Black Pepper Oil: Uses & Benefits


Have you been feeling anxious?

Have you been struggling with digestive discomfort?

Does your cooking need a bit of pizzazz?

Black Pepper essential oil is the upscale cousin of the pepper in your grinder.

The peppercorn berries are distilled to produce this essential oil, and it can do so much more than season your eggs.

It contains antioxidants (1, 2) that promote circulation and reduce anxious moods (3). It has a therapeutic effect on the digestive tract and it can also be used as a flavoring in cooking.

What is Black Pepper Essential Oil?

Quick Facts

  • Scientific Name: Piper nigrum
  • Application: A T I S
  • Plant Part: Berries
  • Extraction Method: Steam distillation
  • Aromatic Description: Musky, rich, tangy
  • Main Chemical Components: Caryophyllene, limonene, sabinene

Principal Benefits

  • Can lift your mood and reduce uneasiness
  • Helps support digestive function
  • Enhances the flavors of food

How To Use Black Pepper Oil

Black Pepper essential oil can be used in a variety of ways. Each type of application provides particular benefits, so you can choose different options depending on your specific needs. Or use it in all three ways to derive the maximum benefit from this versatile oil.

Directions for Use:

Simply place three or four drops of oil in a store bought diffuser and you will be good to go. To take it internally, add one drop of oil to four fluid ounces of the liquid of your choice. To use it topically combine it with a carrier oil and rub on desired area.

Black Pepper Essential Oil Uses

  • Aromatic Use: It can be diffused or inhaled to curb feelings of anxiety and lift your mood.
  • Topical Use: Can be used for a relaxing and restoring massage by mixing it with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, and applying directly to overworked muscles.
  • Internal Use: One or two drops placed in a vegetable capsule can be ingested daily to boost cellular function and aid digestion. In addition, it can be used directly as a flavor enhancer when cooking. Just be careful, a small drop packs substantially more punch than a teaspoon of the ground stuff!

Black Pepper Essential Oil Health Benefits

  • It encourages digestive function and maintains colon health – It stimulates throughout the entire digestive tract, starting in the mouth and ending with the large intestine. In addition, it has properties that are known to relieve gas and bloating (4). Some evidence even suggests that it offers protection from diseases of the colon.
  • It provides a relaxing effect on the nervous system-When inhaled or diffused, it decreases anxious moods and can even temper cravings associated with unhealthy habits (5, 6).
  • When feeling sluggish, applying it to the soles of the feet can help revive you- After a nap when you are struggling to re-focus, or whenever you are dragging, topically applied black pepper can provide a restorative benefit.
  • Has critical antioxidants. Our bodies are constantly under attack by free radicals in the environment. Antioxidants help repair the damage done and help limit further damage to our cells (7, 8).
  • Aids circulation- When taken orally, it can encourage internal flow. Also, when applied topically, the warming properties enhance function and relieve aches and pains (9, 10).
  • Can help make food zestier- Using the oil in place of ground peppercorns in your cooking gives you more potent flavor and concentrates the benefits.
  • It bolsters your immune system- It is known to have antibacterial properties (11, 12 ,13, 14). Critically, it has been shown to attack the bacteria and leave the cell healthy. It can have an especially beneficial impact on bacteria in the digestive system.
Black Pepper
Black Pepper – Piper Nigrum

Black Pepper Essential Oil Research

It originated in the Far East, in India, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The fruits of this woody vine were once so prized in Europe that whole fortunes could be made and lost in the pepper trade. Even then, people desired the benefits this exotic plant could bestow.

It was used both as a seasoning and a medicine (15, 16). It is still being studied today. Scientists are endeavoring to determine if it can be beneficial in protecting our health.

Although users of the oil have cited its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, these claims are not approved by the FDA.

Black Pepper Essential Oil Nutrition

There are many benefits derived from long term use. Ongoing aromatic use of black pepper can help to decrease anxious moods, improving your outlook and reducing your reliance on other types of treatment.

A reduction in anxious moods can then have a substantial impact on your entire quality of life. Prolonged internal use can keep your digestive system functioning properly, relieving the discomfort and embarrassment of gas and bloating (4).

It can also offer protection from the external elements that attack our bodies. With repeated use, the antioxidant and antibacterial benefits (11, 12 ,13, 14) can achieve their fullest advantage.

Continual use in topical treatments can warm and soothe your body. It can also offer a way to support cartilage and joint function.

It has even been shown to improve overall tolerance to pain in the areas of the body on which it is used frequently.

Black Pepper Essential Oil Safety

Due to its stimulating properties, when applied topically can sometimes cause a reaction for those with sensitive skin.

When using  topically be sure to combine it with a carrier oil to dilute the effect and try it on a small area first to determine sensitivity.

In addition, because of the concentration of black pepper essential oil it should be used sparingly in cooking.

Internal overuse could cause stomach upset, as it does interact directly with the digestive system. Also, much like ground pepper, it is advisable to keep it away from your eyes and nose.

Black Pepper Essential Oil Substitutes

The warming effect of topically applied black pepper can help soothe joint pain making it a good substitute for over-the-counter pain medication.

It can also be used in place of warming patches and pain relief creams when your exercise regime has been overzealous. It can also be taken internally for occasional stomach upset.

This could reduce your reliance on antacids and other digestive aids although I would not gorge on a whole pizza and expect miracles!

In addition, the ability to help reduce cravings for unhealthy habits (5, 6) could reduce your reliance on gums and patches that aim to do the same.

Black Pepper Essential Oil Blends Well With

Black pepper can be combined with many other essential oils, especially when being used topically. Some particularly well suited ones include Marjoram, Lavender or Peppermint.

Marjoram can target overworked muscles, Lavender eases tension, and Peppermint helps boost energy.

After combining it with the Fractionated Coconut Oil, you can add one or more of these other oils to create different combinations and target different complaints.

When using aromatically it pairs well with citrus scents, such as lemon, lime and grapefruit. It also combines well with other spicy scents like sage, clove, ginger and coriander.


Besides making food yummy, black pepper in its ground form has been understood to have curative effects for hundreds of years.

The essential oil offers a more concentrated delivery vehicle that can provide numerous benefits (15, 16, 17) . Both when diffused and when used topically it can alleviate stress and reduce irritability.

It can also aid with digestion and benefit occasional upset stomachs (4) when taken internally or used on food.

This workhorse of the kitchen cabinet deserves a new look in the form of its essential oil. With so many varied uses, everyone could benefit from acquiring some.


Although black pepper has been used medically for hundreds of years, science is still struggling to catch up. Some studies have shown that it has antioxidant, antibacterial and even anti-cancer properties.

Other studies have indicated that it might be helpful in fighting bacteria that are becoming antibiotic resistant.  These studies are limited, however, and much more research needs to be done.

In the meantime, black pepper essential oil has not been approved by the FDA for any type of medical use and should not be used instead of a pharmaceutical option.