Focus on ingredients – Black Pepper Essential Oil


Black pepper, yes, the same substance you shake onto food for flavoring, is another ingredient that makes amazing body products.  So how much do you know about Black Pepper?

It is a fruit!

Yes, it is the fruit grown from the Piperaceae plant, native to southern India, and tropical Southeast Asia.   The plant grows large clusters or drupes of green berries.  The green berries are boiled and then allowed to dry.  During the drying process the berries turn black as a result of a bruising process during the boiling.  White pepper corns are simply dried without the boiling process, which makes them a more concentrated flavor.

Who produces the most black pepper in the world?

At one time India would have won that prize, but these days Vietnam is the leader in growing, harvesting and curing pepper corns for market. According to Wikipedia, Vietnam accounts for 34% of all peppercorn growth and production in the world.

What is used in soap and beauty products?

The essential oil of black pepper is added to the formula, giving a spicy, woodsy note to any recipe of soap.  The essential oil is derived by steaming the black pepper corns.  The essential oil is known for analgesic, and antispasmotic qualities…. meaning it is great for sore muscles, and aches and pains such as arthritus.    Research also suggests that the smell of black pepper is warming, comforting, and helpful to the cold sufferer.

How are we using it in our products?

We have not made a final decision yet, but have discovered that it pairs with a number of other essential oils to add that spicy warm note.  Some of the possibilities might include blend  with bergamot, clary sage, clove, coriander, fennel, frankincense, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, lime, mandarin, marjoram, myrrh or  nutmeg.  We have been experimenting with a blending of black pepper and lime, which we hope to roll out as a new shave soap offering later spring.



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