Can Black Pepper Essential Oil Help Manage Symptoms Of Diabetes?

More than 37 million people live with diabetes, and 96 million more have prediabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diabetes affects how the body processes sugars from food in the blood. People with type 1 diabetes don't make insulin in the body and must take insulin every day. 

Type 1 diabetes can be a genetic condition or may develop in response to a virus, according to the Mayo Clinic. Type 2 diabetes most often develops in adults, but it can begin in childhood or adolescence. People with type 2 diabetes don't produce enough insulin, and cells don't use insulin properly, wreaking havoc on blood sugar levels (per Mayo Clinic). 

There is no known cure for either type of diabetes, but type 2 can be controlled by eating healthy, losing weight, and exercising.

The National Kidney Foundation recommends adding chili pepper, including black pepper, to your diet to support kidney health. Could black pepper essential oil help manage symptoms of diabetes as well?

Black pepper essential oil may help manage or prevent type 2 diabetes

There are more than 2,000 species of Piperaceae, the plant family from which black pepper is derived. However, according to Surging Life, few varieties show any health benefits. Black pepper essential oil for therapeutic and medical use is extracted from the peppercorns of the Piper Nigrum plant, which does show antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

People with type 2 diabetes often have issues with blood circulation and high blood pressure. A 2013 study in Advances in Pharmacological Sciences found that black pepper essential oil could help manage symptoms of diabetes, including high blood pressure. 

The study found that the phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity of black pepper essential oil, along with inhibitory actions toward specific enzymes related to hypertension, could help manage or prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

According to Healthline, black pepper may also help with the absorption of the compound curcumin, the primary anti-inflammatory ingredient in turmeric. A 2013 clinical review notes that studies show curcumin may help prevent diabetes and lower high blood sugar levels related to diabetes. By supporting curcumin absorption, black pepper essential oil may further help manage diabetes symptoms or play a role in preventing diabetes.

How to use black pepper essential oil for diabetes

Black pepper essential oil is a concentrated extract derived from black peppercorns, making the oil more potent than cracked black pepper. Medical News Today notes that there are currently no dietary guidelines for how much black pepper you should eat. However, ingesting too much black pepper can cause stomach upset and other gastrointestinal side effects, so it's best to use it sparingly.

To use black pepper essential oil for diabetes, inhale the oil's scent or apply it to the skin (per Medical News Today). To inhale, put a few drops in hot water or add to a diffuser and breathe in the vapor. You may also add several drops to a cotton ball and breathe in the oil's compounds. Take long, deep breaths when inhaling the oil for the best results.

Alternatively, you may dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil, such as olive oil or sweet almond oil, and apply it to the skin. Add a few drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil. Always test for allergies before using essential oils or carrier oils externally. Apply a small amount to your forearm and wait 24 to 48 hours. If no allergic reaction occurs, it is safe to use the oil as needed.

You can purchase black pepper essential oil online or find it at your local vitamin shop or health food store.