- Further Reading
- Health Uses
Long Pepper (Piper longum, AKA Pippali), sometimes called Indian Long Pepper, is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. Long pepper has a similar, but hotter, taste to its close relative Piper nigrum - from which black, green and white pepper are obtained. The word pepper itself is derived from the Tamil/Malayalam word for long pepper, pippali. Today, long pepper is an extremely rare ingredient in European cuisines, but it can still be found in Indian vegetable pickles, some North African spice mixtures, and in Indonesian and Malaysian cooking.
Pippali is one of the most widely used Ayurvedic herbs. The botanical name is Piper longum and it belongs to the family Piperaceae. In english it is called Long Pepper, in Hindi Pippali. It is primarily made up of volatile oil, resin, piperine, piperlongumine, pipperin, Pippalartin, Piplartine.
The fruit of this Long Pepper plant is commonly known as Pippali and its root is called as Pippali Mool. In addition to being something that helps people's stress and sleep conditions, Piper Longum reconciles digestive functions and relieves problems related to, dyspepsia, anorexia, abdominal pain, flatulence, acidity etc. It is also useful as a brain tonic.
Piperine is a substance found in the plant Piper Longun. Black pepper Oleoresin or Long pepper Oleoresin is used as the source of Piperine.
Researchers showed that piperine may serve as a potential functional food to improve brain function. (Ref. Food and Chemical Toxicology, volume 46, Issue 9, Sept. 2008. Pages 3106-3110)
Researchers showed that piperine possesses potent anti-depressant like properties that are mediated in part through the inhibition of MAO activity and therefore, represent a promising pharmacotherapeutic candidate as anti-depressant agent. (Ref. Chemical and pharmaceutical Bulletin vol 53 (2005), No7832)
Piper longum is widely used in Ayurvedic and Unani Systems of Medicine particularly for diseases of the respiratory systems like bronchitis and ashtama and for stress relief, sleep disruptions etc.
Piperine increases thermogenesis. It also improves the bioavailability of the nutritive substances such as beta carotene, curcumin selenium, pyroxidine (B6), glucose and amino acids.
Piperine relieves inflammation, pain and asthma; improves digestion and improves production of Serotonin a phenolic amine neurotransmitter. It is a powerful vasoconstrictor and is found esp. in the brain, blood serum and gastric mucous membrane of mammals and to known as also 5-HT. 5 hydroxytryamine.
In Mexico for instance, it is used to treat stomach aches. Scientific research has yielded preliminary evidence which suggests that piperine may aid in the digestion of food.
Systemic pharmacological studies on piperine show that this compound elicited diverse pharmacological activities, analgesic, ant-pyretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant and CNS depressant activities.
As per Ayurveda, piper longum is an important Medhya-Rasayana. It also helps to improve memory power.
Studies at Regional Research Lab CSIR Jammu, have established that it is piperine that affects the bioavailability of drugs. The doses of many potent drugs can be drastically reduced when mixed with piperamides (Dhar KL, 1989, Recent advances in the chemistry of Piper)
A marked anti-inflammatory activity of piper longum fruit decoction against carrageenin induced rat paw odema was reported by Sharma and Singh, 1980. (Bull Med Ethnobot Res, 2, 262).
Pippali is seldom used externally except in the case of painful and swollen conditions, wherein its paste is applied. Though it has mild antiseptic property, it is an irritant to the skin and can manifest in allergic reactions. Internally, pippali is invaluable in vast range of diseases. Pippali is the best herb recommended for disorders of the spleen. It is a powerful stimulant for the digestive and respiratory systems. It is strongly heating and removes cold, congestion and the undigested toxic elements. It revives weakened organic functions. It is also a rejuvenative to lungs.
- Acid Reflux
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