Essential Oil Profile: Black Pepper

by Amelia E. Hoard, RN


Common Name: Black Pepper

Synonyms: Piper, pepper

Latin Binomial: Piper nigrum L.

Family: Piperaceae

Production Method: steam distilled, an oleoresin is also made by solvent extraction.

Countries of Origin: India, Indoesia, Malaysia, China, and Madagasgar

Typical Constituents: b-Caryophyllene (9.4-30.9%), [+]-Limonene (16.4-24.4), a-Pinene (1.1-16.2%), d-3-Carene (tr-15.5%), b-Pinene (4.9-14.3%), Sabinene (0.1-13.8%),

 b-Bisabolene (0.1-5.2%), a-Copaene (0.1-3.9%), [E]-b-Farnesene (tr-3.3%),

a-Cubene (0.2-1.6%)

Description of Oil: Clear to pale greenish in color with a fresh, dry-woody, warm-spicy odor.

Description of Plant: A perennial vine native to southern India and Indonesia that climbs to about 5 m, it bears dark green leaves, white flowers and red fruits.

History, Folklore and Myth: A very old and revered spice, black pepper was used in India over 4000 years ago mainly for liver and urinary disorders. So popular in Rome, it was used  to pay taxes.

Properties and Uses: Analgesic, Antiemetic, Aphrodisiac, Cardiac, Detoxifying, Digestive, Stimulant, and Tonyifying

Precautions and Contraindications: Avoid oxidation by storing in the refridgerator.


Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. Virginia, Queensland, Australia: The Perfect Potion. 1995.

Lawless, Julia. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. Shaftesbury, Dorset. Element Books. 1995.

Tisserand, Robert, and Tony Balacs. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. 1995.

Sellar, Wanda. The Directory of Essential Oils. London: Random House. 2005

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