Effect of topical application of black pepper essential oil on peripheral intravenous catheter insertion: A randomized controlled study

Explore (NY). 2022 Jul-Aug;18(4):457-462. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2021.06.001. Epub 2021 Jun 8.


Objective: The literature describes many techniques to increase vein visibility and palpability that facilitate peripheral intravenous catheter insertion. However, there is only one study examining the effect of topical essential black pepper oil on veins. We aimed to determine the effects of topical application of black pepper essential oil on peripheral intravenous catheter insertion success.

Methods: This randomized controlled trial was carried out on 60 patients randomly assigned to either the experimental group (n=30) or the control group (n=30) reporting to the endoscopy unit of the clinic between May 2019 and October 2019. The study results were evaluated using an information form, a catheter insertion form, and a visual analog scale (VAS). In the experimental group, black pepper essential oil was used to increase vein degree before the procedure, while in the control group, no extra interventions were applied. The time taken in determining an appropriate vein, time taken for successful catheter insertion, and the patient's and nurse's satisfaction after the process were recorded.

Results: Significant improvements in vein degree were detected after the experimental group's oil application (p1<0.001). The period of appropriate vein selection and successful catheter insertion showed a statistically significant decrease in the experimental group (p<0.05). The satisfaction levels of patients and nurses in the control group were significantly lower than those of the patients from the experimental group (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Topical black pepper oil application can increase the vein degree and the success of the procedure.

Keywords: Black pepper essential oil; Catheter insertion; Nurse satisfaction; Patient satisfaction; Vein degree.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Catheterization, Peripheral* / methods
  • Catheters
  • Humans
  • Oils, Volatile* / pharmacology
  • Piper nigrum*
  • Veins


  • Oils, Volatile