This study is aimed to investigate the chemical composition of essential oil isolated from fruits of Piper nigrum L. (black pepper) by GC-MS and to study its pharmacological properties. The main constituents identified were caryophyllene (23.98 %) and limonene (14.36 %). Black pepper oil scavenged superoxide, DPPH, hydroxyl radicals and inhibited tissue lipid peroxidation in vitro. Intraperitoneal administration of essential oil was found to inhibit PMA induced super oxide radicals elicited by macrophages. Oral administration of black pepper oil for one month, significantly increased superoxide dismutase, glutathione and glutathione reductase enzyme levels in blood of mice and glutathione-S-transferase, glutathione peroxidase, catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione enzymes in liver. Black pepper oil significantly reduced acute inflammation induced by carrageenan and dextran and formalin induced chronic models of inflammation. It also exhibited antinociceptive property in acetic acid induced writhing test. These studies reveal that black pepper essential oil possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive property.
Via Jonathan Middleton