Pippali is one of the herbs mentioned in all ancient scriptures of Ayurveda. Pippali is a sanskrit word for long pepper. Long pepper (piper longum) is a flowering vine in the family piperaceae. It is cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice. The plant grows in evergreen forests of India and is cultivated in Assam, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Pippali is one of the herbs mentioned in all ancient scriptures of Ayurveda. Pippali is a sanskrit word for long pepper. Long pepper (piper longum) is a flowering vine in the family piperaceae. It is cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice.
The plant grows in evergreen forests of India and is cultivated in Assam, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Piper longum is a small shrub. Its flowers grow in solitary spikes. The fruits grow 2.5-3.5 cm long and 5 mm thick. They are oblong, blunt and blackish-green. The mature spikes are collected and dried as the commercial form of pippali. The root rodix is known as pippalimool. The drug has particular odour and a pungent bitter taste that produces numbness on the tongue.
The fruit contains a large number of alkaloids and related compounds, the most abundant are piperine, lignans, volatile oils and organic acids such as palmitic acid.
Effect on Tridosh
Balances Vata and Kapha Dosha.
Mature ripe fruit
Health Benefits of Pepper
1. Treats Respiratory Ailments
Pippali is known for its effectiveness against conditions affecting respiratory tract like cold, cough, bronchitis and asthma. It serves as a counter irritant and eases inflammation. It is used in treating bronchial asthma in children. Pippali not only helps fight infections by virtue of its antibacterial properties but also works locally to loose phlegm and ease congestion in respiratory tract.
2. Boosts Digestion
In digestion problems like flatulence, heart burn, reduced appetite, pippali can help. It stimulates the digestive system and boosts appetite due to its carminative properties. It can also fight and protect against ulcers due to its anti-inflammatory properties . In ayurveda it is marked as beneficial for 'amlapitta' i.e. gastritis or heart burn. Pippali helps to expel the built-up gas from the intestines. Diarrhoea, constipation and nausea can all be eased with the help of pippali.
3. Detoxifies the Liver
The active component of long pepper, piperine can counter hepatotoxicity or chemical driven liver damage. It has the potential to protect the liver by improving its regeneration.
4. Helps to Manage Diabetes
Plant extract from pippali can help to manage high blood glucose levels. It helps to boost insulin in the body while decreasing levels of glycosylated haemoglobin, a marker of diabetes. Piperine works as bioenhancer and helps to improve the effectiveness of many drugs used to manage diabetes.
5. Anti obesity
Pippali enhances metabolism and thus removes excess fat built up in the body and aids in reducing excess weight.
6. Fights Insomnia
Powdered pippali is given along with honey as a remedy of sleeping problems like insomnia. Taking it with milk at bedtime helps to sleep better. Use of pippali with the combination of other herbs like ashwgandha and jatamansi reports better sleep and shows considerable improvement in overall alertness and fitness. Pippali has sedative and tranquilizing effects and thus it is also beneficial in treating epilepsy.
7. Anti Aging
Long pepper has strong antioxidant acivity which helps counter the free radical damage responsible for age related diseases like alzheimer's disease. The chemical compounds in the pepper can control the production of a protein involved in this disease and thus can be beneficial in warding off this illness.
8. Fights Inflammatory Conditions
Pippali has pain relieving properties when used as a topical treatment. It helps in removing inflammation of soft tissues, joints and muscles. Rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory disease that causes severe joint pain and can impair mobility and hamper quality of life, could be eased with the use of long pepper due to its ability to purge the toxins from the body and ignite metabolic and digestive fires.
9. Boosts Reproductive Health
Pippali acts as a rejuvenating tonic for the reproductive organs. It is said to help with problems like infertility and impotence as well as premature ejaculation. It can also be used in the treatment of gonorrhea. In women, it is also used in the treatment of the pain associated with menstrual cramps.
It is generally safe in moderate dose. But its use should be avoided in pregnancy and lactation.
Piper longum has remarkable benefits. It is nontoxic in nature and is very effective in treating various diseases. It can be used by any age group under the supervision of an ayurvedic physician.
BAMS Final Yr.
Dayanand Ayurvedic College, Jalandhar.