Pippali or Long pepper is a unique aromatic herb that has been with us for centuries owing to its extensive curative properties. The traditional herb goes by the botanical name Piper longum and comes from the Piperaceae family. Clad by the vernacular names ‘Pipli’ in Hindi, ‘Tippili’ in Tamil, ‘Pippalu’ in Telugu, ‘Tippali’ in Malaylam, and ‘Pipul’ in Bengali, the long pepper is indigenous to several parts of India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Srilanka. In India, it is mostly found at an altitude of 1800 metres, in the hotter parts of Khasi and Mikir hills, the central Himalayas to Assam, lower hilly regions of Bengal and the evergreen forests of the Western Ghats from Konkan to Kerala. Even ancient Sanskrit scriptures have mentioned long pepper in various vernacular names such as Kana, Magadhi, Vaidehi, Chapala, Krushna, Trishna, Shoundi, Kola, etc and extensively used it in various herbal formulations.
Piper Longum, commonly known as Pipali is particularly used for diseases of the respiratory tract. It is used for bronchitis, stomach ache, and diseases of spleen. It also improves appetite. It is also used in gout and lumbago. It is an aphrodisiac, powdered long pepper administered with honey will relieve cough, cold, asthma hoarseness and hiccup. A combination with other herbs is useful in colic and flatulence besides cough and coryza. It is a good appetizer. It is useful in sciatica and paraplegia and is a preparation used for cough and cold. The science of ayurveda classifies this herb as a potent rejuvenative herb that has strong anti-ageing and aphrodisiac effects on the body and is widely used for treating diabetes, asthma, indigestion, cough and cold.