Black pepper is the dried seed of the plant, a vine-like climber that belongs to the Piperaceae family and is grown for commercial purposes mainly in India and Indonesia. Its use as a spice goes back at least four thousand years and few cooks can do without it in their kitchen. Black pepper oil is highly regarded in Chinese medicine, particularly for the treatment of digestive disorders.
Black-pepper oil is extracted by steam distillation of the crushed, dried peppercorns. The oil is usually colorless, sometimes with a greenish or light amber tinge, and has a warm, freshly spicy smell. Black pepper oil is used extensively by the food and drinks industry and is also employed in the manufacture of some perfumed products.
Black pepper is a warming oil and can be particularly beneficial in the treatment of heavy colds, when the patient feels shivery, achy, listless and depressed. It is both stimulating and energizing. It can be used in massage or in a vaporizer. Used in massage, it will be of particular benefit to athletes and those with arthritic or rheumatic pain, poor circulation or chilblains, and it is comforting and warming in a footbath. Avoid using it in general bathing, as it can be irritating to the skin.
Suitable methods of use
Use well diluted and in small amounts as it can be a skin irritant.