Piper longum aromatic climbing plant is perennial and has heart-shaped or ovate leaves 2-3 inches long. The leaves are numerous shining above and pale beneath. It has 5 veins and perennial woody roots. It bears male and female flowers are borne on different plants. The flowers appear in the rainy season. The stalk of the male flowers is 1-3 inches long while that of the female flower is ½-1-inch long.
It has orange or yellow coloured ovoid shaped fruits. It has spikes on them which is highly prized in Ayurvedic formulations. The fruits appear in early winter. The drupes are 1 inch across. The root and the fruit are used for medicinal purposes. The root is medicinally important and is called modi or Pipala moolam.
The common names are Pipala, Pippali, Pipli, and Tippili. We call it long pepper in English.
Botanical Name or Family
The botanical name of the plant is Piper Longum. It belongs to the Piperaceae family.
Geological area where Piper longum tree grows
In India, it grows in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Assam. You can find in South East Asian regions, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Piper longum medicinal uses in different disease
Piper longum has carminative, anti-helminthic, and haematinic properties. People use it for muscle pain and inflammation.
- Helps one lose weight: It digests the stagnant fat in tissues and prevents the build-up of fats in the body. Fat build-up occurs due to improper assimilation. You use a combination of pippali fruit, pepper, and ginger for obesity. This is also effective against allergic rhinitis.
- Clears the skin: Pippali is good for the skin as it removes the wrinkles and promotes skin health.
- Augments the metabolism: By enhancing the rate of metabolism, the Piper Longum helps to slow down aging. It makes the urinary tract stable and function normally.
- Strengthens the bones: The Pipala helps augment the skeletal integrity. It has nutrients that adds to the bone strength. It heals and promotes healthy bone marrow.
- Cures respiratory disorders: Pippali detoxifies and rejuvenates the lungs by balancing the Kapha dosha. The mucus in the respiratory tract is removed. It reduces the frequency of paroxysm. You can cure cough by having piper longum with cow ghee and honey in equal amounts.
- Helps alleviate indigestion: It enhances the gastrointestinal conditions and normalizes the peristaltic movements. It helps digestion and people have the paste of the piper longum to improve their digestion.
- Cures stomach problems: You can get relief from flatulence and pain in the abdomen. You can use it to cure anorexia with the same ease you use it to cure indigestion.
- Cures many diseases: People use it to cure diseases such as chronic malaria and cholera. It has a good effect on the liver and so you can use it for viral hepatitis. In a common usage, people mix piper longum with honey to cure hiccups.
- Help treat epilepsy: For people suffering from insomnia and epilepsy, a decoction of piper longum with honey and milk is used daily. This has a sedative effect and helps to cure them.
- Treat anaemia: For people having anaemia, amlaki juice is mixed with piper longum paste. They have two spoons of this daily.
- Enhances the nervous system: It helps strengthen the nerves and makes the mind calm. People suffering from hemiplegia benefit through the regular use of pippali. People who suffer paralysis of the tongue will benefit from use of Pipala.
- Shows activity against cancer: The chemical piperlongumine shows potent action against many types of cancer such as those of the lung, gastric, brain, blood, colon, breast, and prostate.
- As an aphrodisiac: The Pipala fruits are ground and fried in a mixture of oil and ghee. Add sugar and honey to this. Pour un-boiled milk of a cow to this. Have this twice a day before meals. Useful for treating premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction cure.
- Cures skin wounds: Apply Pipala in oil or paste form on the wounds and surface injuries. It helps solve all skin-related ailments.
- Hair tonic: Paste with the leaves of the piper longum and neem is mixed with the milk of the cow and gingelly oil. This is nourishing for the scalp and makes the hair grow.
- Treat sciatica: For those who suffer from sciatica, imbibing the juice of piper longum will help to alleviate the symptoms to an extent. It is also prescribed after parturition to expel the placenta. (Yoga poses for sciatica)
- Contraceptive use: Mix equal amounts of vidanga seeds, long pepper fruits, and borax powder. You can use this to prevent conceiving.
- Spleen complaint: If you have enlarged liver or spleen then you must prepare a decoction of the Pipala fruit with pepper in water. Filter it and drink.
- For treating rapid heartbeat: If you experience rapid heartbeat then do this. Mix 30 grams each of green cardamom and pippali. Powder this and take this with ghee daily. This will help you when experience rapid heartbeat.
- Remedy for fever: To get relief from fever, boil long pepper root in water and drink it twice a day. This will remove the fever and improve liver functions.
Use of Pippali Rasayana
Take the dry long pepper fruit and powder it. To 100 grams of this powder, add 100 grams of ghee (butter) and 80 grams of honey. Mix thoroughly and store it. This is consumed over a time span of 14 – 20 days. Since this may worsen gastritis in some people, one must use this rasayana only under medical supervision.
Benefits of having the pippali rasayana
You get relief from swelling of the joints, relief from pain in the joints, better movement and reduction in the symptoms of stiffness of the joints. You can use pippali rasayana for treating chronic bronchitis, gout, wasting disease, and fevers.
The Pipala has alkaloids such as piperine, piperlongumine, piperlongumine, and essential oils. The major alkaloid is piperine. It is antipyretic, liver protective, restorative, hypotensive, improves drug availability, and CNS stimulant.
The administration of the rasayana is in the form of initially increasing doses until it reaches a peak. Then, the dose decreases in amount gradually until one day it is finally stopped. The maximum dose 5 grams is given for 5 days. The amount is decreased daily by 1 gram. The treatment will last for 15 days.
The piper longum is not meant for long-term consumption because it does not contribute to the Vata balance and increases the Pitta dosha because it is hot.
It is strictly recommended to take long pepper only under medical supervision!