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Black Pepper - piper nigerum

A perennial woody climber / vine up to 5 metres high, with large oval-heart shaped leaves, and spikes of small white flowers. The small berries grow in clusters which ripen from green to red and black : green peppercorns are picked unripe and pickled; black peppercorns are the dried, fully grown, unripe fruit; red peppercorns are picked ripe and dried; and the white peppercorns are the ripe berries which have been soaked in water before drying (this removes the outer pericarp).

Cultivated since the Ancient times for medicinal and culinary purposes, pepper was also a vital commodity in world trade for thousands of years. During his siege on the city of Rome in AD408, Atilla the Hun was reputed to have demanded 1,360kg of pepper as ransom! In Greece black pepper is used for treating intermittent fevers and to fortify the stomach, whilst in Chinese medicine the white pepper is used for cases of malaria, cholera, dysentery, diarrhoea, stomach ache and digestive problems. According to Maury in Guide to Aromatherapy “...The mendicant monks of India who cover daily considerable distance on foot, swallow 7-9 grains of pepper a day. This gives them remarkable endurance...”

Pepper is an antibacterial, and has a stimulant, antiseptic effect on the digestive tract and circulatory system. Used to enhance circulation, boost the immune system, eliminate toxins and improve digestion, it is also effective at reducing fever, treating chills, catarrh, nausea, colds, infections and viruses. The oil is useful in easing rheumatic and arthritic pains, muscle aches and pains, sprains, general stiffness, and toothache.

In magic and rituals, black pepper is mixed with sea salt and used to sprinkle about the home / ritual space to dispel negative vibrations.

! Use the essential oil of Black Pepper well diluted and only in moderation - can damage Kidneys !


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