Piper nigrum – Plant Family: Piperaceae

black pepper
BLACK PEPPER essential oil 7

Black pepper

Type of plant: Climbing, woody vine with dark-green leaves, small white
flowers, and when mature, drupes of dark-red berries. The vine clings to trees and can live for 20 years.

Part used: Berries

Method of extraction: Steam distillation

Data: The peppercorns are picked when green and unripe, and they are usually slightly boiled before being left to dry in the sun for a few days, which turns them dark brown and ready for distillation. Black pepper has been used continuously in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. Its value as a spice fueled wars between the Portuguese, British, Dutch, and French colonialists, vying to gain access to it. In the eighteenth century a Frenchman called Pierre Poivre managed to take the plant to the French colony of Madagascar, breaking the Portuguese monopoly. This was such a crucial move for the French that his name is immortalized in the French word for pepper — poivre. Black pepper became an alternative form of currency known as black gold, and its value led to the expression “peppercorn rent.”

Principal places of production: India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Malaysia, China, Indonesia

When buying look for: Colorless to pale-yellow liquid with a strong, warm,
peppery aroma

Therapeutic properties: Analgesic, anticatarrhal, anti-infectious, antimicrobial, antiseptic, circulatory, diuretic, febrifuge, general tonic, immunostimulant, nervine, restorative, tonic

Therapeutic uses: General aches and pains, stomach cramp, digestive problems, rheumatism, circulatory conditions, cold limbs, chills, exhaustion, convalescence; general nerve tonic

Blends well with: Bay (West Indian), bergamot, cardamom, cinnamon leaf,
clary sage, clove bud, fennel (sweet), fragonia, geranium, ginger, grapefruit,
juniper berry, lavender, lavender (spike), lemon, lemongrass, lime, mandarin, marjoram (sweet), nutmeg, orange (sweet), palmarosa, patchouli, plai, rose absolute, rosemary, sage, sandalwood, tangerine, tea tree, ylang ylang

Precautionary advice: May cause irritation on highly sensitive skins. GRAS


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