So we are back to aromatherapy again! Fragrant Friday (and note this is not every Friday!) is a series of posts that looks at the potential benefit of using aromatherapy in Fibromyalgia and for anyone who may have other ailments they wish to treat naturally and holistically. So far in this series we have already looked at Lavender and Peppermint, and this time we are taking a look at Black Pepper.
I would like the think that everyone is familiar with black pepper. If you cook at all then this spice will likely be a staple in your kitchen. I put black pepper in pretty much everything but it wasn’t until I started looking at treating my fibromyalgia naturally that I considered using it in aromatherapy. The great thing too is that it is pretty cheap to buy which makes aromatherapy affordable.
So while we have all enjoyed the heat and appetising aroma of black pepper in our food, I’m betting not many of us have used it in its essential oil form. Black peppercorns are the dried fruit of the Piper Nigrum plant and in history was considered to be scared and extremely valuable. So much so that merchants even used it to trade it for gold! Nowadays it is easily available and really not valuable at all, but that doesn’t makes it any less special. In fact did you know that black pepper can benefit you in the following ways?
- Digestive complaints, especially of the windy kind!
- Relief of arthritic symptoms
- Removes toxins from the body by making you sweat more and increasing urination
- Delays signs of ageing (think wrinkles and loss of vision)
- Anti cancer activity
- Ease symptoms of cigarette cravings
I personally use black pepper essential oil for its ability to ease the muscular aches and pains I experience with my fibromyalgia, to aid digestion and to protect me against opportunistic viruses and bacteria. If I do get a cold I find it a very useful decongestant. It is also known to help ease symptoms of anxiety which is particularly useful after a hard day. I typically use black pepper at the end of a challenging day.
There are many ways to use black pepper essential oil, but here are a few of my favourites.
- Topically – by adding to a massage oil blend with lavender and peppermint, black pepper brings quick and effective relief of muscular pain (especially when someone else does the massaging!)
- On the chest – dilute a couple of drops of black pepper oil into a little coconut oil and rub onto the chest like vaporub to ease congestion during illness
- Inhalation – Place a few drops on a tissue and inhale directly to ease symptoms of anxiety
- In food – Add a couple of drops to a bowl of soup or even into a smoothie to ‘pep’ up the taste and ease digestive complaints.
As with any new method of treating symptoms for any reason, always take precaution. I AM NOT AN AROMATHERAPIST and all thoughts and opinions are my own based on the research I have made and the results I have had. I do however always follow these rules when trying a new essential oil –
- Some essential oils can have an allergic effect on some people so I always begin using essential oils slowly and carefully.
- I never put essential oils directly onto my skin without diluting in a base oil first unless it is safe to do so. I test for skin sensitivity by testing on a small patch of diluted oil my inner forearm and if there is no irritation after 48 hours I consider it safe for me.
- I always check which essential oils are phototoxic (sensitive to the suns UV rays) so that I make sure I have properly rinsed it off my skin before going into sunlight, to avoid burning.
- Less is more – just a couple of drops diluted into a base oil is enough to carry through to the whole mixture, so don’t get too excited and add too much essential oil, it will be too overpowering and may irritate.
- If I was pregnant, I would speak to an aromatherapist first to check what is safe to use.
- I don’t assume that all essential oils can be used in aromatherapy, some can’t, so I always check.
- I would never ingest essential oils without first speaking to an aromatherapist.
- And lastly, I keep them out of reach of children and away from fire hazards.
I hope you enjoyed this instalment of Fragrant Friday! As always it has been a pleasure!
This post along with many others from fellow fibro bloggers can be found at the Fibro Blogger Directory.