Vitiligo is a skin disease characterized by loss of pigment. The causes of vitiligo are unknown and there is no known effective cure. Current therapies focus on slowing its progression and camouflaging it. However, recent research has shown that an active compound in black pepper can stimulate re-pigmentation of the skin.
Definition, causes and effects of vitiligo
Some facts about vitiligo
The vitiligo is a skin condition in which parts thereof are depigmented because melanocytes do not work or are dead (being melanocyte cells that produce the skin pigment). The condition is most noticeable in dark-skinned people when it occurs on the extremities. Areas without pigment may be small at first, but they can be enlarged and even changed in shape. There are many different types of vitiligo that are classified by the severity and location of the change in pigmentation.
Possible causes of vitiligo
The causes and progression of vitiligo are not well understood. It is like an autoimmune disease and there has been some research, such as that published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May 2010, in which it is suggested that it may be based on genetic mutations. In March 2007 in that same newspaper, it was reported that other autoimmune diseases may be the promoters of vitiligo, such as Addison’s disease that affects the adrenal glands. Vitiligo can have a psychological impact on certain individuals as reported in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.
Effects of black pepper
There is no cure for vitiligo, but there are several therapies that have led to certain improvements. One possible natural treatment is black pepper. Piperine, which is a substance that this pepper contains, gives it heat and many studies have been done on the role of this compound. A study from the British Journal of Dermatology showed that piperine can stimulate inactive melanocytes in the skin to increase pigmentation and effectively treat vitiligo. For this treatment to be effective, ground black pepper or its essential oil must be applied to the skin. However, its effectiveness must continue to be investigated.
How to prepare black pepper essential oil
Black pepper essential oil can be purchased at a health food store or you can prepare it yourself at home. In turn, the oil can be applied directly to the vitiligo affected area or you can use a base cream (which you can also buy in a health food store), to which you will add the oil to make a black pepper cream against vitiligo. Here’s how to make your own black pepper oil.
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup black peppercorns
- Heat the olive oil in a pot over moderate heat (80 to 90 C°), we don’t want the oil to cook, so don’t let it get too hot.
- When the oil is hot adding the peppercorns, if you wish you can crush the grains a little in a mortar to release the oil they contain. Let the beans cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes.
- Then remove the pot from the heat, let it cool, strain the preparation and place it in a previously sterilized glass jar. You can keep this preparation in the refrigerator for one to two weeks.
Apply this oil daily (or the cream that you prepare with it) on the areas affected by vitiligo.
Black Pepper Oil for Vitiligo
Black pepper oil provides many benefits for our health and to treat vitiligo. When jojoba is added to the carrier oil, we can rub it on sore and tired muscles to relax and calm them.
The warming effect of pepper can relieve pain caused by arthritis and vitiligo. It also has the ability to relieve muscle cramps, sprains, and strains.
For acne prone skin, this oil can reduce and eliminate acne breakouts and help us improve the appearance of the skin in general.
Black pepper essential oil contains both vitamin A and vitamin K, making it ideal for the skin, reducing the development of fine lines or wrinkles.
Improves blood circulation and cellulite
It also improves blood circulation and helps to effectively reduce visible cellulite.
The specific causes that cause vitiligo are still unknown, although it is presumed that vitiligo is directly related to situations of elevated status, nutritional deficiencies, and even genetic cell mutations. Some doctors and homeopaths also advise the consumption of red foods, such as tomatoes, peppers, carrots, etc. since these are rich in beta carotenes, which provide 50% of the vitamin A required by our body.