7. Reduces Cholesterol
In one 10-week trial of rats fed a high-fat diet:
“The plasma and tissue lipid profile showed a remarkable reduction in the levels of total cholesterol (both the free and ester cholesterol fractions), free fatty acids, phospholipids and triglycerides in black pepper as well as in the piperine treated groups. Moreover, supplementation of the high fat fed rats with black pepper or piperine elevated the concentration of high density lipoprotein-cholesterol and reduced the concentrations of low density lipoprotein-cholesterol and very low density lipoprotein-cholesterol in the plasma as compared with the levels in unsupplemented high fat fed rats. Thus dietary intake of black pepper or piperine was found to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis markedly by virtue of its hypolipidemic and antiatherogenic effects.” (8)
A high-fat diet and high cholesterol increase the incidence of oxidative stress in the body. Piperine counteracts oxidative stress at the cellular level. (9)
8. Aids Digestion
The piperine in black pepper stimulates digestive enzymes secreted by the pancreas and promotes faster digestion in addition to stimulating bile production. Maybe its most impressive function is its protection of the liver from toxins and oxidative stress. (10)
Applied topically, black pepper is an effective pain reliever. One study of the efficacy of black pepper cream on people who suffer from chronic neck pain found a significant reduction of pain and improved pain tolerance and range of motion. (11)
Black pepper oil is an anti-inflammatory and interferes with pain receptors, reducing the sensation of pain. (12)
Using Black Pepper Oil
Check the label of any essential oil to ensure you’re getting a therapeutic grade product. Many essential oils are sold already mixed with a carrier oil (like jojoba) so make sure to look at the ingredients.
Because of their extreme concentration, most essential oils must be mixed with a carrier oil (coconut, olive, shea, avocado) before being applied to the skin. Generally, 2-3 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil is recommended.
To use black pepper oil in aromatherapy, use a diffuser, vaporizer, or mix the oil with a carrier in the palm of your hands, then hold them to your face and inhale through your nose.
Here’s how to use it for topical applications (warning – it can be hot!):
- Circulation and blood flow: 3–5 drops on the area of concern, topped with a warm compress
- Digestion: gently rub 1–2 drops on the lower abdomen
- Muscle pain: massage 1–5 drops into the painful area
- Congestion: 2–3 drops massaged into the chest
- Arthritis: Rub 2–3 drops into painful area
- Detox: 2–3 drops on soles of the feet
Internal applications (only under medical supervision):
- Digestion: 1–2 drops in a smoothie, soup, etc.
- Respiratory conditions: inhale or mix 1-2 drops with a liquid and drink
- Detox: 1–2 drops mixed with a liquid
- Food flavoring: 1-2 drops in whatever you cook
Black pepper is one of the most commonly-used spices in the world. For thousands of years, it’s been helping us without us even knowing it. All this time, we just thought it added some pizzazz to dinner.