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What are the Uses and Health Benefits of Long Pepper (Piper Longum)?

Long Pepper, Piper Longum

What is Long Pepper?

In India, herbs and spices are not only used to enhance flavours and fragrances of food but they are used for medicinal purposes as well. Many spices have anti-oxidant properties.

There are immense benefits of these spices such as: they contain volatile oils which have anti-microbial property.

One such spice is Long Pepper or Pippali which is considered as a very unique spice due to its numerous health benefits as it has cleansing and anti-oxidant properties.

Pippali is a master spice of Ayurveda. It is combined with black pepper and ginger to create a classical formulation known as Trikatu. Pippali has the ability to enhance proper assimilation and potency of other herbs, making it a very important ingredient in various Ayurvedic formulations.

  • Geographical Distribution: This plant grows in the evergreen forests of India and cultivated in Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
  • Common Name: Pippali
  • Botanical Name: Piper longum
  • Sanskrit Name: Pippali, Magadhi, Vaidehi
  • Family: Piperaceae
  • Classical Categorization: According to Master Charak, it is classified among digestive group of herbs and among the group of herbs that relieve abdominal pain.
  • Part used: Whole plant and plant parts such as: fruit.
  • Dosage: 0.5-1 gram single or multiple doses per day.

What are the Major Chemical Constituents of Long Pepper?

The major chemical constituents of Piper longum are: essential oils such as mono and sesquiterpenes, piperine, piperlongumine, pipercide, sesamin, B-sitosteroil etc.

What are the Medicinal Qualities of Long Pepper?

  • Taste: Pungent, piercing and strong
  • Potency: Hot
  • Undergoes sweet taste conversion after digestion
  • Effect on Tridosha: Balances Kapha and Vata dosha.

What are the Uses of Dry Long Pepper Fruit?

  • Balances Kapha and Vata dosha but does not increase Pitta dosha.
  • Improves digestion strength
  • Acts as anti-aging and rejuvenative
  • Useful in asthma, COPD and other respiratory disorders and various chronic respiratory disorders
  • Useful in various skin disorders
  • Useful in cough and cold
  • Useful in ascites
  • Relieves indigestion by removing ama (toxins)
  • useful in obesity

What are the Health Benefits of Long Pepper?

Respiratory System

It is used as a "Rasayana" in the treatment of respiratory disorders. Substances that have "Rasayana" property work as immuno-modulators as well.

  • The warming energy of Pippali makes it a potent herb for various respiratory allergies and chronic lung disorders.
  • Its warming effect stimulates the 'Prana' agni (fire principle) present in respiratory tract and thus removes excessive kapha and ama (toxins) from the lungs.

Obesity

Pippali also helps in reducing weight as it balances Kapha dosha therefore it boosts metabolism and helps in sluggish metabolism.

  • Pippali is administered along with honey for obesity.
  • Pippali combined with honey also acts as Medhya Rasayana thus improves intelligence and improves digestion strength.

Tuberculosis

Piperine in pippali acts as an immuno-modulatory agent which helps in body's defense against the organism.

  • In addition to its impact on the bacteria that causes tuberculosis, it helps to boost the dull appetite due to tuberculosis.
  • It acts as rejuvenative and anti-aging because it has the property to improve digestion strength.
  • Being rejuvenative, it is very useful in increasing lung strength.
  • It also helps in preventing weight loss due to tuberculosis.
  • Pippali also helps in preventing liver damage caused due to the medicines used in tuberculosis.

Digestive Disorders

According to Ayurveda, it is best known for "Amalpitta" known as heart burn or GERD.

  • Pippali is known to boost digestion and useful in various digestive disorders such as: low appetite, flatulence, heart burn etc.
  • It boosts the appetite due to its carminative properties.
  • It also possesses anti-amoebic and anti-microbial properties which help in treating diarrhea and other gastro-intestinal infections because it kills worms and other parasites in the digestive system.

Liver Disorders

Pippali is known to detoxify the liver since ages.

  • It contains an active component known as piperine which counters hepatotoxicity or liver damage due to chemicals.
  • It protects the liver and improves its regeneration.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis known as "Aamvata" in Ayurveda can be treated with Pippali as it has the ability to purge ama or toxins in the body.

  • It improves movement of joints, eases swelling and stiffness and reduces pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Alzheimer's Disease

Pippali is useful in treating alzheimer's disease and epilepsy.

  • The strong anti-oxidant property of pippali helps in counter acting the free radical damage that is responsible for age related disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.
  • The chemical constituents of Alzheimer's Disease control the production of a protein that is involved in alzheimer's disease.

Insomnia

Pippali is also used in the treatment of insomnia.

  • Powdered pippali is used along with honey for sleeping problems known as insomnia.
  • This mixture can be taken with a glass of milk before going to bed.

Diabetes

Long pepper is beneficial in the treatment of diabetes because it regulates the rate at which glucose is released into the blood.

  • The production of insulin is boosted by the intake of long pepper. Hence, regular consumption of pippali is very beneficial for the patients suffering with diabetes.

Boosts Reproductive and Sexual Health

Long pepper acts as a rejuvenative tonic for reproductive organs as it helps in treating infertility related issues.

What are the Other Uses of Long Pepper?

  • It is used in sexually transmitted diseases such as - gonorrhea.
  • Pippali is also used in the paralysis of tongue.
  • It is also useful in scarlet fever, body aches and spleen problems.
  • Pippali is also used in nervous disorders.

Precautions

  • Long pepper should not be used in excess or for a long period of time.
  • It is best to be avoided in infants.
  • Medical advice is required for its use in pregnancy.

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