Arthritis is a painful condition that impedes the daily activities of a person.
Apart from painful joints arthritis patients also experience swelling due to inflammation and joint stiffness.
It is important to control arthritis with medication.
Other non-drug therapies like hot and cold therapy, relaxation with aromatherapy, exercise, diet plans, etc., can help arthritis symptoms as well.
Essential oils have served in many aspects of life from flavoring to health benefits.
Using essential oils for arthritis symptoms can be effective in reducing pain and other problems.
Black pepper oil is one such essential oil that can benefit arthritis. Before a detailed discussion of these benefits let us glance through the characteristics of the black pepper essential oil.
What is Black Pepper Essential Oil?
Black Pepper is a woody climbing plant that grows well surrounding supporting trees.
It is a flowering plant that grows throughout the year. The fruits of this plant are called peppercorns.
Black pepper essential oil is a pale-yellow liquid obtained from peppercorns. It is extracted through steam distillation of unripe dried peppercorns.
It contains the active ingredient ‘piperine’.
Research on black pepper and its constituents have proven its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-carcinogenic, anti-ulcer and immunomodulatory properties.
Benefits of Black Pepper Essential Oil in Arthritis
Benefits of black pepper essential oil in arthritis are due to its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects. Topical application is proven to reduce pain and inflammation. Black pepper is a natural antioxidant that detoxifies the body. It may have implications for weight reduction which is an important step in the management of arthritis. Moreover, this oil reduces stress and anxiety which is common in arthritis and also improves the effectiveness of other supplements and medication.
1. Great for Pain Relief in Arthritis
A study conducted by Fergal N McNamara et. al. proved the effect of piperine as a strong analgesic.
It was also identified that piperine had a better analgesic effect than the cayenne pepper extract called capsaicin.
Black pepper can reduce the pain and improve movement by preventing the pain signals from being transmitted to the brain which results in pain relief.
What does this mean? Black pepper oil when applied topically to ailing joints reduces pain by cutting the pain transmission. Strong pain-relieving effect of black pepper has been proven by various research data.
2. Black Pepper Oil Can Reduce Inflammation in Arthritis
Inflammation is brought about by certain types of cells in the body, these cells are blocked by black pepper leading to inflammation reduction.
A study conducted by Ying X et. al., revealed the anti-inflammatory benefits of piperine on human arthritic cartilage cells.
The suppression of inflammatory pathways by piperine is responsible for this effect.
Piperine could have promising effects in reducing inflammation in arthritis patients.
It is also found to reduce the pro-inflammatory chemicals that initiate inflammation process and its effect and safety profile like that of the drug indomethacin.
What does this mean? The active ingredient in black pepper oil called piperine reduces inflammation in arthritis by disrupting the normal inflammatory pathway.
3. It is a Natural Antioxidant that Can Promote Detoxification
Free radicals are toxins in the body which cause damage to the cells by an oxidation process. Various diseases are linked to free radicals.
Antioxidants are substances that reduce this oxidation process and help in detoxification in the body.
This property is due to the presence of flavonoids and phenolic compounds.
Therefore, black pepper oil can be a natural way to detoxify the body and enrich it with antioxidants.
What does this mean? Arthritis can increase the toxins in the body and cause damage to the cells. Black pepper being a natural antioxidant can prevent this damage and detoxify the body.
4. Black Pepper Helps in Weight Control that Benefits Arthritis
Arthritis patients are more likely to be obese and this can lead to increased symptoms. Therefore, the American College of Rheumatology suggests weight loss in obese arthritis patients.
A study published in the Journal of American College of Nutrition concluded that a dietary supplement containing piperine was effective in weight reduction by inducing heat generation and increasing satiety.
Supplementation of piperine along with curcumin has been proven to possess mighty weight reducing effects.
Piperine improved the metabolism of carbohydrates in the skeletal muscles that enhances exercise ability in animals.
What does this mean? Black pepper can help in reducing weight in arthritis patients that can help in reduced symptoms. This effect is by increasing heat generation and satiety.
5. Black Pepper Oil Can Reduce Stress and Anxiety in Arthritis Patients
Aromatherapy is known to confer benefits on mood by lowering the stress and anxiety.
Aromatherapy with black pepper essential oil has been ascertained with anti-depression properties in an animal study.
Scientific data from black pepper extract validates its anti-anxiety effect. It works by reducing the oxidative stress in the brain.
What does this mean? Arthritis patients can be stressed and depressed which can employ the anti-stress benefits of black pepper oil to mitigate anxiety and stress.
6. Improves the Effect of Arthritis Medication and Supplements
Black pepper improves the absorption of various drugs and improves their efficiency.
In the same manner, it has proven to amplify the pain-relieving property of the drug diclofenac.
The benefits of curcumin in arthritis is well-studied and widely accepted. Black pepper is known to enhance this effect by improving curcumin absorption from the stomach.
What does this mean? Black pepper not only provides benefits of its own in arthritis but, also increases the effect of other drugs and supplements by increasing their absorption in the stomach.
How to Take Black Pepper Essential Oil (Piperine) – Dosage
To apply topically mix black pepper oil with a carrier oil (almond oil) and gently massage on the painful joints.
5-20 mg piperine can be taken orally per day to improve the effect of curcumin and diclofenac.
Black pepper is generally regarded as safe by Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Before applying to the skin test the oil on a small surface of the skin to check for any allergies.
Piperine can interact with other medications (carbamazepine, paracetamol, midazolam, etc.).
Therefore, it must not be taken without professional advice.
Using concentrated oil without dilution can cause irritation of the skin. Avoid contact with the eyes as it may cause irritation.
Black Pepper essential oil is an extract from dried peppercorns which is used for cooking and flavouring.
It has been used in traditional medicine for its effect on digestion and pain relief.
Arthritis is a condition that causes a lot of pain. Black pepper with its pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties can provide symptom relief.
Black pepper essential oil is a natural antioxidant that can help in detoxification in arthritis. It is also studied for its weight reducing the effect and is proven to help in obesity which is crucial in arthritis management.
Arthritis is a condition that can cause stress and anxiety and black pepper is found to combat this too. It also improves the effectiveness of other agents used in arthritis by enhancing absorption.
On a final note, black pepper is identified to be highly advantageous in arthritis with a good safety profile upon ingestion, inhalation, and topical application.