uses for gastrointestinal motility disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
A study published in 2013 looked at the effects of piperine on animal subjects with IBS as well as depression-like behavior. The researchers found that the animal subjects who were given piperine showed improvements in behavior as well as an overall improvement in serotonin regulation and balance in both their brains and colons. How is this important to IBS? There is evidence that abnormalities in brain-gut signaling and serotonin metabolism play a role in IBS.
- Lowers Cholesterol
An animal study on the hypolipidemic (lipid-lowering) effect of black pepper in rats fed a high-fat diet showed a decrease in the levels of cholesterol, free fatty acids, phospholipids and triglycerides. Researchers found that supplementation with black pepper elevated the concentration of HDL (good) cholesterol and reduced the concentration of LDL (bad) cholesterol and VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol in the plasma of rats fed high-fat foods. This is just some of the research that points toward using black pepper essential oil internally to reduce high triglycerides and improve total cholesterol levels.
- Has Antiviral Properties
The long-term use of antibiotics has resulted in the evolution of multidrug-resistant bacteria. Research published in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology found that black pepper extract contains anti-virulence properties, meaning it targets bacterial virulence without affecting cell viability, making drug resistance less likely. The study showed that after screening 83 essential oils, black pepper, cananga and myrrh oil inhibited Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation and “almost abolished” the hemolytic (destruction of red blood cells) activity of S. aureus bacteria.
- Lowers Blood Pressure
When black pepper essential oil is taken internally, it may promote healthy circulation and even lower high blood pressure. An animal study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology demonstrates how black pepper’s active component, piperine, possesses a blood pressure-lowering effect. Black pepper is known in Ayurvedic medicine for its warming properties that can be helpful to circulation and heart health when used internally or applied topically. Mixing black pepper oil with cinnamon or turmeric essential oil can enhance these warming properties.
- Exhibits Anticancer Activity
According to a 2010 study conducted at Michigan State University, black pepper extract and its constituents exhibit anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer activities. The researchers found that the the piperine and alkyl amides found in black pepper both had dose-dependent abilities to inhibit human cancer cell proliferation.