Long Pepper – Amazing Health Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects of Piper Longum / Pipal
Plants and herbs rich in a variety of medicinal properties have traditionally been used in the treatment of various diseases since ancient times. These medicinal plants have been widely used in Ayurvedic treatments for their medicinal values. Long Pepper (Piper longum) is one of these herbs.
What is Long Pepper / Piper Longum?
Long Pepper is an herbal plant known for its medicinal properties. This plant is an essential herb used in Ayurvedic medicine. It is one of the most widely used medicinal plants in Ayurvedic treatments, especially for respiratory diseases. This plant belongs to the family ‘Piperaceae’. The plant is called ‘Pipal’ in Hindi. The scientific name of it is- ‘Piper Longum’. This herb mainly grows in the tropical regions. It is native to India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and some parts of South Asia.
In Ayurvedic literature, ‘Rajnighantu’ mentions four types of Piper Longum – Vana Long Pepper, Chaimali and Gaja Long Pepper. Peppermint medicine has immense potential because it is a good antidote for the treatment of gonorrhea, menstrual cramps, tuberculosis, sleep problems, respiratory tract infections, chronic intestinal ache and arthritis. Almost all of its parts i.e. roots, stems and fruits are medicinally important and are especially used in the treatment of respiratory tract disorders like bronchitis, asthma, cough etc.
Piper Longum Plant description
Long Pepper is a thin, slender, multi-branched, fragrant, evergreen, mountaineering or small shrub that can be seen in shady places, rainforests, near streams, between shrubs, semi-deciduous, evergreen, semi-evergreen forests. The plant can easily grow in lateral soils with high organic compounds, water holding capacity and well drained fertile soils. The plant has large woody stems and numerous climbing, tubular and globose stems. The branches are thick, soft and notched when dry. Its leaves are 5 to 9cm long and 3 to 5cm wide.
Piper Longum leaves are numerous, simple, defined and petiolate or sessile. The shape of leaf blades also varies in the same plant. The upper leaves are usually axillary, ovoid, oblong, sharp, and usually slightly biased or unevenly chordate. They are 8.5-9 cm long and 3-5 cm wide. The lower leaves are broadly oblong and often unevenly biased or unequally chordate. Flowers are gender wise separated but placed on the same plant. Flowers usually bloom from May to September. Fertile female spikes give birth to multiple oblique (broad, egg-like) spikes, about 2.5-3.5 cm long and 5mm long, oblong, blunt, which is immature and dark brown. It turns red and dries black-gray. These are mainly Capsicum species from the United States.
Chemical constituents of Pipla / Piper Longum
- Beta sitosterol
- Saturated fat
- Essential oil
- Volatile oil
- Sylva tine
Different regional names of Long Pepper / Pipal
- Hindi : Pipala, Pipal, Pipar, Long Pepper
- English : Long pepper
- Telugu : Pippali, Pippali, Modi
- Tamil : Tipili, Argadi, Atti, Kalidi, Kallni
- Malayalam : Tippali, Chapala, Kana
- Punjabi : Maghaun
- Gujarati : Piper, Long Pepper , Peepar
- Others : Indian Long pepper, Jaborandi pepper, Long pepper, Thai long pepper, Bangal pepper, Pippali Indonesian, Long pepper
Scientific Classification of Long Pepper / Piper Longum:
- Kingdom : Plantae
- Clade : Tracheophytes
- Clade : Angiosperms
- Clade : Magnoliids
- Order : Piperales
- Family : Piperaceae
- Genus : Piper
- Species : P. Longum
- Scientific name : Piper longum
Benefits of Long pepper / Piper longum
1. Controls Diabetes:
Due to the exceptional ‘hypoglycaemia’ properties of Piper Longum, the fruit has been shown to be beneficial in controlling the blood sugar level of the body in case of diabetes and it plays an important role in this regard. The production of insulin from B-pancreatic cells is activated by consuming long pepper churna. It helps in reducing the breakdown of starch into glucose which in turn lowers the blood sugar level.
2. Fights against infection:
The biochemical compounds in this fragrant pepper herb have been used since ancient times to protect the body from various infections. Due to its strong antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal properties, this herb is not only used to remove bacteria or germs from the body but is also used for wound healing.
3. Aids in weight loss:
One of the benefits of Piper Longum is weight loss. Due to the natural fat-suppressing properties of this herb, the aromatic spice effectively removes toxins from the A.M.A. It improves digestion and metabolism, reduces the accumulation of bad cholesterol and thus helps in weight loss.
4. Relieves Menstrual Problems:
During the days leading up to menstruation, hormones become depleted and often show P.M.S symptoms such as mood swings, abdominal cramps, etc. The benefits of long pepper have been used since ancient times to control excessive menstrual flow and cope with menstrual contractions.
5. Remedy for Respiratory Disorders:
Long pepper is an ultimate remedy for all types of cough, irritating disorders like asthma, Bronchitis, C.U.P.D, Cough and Cold Symptoms. It relieves coughing and sneezing and helps to clear phlegm from the respiratory tract.
6. Improves digestion:
Full of excellent carminative and digestive properties, long pepper helps in the treatment of many digestive problems. Strong anti-flatulent properties reduce the formation of gas in the alimentary canal, thus reducing bloating, constipation, and abdominal distention. Due to its strong antacid properties, the herb prevents the formation of excessive acid in the stomach, which helps in the treatment of indigestion, ulcers, gastritis and enhances the absorption of nutrients in the body.
7. Remedy for Diarrhea:
Peppermint Herbs are full of powerful antibacterial and antidiarrheal properties. Long pepper is widely used to remove diarrhea and other intestinal infections causing bacteria from the intestines. A.M.A. is an intense type of diarrhea featuring intestines thin, sticky, full of mucus and have a foul odor. It is treated with the help of Piper Longum; the dried form of long pepper removes toxins from the body and effectively reduces the concentration of defecation.
8. Enhances libido:
A proud natural aphrodisiac- long pepper helps reduce stress and anxiety and stimulates hormones to increase libido in both men and women. It enhances masculinity and morale in men. Proper use according to the doctor’s advice increases longevity and can also be used as an incredible remedy for erectile dysfunction.
9. Fights Insomnia:
Long pepper can show its benefits in insomnia. A mixture made of honey and Piper Longum is known to be a good remedy for insomnia. You can take it with milk just before bedtime to help you sleep better.
10. Detoxifies your liver:
The ‘Piperine’ active ingredient in long pepper can prevent hepato-toxic or chemical-induced liver damage. Piperine has the potential to protect your liver, limit fibrosis and improve regeneration. Of course keep in mind that if your problems include scurvy or severe damage, it may not provide adequate protection.
If you have a toothache; long pepper is considered to be a good remedy for it. Instead of gargling and ice packs with lukewarm water, make a paste with long pepper and lukewarm water. Now apply it on the aching area and leave it for an hour and rinse with water.
12. Fights Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Long pepper has antipyretic properties when used as a topical medication. It can help with inflammation as well as toxins. Rheumatoid arthritis; an inflammatory disease that causes acute joint pain and can reduce movement and disrupt the quality of life, can be eased by using Piper Longum.
Uses of Long Pepper / Piper Longum
The Piper Longum can be used in four different ways – as a spice, as a home remedy, as a medicinal herb, and as a catalyst to increase the effectiveness of herbs. The stems, leaves, fruits, etc. of the pepper plant are used medicinally. Pipal decoction, juice, paste, paste, powder etc. are used differently in the treatment of various diseases.
Piper Longum should not be consumed for a long period of time without performing chemical treatment. If taken in excessive amounts, it can increase phlegm and bile ducts and cause indigestion, stomach ache, allergic conditions such as itching, redness and bloating. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should consult a doctor before using it as a medicine.
It should be applied regularly and in moderation to gain benefits of long pepper and avoid its harmful effects. Physician’s advice should be sought before using it in the treatment of diseases.
This article provides you an overview of long pepper leading you to the uses, chemical substances, different regional names, precautions along with the benefits of long pepper and other qualities of it. We hope that the information contained in this article will help you in various ways. Thank You!