Long pepper, also known as pippali is an essential aromatic plant whose roots and flowers are mainly used for medicinal purposes. The therapeutic benefits of this traditional plant have also been mentioned in Ayurveda.
Botanically, long pepper is termed as piper longum and belongs to family Piperaceae, similar to black and white pepper. Apart from its medicinal use, long pepper is also widely used for culinary and cosmetic industries. Take a look at some of the amazing health benefits of long pepper.
1. Helps treat lung problems
From bronchitis to asthma and from cough to sore throat, long pepper is very effective in treating many lung problems. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential of this herb are responsible for its efficacy against various respiratory problems. 
2. Reduces toothache
The fruit of long pepper is converted into a paste form and used widely for toothache and oral candida. The antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of this traditional herb can help treat many oral problems compared to diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug. 
3. Treats women problems
Long pepper is a wonder herb for many women problems such as menstrual cramps, gonorrhoea, infertility and loss of libido. Pippali is recommended as a rejuvenating tonic for the reproductive system. Pregnant women should avoid its consumption as it may cause abortion. 
4. Manages diabetes
A study has shown that the root extract of piper longum has antihyperglycemic and antihyperlipidemic effect which is responsible for its anti-diabetic effect. The herb also possesses a protective effect against liver and kidney damage caused due to diabetes. 
5. Helps with weight management
Piperine in long pepper has fat-reducing and lipid-lowering activity. A study has shown that this vital compound in the help lose weight and lower cholesterol levels without suppressing the appetite. 
6. Has antimicrobial effect
Long pepper contains an active compound called piperine that inhibits antibacterial activity against a range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. It is also effective against certain virus types that cause cold and mumps. 
7. Manages seizures in epilepsy
Piper spices are known to treat multiple ailments. Piperine in pippali has an anticonvulsant effect that helps suppress the neurons firing during seizures. A study has shown that piperine helps reduce epileptic episodes and prevent the risk of memory impairment due to epilepsy. 
8. Prevents digestive issues
This aromatic culinary spice has prebiotic potential that impacts the gut microbiota in a positive way and prevents many digestive issues such as constipation, flatulence and heartburn. Long pepper also helps prevent stomach ulcers due to its anti-inflammatory effect. 
9. Manages fever
A study has shown that the ethanol extract obtained from the stem of long pepper possesses antipyretic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect that helps treat fever induced by many foreign substances such as bacteria. 
10. Treats infective hepatitis
Infective hepatitis (caused by hepatitis A and E virus) is a major problem in India due to improper sanitation. Currently, there’s no cure for these hepatitis types but some Ayurvedic herbs like long pepper can be useful in curing the condition due to its hepaprotective action. 
11. May reduce the risk of cancer
Piperine, an active alkaloid in long pepper has chemoprotective potential that prevents the proliferation of cancer cells and activates apoptosis (programmed cell death) that prevents, blocks or suppress the development of cancer. 
12. Fights insomnia
The essential oil obtained from the fruits of aromatic long pepper plant can be an effective alternative remedy to treat sleep disorders like insomnia. Pippali also has an analgesic effect that helps relieve pain and induce sleep. 
1. How do long peppers help a cough?
Piperine in long pepper helps treat many respiratory problems such as cough. Powder made from pipalli is either consumed with honey or is fried with ghee and swallowed at once.
2. What is Pippali used for?
Pippali is used for both medicinal and culinary purposes. It is used to treat cough, bronchitis, digestive issues, fever, menstrual cramps, infertility and intestinal worms. To add sharp and pungent taste to curries or soups, long pepper is added.
3. What is long pepper powder?
Long pepper fruits are dried and converted into powdered form to obtain long pepper powder. The powder is then used as a spice or consumed to treat respiratory or digestive problems.
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Story first published: Friday, October 16, 2020, 6:01 [IST]