Guest Post by SuzanneRBanks
Suzanne from SuzanneRBanks blog about aromatherapy, where scents come from, how to use them and life in general.
Black Pepper! A spice believed to be the most commonly traded spice in the world is still gracing us with its pungent taste and soft, smoldering scent. From its roots in Kerala, India, the tiny black peppercorn has been used in India for cooking and treating ailments in Ayurveda, since 2000BC – that’s a long time ago! Scholars claim black peppercorns were found in the nostrils of Ramses II, as part of the mummification process after his death in 1213 BCE. Was the spice keeping his body from deteriorating or was the scent of the pepper used symbolically to connect him to the heavens? Perhaps both.
Photo Stolen wikipedia
The Roman Empire created trade routes to India and China, returning via the Red Sea and the Middle East into Egypt, bringing with them the valuable black peppercorns. They were then sent on to Europe and the domination of black pepper was set in stone. In the middle ages in Europe the spice was a luxury, only afforded by the rich to be used as a medicine, an exotic addition to life, and to enhance cooking. It is claimed that in medieval England the spice was used in spells and amulets to offer protection – from disease and other meta-physical threats. China records black pepper in the 3rd Century as a foreign pepper, even so, it’s here to stay.
The essential oil of black pepper is a lot softer and sweeter than the taste, and is used in Aromatherapy for symptoms such as poor circulation, muscle and joint aches and pains, as treatment for bad digestion and as a general warming tonic. It has been used as an aphrodisiac, and an anti-dote to depression. Taking in all these properties, what can the divine scent tell us? Like many spice oils, it carries the energetic resonance of the evolution of humanity – really. Each drop, each whiff can link us to the past. It’s an oil of warmth, expansion and action. It’s a stimulating scent to the brain and can certainly be employed to open your mind. When I smell black pepper straight from the bottle (the best way to experience an essential oil is to take off the lid and take a huge sniff) I am inspired to carry on. To me it’s an oil of searching for your purpose in life, and giving inspiration to go forward and seize the day.
Photo Stolen AllInTrading
Black pepper also reminds me of “The Chariot” card in a classic tarot deck. The one who drives the Chariot does so without reigns – only using his will. He goes out into the world to find his destiny and create his life. It could be considered to have “masculine qualities” and is describes as “yang’ in traditional Chinese medicine.
Pungent yet sweet, light with spicy tones, the oil of black pepper loves to be combined with anything really. It is a little to strong to be used all over the body in a moisturiser but perfect for anointing chakra points and vapourising for an atmosphere of warmth, love, sensuality and strength.
Photo Stolen luckywp
Thanks for reading,
Suzanne R Banks
Copyright 2012 Suzanne R Banks