This pepper goes by many names, the variety that yields from India is known as Indian Long pepper. In the English language, it is called Long pepper and in Hindi Peepal or pipar.
Other popular names are Dried Catkins, Indonesian long pepper, and Javanese long pepper
The Khasi people of Meghalaya, call it Sohmrit Khlaw.
Indian Long pepper grows mostly in deciduous to evergreen forests of Northeast and South India.
In Meghalaya and Northeast India, Long Pepper is grown in the southern slopes of Meghalaya, in Ri-War, Mawsynram, Shella, Sohra (known as Cherrapunji) etc. where it is grown using natural means like all our other ingredients.
This spice is cultivated in Assam, West Bengal, Nepal and Uttar Pradesh too.
An aromatic climber, its stem is slender and jointed, with thickened nodes. The root is large and woody.
Leaves are about 2 to 3 inches long, dark, ovate (rounded-base and tapering-tip), and dentate (tooth-like edges), with broad, rounded lobes at the base.
The flowers are monoecious, i.e. having the male and female reproductive structures in separate flowers but on the same plant.
The fruits are ovoid (broad at the base, like an egg) and look like spikes, of about the length of a matchstick. Fruits are green when young, red when ripe and turn blackish-grey when dried. The fruit is what we use mostly.
The creeper flowers from May to September and the fruit is harvested in winter while still green and tender. After harvest, it is sun-dried thoroughly until it assumes the typical greyish black colour that you see in our jars.
Yes, this product is grounded fruits of the long pepper, but all parts of the plant are used – the Fruit, Root and Stem.
Grown in limestone soil, the saplings are planted at the beginning of the rainy season and take three to four years to start bearing fruit.
The yield triples within three years of the first harvest – from 560 kg per hectare in the first year to 1,680 kg per hectare in the third! After the third year, the vines become less productive and are replaced. (1 hectare = 10,000 sq. m or 2.47 acres).
Long pepper powder is made using organic long pepper that has a unique earthiness and numbing flavor. It is a powerful natural herb in India that nourishes and strengthens the body. Also known as thippili/pippali/pipli in Hindi, long pepper powder is a popular ingredient in a number of ayurvedic medicines and is generally used as a seasoning for many dishes. This exotic spice has a similar taste to black pepper; it is slightly hotter and spicier than pepper. All our natural herb products are made from whole herbs using rich herbal traditions along with the latest scientific knowledge to bring you the finest quality spices products. Buy spices at the most affordable prices in customization-friendly quantities only at Zizira!
Why This Product
By default, Long Pepper is grown naturally. Occasionally cow dung cake is used as fertilizer. In most cases, manure is not used at all. Farmers depend on the natural fertility of the soil, which is provided by decaying dead leaves inside the forest areas.
The spikes of Long Pepper are harvested in January, while they are still green, pungent and tender. The spikes are then dried well in the sun, till they turn grey in colour.
Farmers in the East Khasi Hills districts grow this spice in the forest, like a climber on tree trunks, thus eliminating the need to use a stake for support.
Piperlongumine is a bioactive agent found in Piper longum or Indian long pepper. The usage of Indian long pepper goes back to Ayurveda and Unani systems. Several research papers are available to vouch for its medicinal properties.
Indian Long pepper is known to be used in improving appetite and digestion, as well as treat stomachache, indigestion, intestinal gas, diarrhea, and cholera.
Long pepper was once widely used in cooking, even in ancient Rome, to induce a pungent taste to various dishes.
There seems to be a renewed interest in this spice for its unique flavour and taste. The taste lingers in the tongue. While black pepper stings, long pepper soothes. The spikes of long pepper are grounded or broken into coarse pieces and added to soups, stews, roasts and curries. It imparts complex mix of flavours like the earthiness of nutmeg, sweet note of cardamom and cinnamon, the spiciness of chillies, the heat of black pepper and a slight tongue-numbing taste, somewhat like that of winged prickly ash.
It is bitter, spicy and warming taste is perhaps due to its volatile, fragrant oils and alkaloids like piplatine, sesenine and pipla-sterol.
In northeast India it is also used to spice up pickles and preserves, giving them a distinctive aroma and flavour.
Benefits and Uses
Long pepper powder is a natural herb known for its rich medicinal properties. It contains many nutrients such as essential oils, terpenoids, piperine, and sylvatine for added benefits. This humble natural spice offers the following health benefits –
- Promotes weight loss by enhancing the body’s metabolism
- Treats heartburn and acidity
- Promotes bowel movements and helps treat constipation
- Helps manage blood sugar levels in the body
- A paste of long pepper powder with honey helps reduce pain and inflammation in the gums
- Boosts immunity and helps treat wounds faster
- Provides relief from cold, cough, and congestion
- Treats a number of skin disorders
The root contains piperine, steroids, glucosides, pipelartine and piperlonguminine.
- The piperine in long pepper is said to fight parasites and infective agents.
- Piper Longum finds mention in Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine, particularly for diseases of the respiratory tract, where the powdered fruit is used.
- The root is used for bronchitis, stomach ache, diseases of the spleen, and tumours etc.
- It also improves appetite. An infusion of the root is prescribed after child-birth to induce the expulsion of the placenta”
- Indian long pepper consists of a chemical compound called Piperlongumine, which has shown positive activity against cancer.
- Long pepper is also said to be good for the liver, diabetes and bacterial infections, apart from a host of other benefits.
- It is useful for Liver and Spleen Ailments, for Diabetes, for Stomach Problems and Toothache.
The unique chemical composition of this plant extends its utility beyond the culinary to curative.
Uses of Piper Longum or Long Pepper
Long pepper powder adds a pleasant deep aroma to vegetables, curries, soups, pickles, dals, marinades, salads, burgers, poultry, fish, and many other dishes. This exotic spice makes a fine alternative to black pepper in any dish you like if you need a little extra sting. The spice powder can also be mixed with milk, warm water, or honey to create simple but effective home remedies due to its antioxidant effects.
- The roots and thicker parts of the stem are cut and dried and used as an important drug (Piplamool or Pippali) in the Ayurvedic and Unani systems.
- The fruits are used as a spice and also in pickles and preserves. They have a pungent pepper-like taste and produce salivation and numbness of the mouth.
- In some hilly parts of Vishakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh, long pepper is grown for its roots. It is grown as a perennial plant in small plots and the roots are collected for 10-30 years, the first harvest commencing from 18 months after planting.
- Fruits and roots are used for medicinal purposes too. These are “ for diseases of the respiratory tract, such as cough, bronchitis, asthma, etc; as counter-irritant and analgesic when applied locally for muscular pains and inflammation; as snuff in coma and drowsiness and internally as carminative; as a sedative in insomnia and epilepsy; as a general tonic and haematinic; as cholagogue (a medicinal agent which promotes the discharge of bile from the system, purging it downward) in obstruction of the bile duct and gall bladder; as an emmenagogue (herbs which stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus; some stimulate menstruation) and abortifacient (causing abortion); and for other miscellaneous purposes such as anthelmintic (to destroy parasitic worms) and in dysentery and leprosy.”