Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is distilled from the dried crushed fruit of the vine and has a sharp, clean, spicy aroma. If I were to sum up this oil in one word it would be stimulating.
It is an oil I turn to when treating muscular-skeletal aches and pains as it is warming, a tonic for tired muscles so good to use before and after sport. It is rubefacient; when applied it reddens the skin due to the dilation of the capillaries therefore excellent for stimulating circulation and the lymphatic system. It has been used for over 4000 years in India to treat urinary and liver disorders because of it’s detoxifying nature.
It can help stimulate digestion, improving one’s appetite and aiding those with constipation. A good decongestant it helps shift catarrh brought on from colds and coughs.
It blends beautifully with citrus oils such as Lemon (Citrus limon) or Orange (Citrus sinensis), or flower oils such as Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), or a resin oil such as Frankincense (Boswellia sacra).
Due to it’s fiery nature I would avoid using it with the elderly and children, and has the potential to irritate the kidneys and sensitive skin. Avoid in pregnancy and if taking homeopathic remedies.
Feeling hot and bothered? A good natural cooling agent is Peppermint (Mentha piperita) with its strong, fresh, menthol aroma. When I imagine Peppermint I think green and herbaceous, which could be because it’s from the same plant family as herbs such as Basil and Marjoram to name a few. Peppermint is a good pick me up, useful for tired minds and bodies as well as any digestive complaints such as nausea or colic. Because of it’s wonderful cooling effect, it is well suited as an inhalation or a spray. Combine 2 drops of Peppermint with 2 drops of Lemon and 2 drops of Grapefruit in your diffuser to calm and freshen up your space. Alternatively, add the same amount to between 15-30ml of water in a small spray bottle for a refreshing face or body mist. Use as often as you need and enjoy the fresh minty, tangy scent which will help you cool down. Avoid during pregnancy, keep away from eyes, use in low dilutions.
I woke up today and the house felt stuffy. I had a feeling for Lime (Citrus aurantifolia). This is an oil I have just recently discovered and I love its sharp, tangy, sweet, fruity aroma. Lime belongs to the Rutaceae family alongside oils such as Lemon, Grapefruit and Orange. They contain Limonene which gives them their distinctive flavour. Lime is good for relieving musculoskeletal tension, it aids digestion such as cramps and spasms. It also supports the circulatory system as it is bactericidal and antiviral. And, it promotes a sense of well-being, helping with anxiety and stress. Citrus fruits are grown in sunny climates so these oils help lift our spirits. It blends well with oils such as Sandalwood, Ginger, Lemongrass, Frankincense and Patchouli. But today I’ve put 2 drops in my oil burner along with a drop of Sweet Orange, a drop of Lemon and one drop of Eucalyptus globulus (odour eater) to freshen up my space and give me some well needed energy.