Essential Facts about Long Pepper
- Botanical: Piper longum
- Sanskrit: Pippali
- Hindi: Pipala
- Other names: Indian long pepper
- Rasa (taste): Pungent
- Guna (qualities): Strong
- Virya (action): Heating
- Vipaka (post-digestive effects): Sweet
- Dosha (constitution): Pacifies Kapha and Vata
Long pepper is native to India.
The fruit of the pepper consists of many tiny brownish-black fruits clustered on the surface of the flower spike.
The parts of the long pepper that are used is the seeds and root.
Long pepper fruit is a rich source of many different nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A, and various antioxidants. These nutrients work together to provide a number of benefits for the human body.
Medicinal Uses of Long Pepper
In Ayurvedic medicine, long pepper is treasured for its rejuvenating, pungent and warming qualities, which makes it great for the winter or rainy season. It’s also used for pacifying vata and kapha doshas.
Here are some of the more popular and effective long pepper fruit benefits.
Improves Liver Health
Liver problems are increasingly common in the Western world, largely as a result of over-indulgence in greasy, processed foods and substances like alcohol.
Fortunately, long pepper has been shown to have a positive influence on the liver. By helping the liver excrete toxins, long pepper can help to repair damage done to the liver.
Helps Fight Cold Symptoms
Peppers of all sorts, including long pepper, can be useful for helping to fight off colds. Peppers are known to help reduce congestion, and they can also help ward off headaches by increasing blood flow to the brain and throughout the body. Peppers can also help loosen mucus that’s stuck in the lungs.
Helps Manage and Prevent Diabetes
One of the most impressive long pepper health benefits is the way in which it can help to regulate and prevent diabetes.
Diabetes is a condition that occurs in those who have a hard time regulating the amount of glucose, or sugar, in their blood. Pepper is known to help modulate the amount of glucose that is actually released into the bloodstream.
Furthermore, long pepper is known to help increase the amount of insulin that the body produces. Insulin is necessary for the regulation and maintenance of blood sugar.
Long pepper is believed to be a powerful antibacterial compound and can be considered useful for helping to fight off bacterial infections.
Aids in Weight Loss
Pepper is known to help stimulate the metabolism, increasing the number of calories that an individual burns. It also helps to increase the speed at which fatty acids are burned in the body.
Many people associate the pungent, spicy flavor of pepper with indigestion. However, long pepper is actually known to contain some compounds that can help people manage indigestion.
Helps Fight Cancer
Long pepper contains a number of compounds that have interesting effects. One of these compounds is piperingomerine, which has been shown to have anti-cancerous effects in the human body. By reducing the energy that cancer cells have access to, piperingomerine can reduce the spread and growth of cancer.
Enhances Fertility and Libido
Long pepper is known to help boost the reproductive ability of humans, and has also been used as a mild aphrodisiac. It can help both males and females to enhance sexual ability and performance.
Application and Dosage of Long Pepper
A simple way to enjoy long pepper benefits is to use it like black pepper in your cooking. For larger doses, long pepper is usually taken in the amount of ⅛ tsp to ¼ tsp and is often mixed with a carrier substance (e.g. ghee). It should be noted that the benefits of long pepper are usually quickly noticed when the appropriate dose is used for small amounts of time. Longer periods of use may aggravate Pitta and create imbalance. An Ayurvedic expert can help determine the amount you need based on your condition and constitution.
It’s clear why this medicinal wonder has been revered in Ayurvedic medicine and why it was included in the original Chyawanprash recipe, which first appeared more than 5,000 years ago. Long pepper is a powerful and versatile spice with a number of health benefits.
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)