Botanical name: Piper longum
English/ Common name: Long Pepper
Siddha/ Indian Name: Thippili
The species Piper longum is of South Asian origin. In Indian continent its grown in South India, North Eastern region, East Bengal and Sri lanka.
Long Pepper is a flowering vine in the family of Piperaceae, mainly cultivated for its fruit.
Unripe fruits are collected along with the stem and are dried in the sun before using. Its leaf is similar to Pepper leaf in its size and smell.
Long Pepper is of 4 types –
1. Small Thippili ( Arisi Thippili) –
2. Big Long Pepper ( Yani Thippili)
3. Atti Thippili and
4. Kattu Thippili.
The root of the long pepper plant is removed from the soil and used after three years for medicinal preparation. Its called Kanda Thippili ( Tail Pepper)
The word pepper itself is derived from the Sanskrit word for long pepper, pippali. The fruit of the pepper consists of many minuscule fruits — each about the size of a poppy seed — embedded in the surface of a flower spike; it closely resembles a hazel tree catkin. The fruits contain the alkaloid piperine, which contributes to their pungency.
Piper longum is most commonly used to treat respiratory infections such as stomachache, bronchitis, diseases of the spleen, cough, tumors, and asthma. When applied topically, it soothes and relieves muscular pains and inflammation.
- A mixture of powders made from long pepper, ginger, black pepper, cinnamon and caraway in equal parts is a good expectorant.
- Long pepper powder taken with honey relieves cough, cold, asthama, hoarseness and hiccup. If long pepper and honey taken in equal quantities, it is useful in colic and flatulence.
- Panch kola churnam – long pepper, long pepper root, dry ginger, stem of pepper plant and chitraka (Plumbago zeylanica ) taken in equal quantity is a good appetizer useful in dyspepsia, cough, flatulence and enlarged spleen. This mixture is also useful in snake bite and scorpion sting.
- One gram of long pepper powder taken with honey for forty one days for hypo pigmented patch on skin will vanish.
- Fried long pepper is ground into fine powder is given orally – phlegm, cough, tuberculosis, liver, fever, blood vomiting, gas, chest pain and swelling in intestine will go.
- Long pepper powder mixed with sugar to be taken as internal medicine for proper bowel functioning.
- Long pepper decoction as internal medicine cures eye trouble, sinusitis and tuberculosis.