19 January 2022 / Caitlin Devlin
Pink Pepper Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits
Pink pepper has many key differences from its famous cousin and is powerfully protective.
The lesser-known cousin of the world’s most popular spice, pink pepper is one of the best-kept secrets in traditional medicine.
Native to Peru, pink pepper was considered sacred by the Incans and had many uses in their traditional systems of medicine. Pink pepper oil was even used in early Incan embalming processes. It was later used by Native Americans to flavour food, although as we know black pepper has come to be favoured for this purpose all over the world. These days, pink pepper is often used for its protective properties as it can help to guard our health in a number of ways.
Black pepper oil and pink pepper oil do share similarities, but they are distinctly separate oils. For one, they are distilled from different plants. Black pepper is distilled from the peppercorn fruits of a flowering vine native to India, whilst pink pepper comes from the fruits of an evergreen Peruvian tree. Furthermore, black peppercorns are dried before the oil is extracted, whilst pink pepper essential oil is extracted from the ripe fruit.
Pink pepper essential oil can help to prevent and treat infections.
Pink pepper has been found to have antibacterial properties that make it great for protecting our health. An animal study in 2020 found that pink pepper’s antibacterial abilities made it an effective agent against cavity-causing bacteria, preventing damage to teeth and gums by inhibiting bacterial activity. Oil-pulling with pink pepper oil could be a great way to protect oral health. You may want to try adding a drop or two of pink pepper oil to a carrier oil and swishing around the mouth before spitting out for a natural mouthwash.
Pink pepper oil has also been found to have antifungal properties. A study in 2019 found that pink pepper oil was an effective agent against fungi, suggesting that the oil may help us to get rid of stubborn fungi on skin and in the home.
These antibacterial and antifungal properties make pink pepper a great cleaning agent. Adding a few drops of pink pepper essential oil to a spray bottle of water can make a great homemade cleaning spray.
It’s an antioxidant.
These antimicrobial properties aren’t the only protective benefits that pink pepper essential oil offers. The oil has also been found to have antioxidant abilities, which helps it to prevent oxidative damage to cells. A study in 2014 found that the oil showed significant antioxidant activity, inhibiting the effects of free radicals in the body and lowering the risk of some serious health conditions.
It can relieve anxiety and restore balance.
Oils with grounding effects are often said to reduce anxiety. Pink pepper is widely considered a grounding oil, promoting feelings of warmth, comfort and contentment and helping us to stay more present. Its woodsy scent has been found to lessen stress and have a positive effect on symptoms of anxiety, balancing our mood. This frees up our mind and allows us to be more productive.
It can soothe sore muscles.
Pink pepper oil is said to have anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. This makes it a great remedy for muscle ache; its anti-inflammatory properties can soothe swollen muscles or tissues, whilst its antispasmodic properties can prevent muscles from cramping. Add a few drops of pink pepper oil to a carrier oil and massage into the affected area for a homemade muscle balm. Alternatively pour a few drops of pink pepper oil into a warm bath to relax and soothe the body.
Although less famous than black pepper, pink pepper is an incredibly useful oil with strong protective qualities. Unlike the spicy, nose-tingling smell of black pepper, it has a floral, woodsy scent that leaves us happier as well as healthier.
Shop our pink pepper essential oil here.