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Pippali – Long Pepper Fruit Uses, Dose, Side Effects

Pippali  – Long Pepper is a very unique spice. It has all qualities of a typical spice like useful in indigestion, asthma, cough etc. but it is also a very good aphrodisiac and anti aging spice.  Consider this – Pleehamaye Pippali – For all spleen related disorders, Pippali – Long pepper fruit is the best. 


“Pippali” is the term applied to the fruit of piper longum. This plant is indigenous to Northeastern & southern India and Ceylon and cultivated in Eastern Bengal.

The fruit is more useful and active when it is unripe. It is used after drying it under the sun / sunshade. The root is also the useful part and is called “Pippali”  in the classics.

Botanical Name- Piper Longum Linn.

Vernacular Names

Hindi Name- Pipala, Pipal, Pipar, Pipli
English Name- Long Pepper
Kannada Name – Hippali, Hipli, Hippaliballi, kuna,
Telugu Name- Pippallu, Pippali, Modi
Tamil Name- Tippili, Argadi, Atti, Kalidi, Kalini, Kama tippili etc.
Bengali Name- Pipal, Pipul, Peepul
Malayalam Name-Tippali, Chapala, kana, Kattutipali, Magadhi pippali, Tippali
Punjabi Name- Maghaun
Arabic : Darfilfil
Bengal : Piplamor, Piplamul, pipli, pipul
Bombay : Bangali pimpali, piplamul, pipli
Burma : Peikchin, peikkhyen, pezinngoun
Chinese : pipo
Deccan name – Pipplie, pipulmul
French name – Poivre long
German name : Langer pfeffer
Greek name : Peperi makron
Gujarati name : Piper, pipli, Peepli, Peepar, Lidi pipal, Lindi peepal
Italian name : Pepe lunga
Java name : Chabijawa
Konkani name : Hipli
Malay name – Pitroat
Marathi name – Pimpli
Mexican name – Teathancuaye
Nepalese name – Pipal, popal
Persian name – Filfildaraaz, filfildray, Maglizpipal, pipal
Santal name – Ralli
Sindh name – Filfidray, Tippali
Sinhalese name – Tippili
Spanish name – Pimentera larga
Urdu name – Pipul
Oriya name – Baihehi kkrykola, Magodha, Pippoli.

long pepper plant

Medicinal properties

Piper longum medicinal Properties
Rasa (taste) – Katu (pungent)
Guna- Laghu, Teekshna (lite,strong, piercing)
Vipaka- Madhura – Undergoes sweet taste conversion after digestion
Veerya – Ushna – Hot potency. (wet variety has cold potency)
Effect on Tridosha – Balances Vata and Kapha Doshas. (wet variety increases Kapha Dosha).

Qualities as per Bhojana kutuhalam

According to Bhojana Kutuhala long pepper in its wet state aggravates kapha dosha, is sweet and cold in nature, is heavy for digestion and is unctuous. In its dry state it possesses the opposite of the above qualities. It is aphrodisiac, has katu rasa and is sweet in its post metabolic state, It is greatly useful in disorders caused due to vitiation of vata and kapha dosha, cough and dyspnea.

Piper longum benefits

Wet, fresh long pepper uses:
Shleshmala – Increases Kapha Dosha
Madhura – sweet
Guru – heavy
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Pittahara – Balances Pitta Dosha.

Dry long pepper fruit uses: 
Kapha Vataghni – Balances Kapha and Vata Dosha
Katu – Pungent taste
Ushna – hot
Vrushya – aphrodisiac
Pitta Avirodhini – Does not increase Pitta to a large extent.
Deepani – improves digestion strength
Rasayani – anti aging, rejuvenative
Anushna – not very hot
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Rechani – causes purgation
Shwasahara – useful in asthma, COPD and other respiratory diseases
Kasahara – relieves cough, cold
Udarahara – useful in ascites
Kushtahara – useful in skin diseases
Pramehahara – useful in diabetes
Gulmahara – useful in abdominal tumor
Arshahara – relieves piles, hemorrhoids
Amanut – useful in indigestion, relieves Ama
Marutahara – Useful in Vata imbalance disorders
Pittaprakopini – slightly increases Pitta.
Kshayapaha – relieves chronic lung disorders, tuberculosis.

Part used, dosage

Part used- Fruit, root
In this article, only the fruit is explained. Long pepper root is explained separately here
Dosage- Powder 0.5-1 gram in a single or multiple doses per day, usually administered after food.

Sanskrit verse

long pepper benefits
Pippali uses


Long pepper for splenic disorder
Fine powder of pippali (Piper longum) is taken in the dose of 3-4 gram along with warm water.

Long pepper for obesity – Pippali is administered along with honey to treat obesity, Kapha imbalance disorders like cold, cough, asthma, fever. This combination improves digestion strength, acts as aphrodisiac and Medhya – improves intelligence.

Long pepper for Asthma, Anemia – Long pepper powder one part and jaggery two part is mixed and administered to relieve cough, asthma, anemia, cardiac disorders, anemia and intestinal worm infestation.

Pippali for tuberculosis: Long pepper is very useful to improve lung strength, because it is rejuvenative and anti aging, and because it improves appetite, it helps to avoid weight loss associated with tuberculosis and its treatment. It also helps to prevent liver damage that sometimes results from the medicines used in tuberculosis management.

For rheumatoid arthritis – Root decoction (Moola Kashaya) of an herb called Patala Garudi (Cocculus hirsutus) is administered along with Pippali (long pepper) in treating Amavata – rheumatoid arthritis.

Photo courtesy – Shubhada Nikharge Via flick

Long pepper

Classical Categorisation

Deepaneeya – Group of herbs that improve digestion strength
Kantya – group of herbs that is good for throat disorders,
Asthapanopaga – group of herbs useful in decoction enema (Asthapana Basti)
Shiro Virechanopaga – A group of herbs useful in expelling Doshas from head and neck.
Sheeta Prashamana – Group of herbs that suppress cold, cough.
Shoola Prashamana – Group of herbs useful in pain, abdominal colic,
Kasahara – Group of herbs useful against cough
Hikkanigrahana – Group of herbs that help to control hiccups
Trptighna – Group of herbs that relieves pseudo-satiation.
Vamanopaga – Group of herbs useful in Vamana Panchakarma – emesis treatment.

Bhava prakash included pippali among the Trikatu, Panchakola and Haritakyadi varga.
In Raja nighantu, 4 types of Pippali are mentioned viz:- Gaja pippali, Pippali, Sainhali and Vanapippali.
Raja nighantu – PIppalyadi  Varga
In Dhanvantari nigantu, Pippali is told under the Mishraka varga and Shatapushpa didwitiya varga.
Dhanvantari Nigantu – Mishraka varga, Shatapuspadi dwitiya varga.
Kaiyadeva Nighantu – Aushadhi varga

In Raja Nighantu 4 types are told

  1. Pippali( Piper Longum)
  2. Gaja Pippali (piper chava)
  3. Saimhali (Piper retrofractum)
  4. Vana Pippali (piper sylvaticum/P. peepuloides)

Sushruta – Pippalyadi,
Urdhvabhagahara – Group of herbs useful in expelling imbalanced Dosha through oral and nasal route through Vamana and Nasya treatments.
Shiro virechana – group of herbs useful in Nasya treatment.

Ashtanga Sangraha – Pippalyadi

long pepper leaf

Varieties of Pippali

Susruta and Vagbhata have mentioned two types
Pippali – Long pepper – Piper longum and
Gaja Pippali Piper  chaba)
Raja nighantu provides four varieties  – Pippali, Gaja Pippali, Simhali Pippali and Vana Pippali. The third and fourth varieties are from Sri Lanka.
As per PV Sharma, Simhalese Pippali is from Sri Lanka, is Piper retrofractum Vahl.
Vanapippali, found in Assam, Bengal, is Piper sylvaticum or Piper peepuloides.

long pepper fresh fruit


Found in the hotter parts of India, from central  Himalayas to Assam, Khasi and Mikir hills. Also found in forests of western ghats from Konkan to Kerala.

Major chemical constituents

Essential oil. Mono and sesquiterpenes, caryophyllene (mainly), Piperine, Piperlongumine, Piperlonguminine, Pipernonaline, Piperundecalidine, Pipercide, Sesamin, B- sitosterol four aristolactams
(cepharanone B. aristolactum All. Piperlactum A and  piperolactam B) five 4-5 dioxoaporphines etc.
(Reference: Illustrated Dravyaguna Vijnana, Vol. II, by Dr JLN Shastry)

Pippali - unripe fruit with leaves


Anti giardial and immuno-stimulant activity
Anti mycobacterial activity
Anti oxidant and antimicrobial activity

Side effects

Long pepper should not be used in excess or for a very long period of time, without Panchakarma and Rasayana procedure. If used in excess without precaution, because of its heaviness (Guru) and liquefying properties (Prakledini), it causes Kapha increase. Because of its hotness, it increases Pitta Dosha and because of its less oiliness (Alpasneha) and hotness, it does not contribute to Vata balance. Hence, overall, it contributes to the increase of Tridosha. Hence, it is not ideal for long term / excess consumption without Panchakarma procedure (like staying away from Sunlight, excess wind, with a good amount of milk and ghee consumption etc).
Not ideal for people with Pitta Prakruti.
It is best to be avoided in infants.
It can be used in children in a small dose of 250 mg per day, along with milk and ghee.
It can be used in lactating mothers in lower doses.
For use in pregnancy, medical advice is required.

Interaction with medicines, supplements

Can this be used while taking Homeopathic medicine?
Yes. This product does not react with homeopathic medicine.

Can this medicine be continued while taking supplements like multivitamin tablets, Omega 3 fatty acids etc?
Yes. Generally, this product goes well with most dietary supplements. However, if you are taking more than one product per day, please consult your doctor for an opinion.

With western medicines
Seek your doctor’s advice if you are taking this product along with other western (allopathic / modern) medicines. Some Ayurvedic herbs can interact with modern medicine.
If both Ayurvedic and allopathic medicines are advised together, then it is best to take Allopathic medicine first, wait for 30 minutes and then take the Ayurvedic medicine.

Pippali Rasayan 

Is a special treatment procedure, wherein long pepper fruit powder is given in a gradual increase and decreasing dose along with milk. This is extensively used in liver and spleen disorders. Read in detail about Pippali Rasayana

Ayurvedic medicines

Ayurveda medicines with Pippali as ingredient:
Trikatu Churna –
a combination of pepper, long pepper fruit and ginger – used in obesity, allergic rhinitis etc
Guda Pippali – 
used extensively in liver disorders.
Home remedy for cough using long pepper

whether this can be used instead of chilly or pepper?
In small quantities, of just half a gram a day, it can be used in place of chilly or pepper. for one or two months of time.

How to use Long Pepper in healthy people?

What are the ways to use long pepper? 
Dr JV Hebbar 

Can you imagine a spice, which acts as aphrodisiac (vrishya), promotes intelligence, makes the brain sharper, relieves lethargy (medhya), useful in obesity, liver disorders, asthma, high cholesterol, and also has potent anti aging properties? Long pepper it is!
Called Pippali in Sanskrit, this spice, though carries immense health benefits, is not suited for long term use.

Acharya Charaka had warned,  
 pippalīr na ati upayuñjīta! Charaka Vimana Sthana 1st Chapter 
Pippali should not be used in excess, continuously for a long period of time. 
Ginger, black pepper, cinnamon etc spices are okay to be used on a daily basis but not long pepper. 
Acharya Charaka gives a long reason for this, in short, due to its Pitta increasing property. It can cause excess heat in the body. 

But for a short period of a few weeks, up to a couple of months, based on disease, long pepper can be used. 
For healthy people, for its brain sharpening, liver stimulating effects, in a small dose of 1/2 to 1 gram per day, it can be used for 2 – 3 weeks of time, 3 – 4 times in a year. 

पिप्पली मधुसंयुक्ता मेदःकफविनाशिनी |
pippalī madhusaṃyuktā medaḥkaphavināśinī |
1 gram of pippali is administered along with a teaspoon of honey, with a cup of water, once or twice a day, soon after food for the treatment of obesity, high cholesterol, fatty liver disorder and weak digestion strength. 

Post covid recovery: 
The vascular disorders, blood clots, lethargy, lassitude, brain fade, increase in cholesterol, chest discomfort, breathing difficulties are often seen after recovering from covid. 
Though it is a subject of research, 1/2 – 1 gram long pepper, with ghee can be very useful to improve brain functions and with honey, it can be used to address the cholesterol, and respiratory complications. 

Post-fever recovery period 
जीर्णज्वरोऽग्निमान्द्ये च शस्यते गुडपिप्पली |
jīrṇajvaro’gnimāndye ca śasyate guḍapippalī |

After recovering from fever, body ache, heaviness, decreased appetite, extreme fatigue are common. In this period, 1 gram of black pepper powder is administered along with 1 teaspoon of jaggery. Usually, the powder of the two are mixed together, made a laddu (ball) and eaten with lukewarm water. This is done for 2 – 3 weeks. 
Apart from these simple methods, long pepper is used in anti aging therapies, for asthma etc. disorders. 

Long pepper root:
Apart from its fruit, long pepper root, called Pippalimoola in Ayurveda, is extensively used for treatment. 
Acharya Charaka declares, 
pippalīmūlaṃ dīpanīya pācanīy ānāha praśamanānāṃ |

Of all the herbs and spices, Pippalimoola (long pepper root) is best in promoting digestion, relieving ama (indigestion) and bloating. 
Read: Long pepper Root – Pippali mool Uses, Side Effects, Research 

Home remedy for bloating

Long pepper Home remedy for bloating and fullness of abdomen
Intake of boiled barley along with half a teaspoon of long pepper  + a teaspoon of ghee is useful to relieve bloating and gaseous distention of the abdomen. Charaka Chikitsasthana 5th chapter.

Vrushya Pippali

Long pepper for sexual strength:
Vrishya Pippali: – Aphrodisiac remedy using long pepper fruit: 
Reference: Charaka Chikitsa Sthana 2.3/12-13
30 Pippali fruits are made into a fine paste and fried with 1 Prakuncha (Pala = 48 ml) of oil and ghee.
This is added with sugar and honey
And to this, milk is poured directly from the cow udder.
Dosage: 3 – 5 grams, once or twice a day, 10 minutes before food.
Pathya: By taking Shastika rice along with the milk and ghee
Useful in erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

Market available types

In market 2 types are available

  1. Small
  2. Big

Why long pepper is not suitable for long term use:
Pippali (Piper Longum Linn) in spite of their pungent taste are:
Madhura vipaka – sweet in Vipaka
Guru – heavy
Atyartham snigdha ushna – neither too unctuous nor too hot,
Prakledinyo – deliquescent and
useful as medicine when administered afresh.
Depending upon the frequency of use they are both useful and harmful.
When properly used (in small doses for a short period) they produce good results instantaneously, otherwise, they are responsible for the accumulation of Doshas.
When continuously used in large doses, they aggravated Pitta owing to their hot property.
They do not alleviate Vata because they are not adequately unctuous or hot.
Therefore, Pippali – Long pepper fruit – Piper longum (piper longum Linn) is not to be used in excess. Reference: Charaka Samhita Vimana Sthana 1/16

Distribution and habitat

Piper longum occurs throughout the country extending up to 1,800 meters altitude specially in sub montane tracts. It occurs in the hotter parts of India, from central Himalayas to Assam, Khasi and Mikir hills, lower hills of West Bengal and evergreen forests of western ghats from Konkan to Kerala. Also recorded from Car Nicobar Islands.

This plant is indigenous to North eastern and Southern India and Ceylon and cultivated in eastern Bengal.
Flowering and fruiting time:-
Plant bears fruits during the rainy season and fruits afterwards in Autumn months.


Piper Longum is a slender climber. Leaves are ovate, acute at apex, cordate and strongly oblique at base, 7-nerved, membranous, shining, dark green above, pale and dull beneath. Male and female flowers are distinct, densely arranged in thickly cylindrical pubescent rachis. Fruit is long and fleshy, red in color when ripe and turns black when dried.


Piper peepuloides

Systemic classification


Sanskrit synonyms

Pippali – because it takes care of the health of the patient and it nourishes.
Kana – fruit has granular appearance
Vaidehi – Long peppers usually grown in Videha region
Magadhi – found in Magadha region
Krushna – dry fruit is black colored
Chapala – because of its hot nature.
Teekshna, Teeksna Tandula – Strong, piercing
Kola – each fruit weighs around six grams
Ushana – dry fruit is hot in potency, relieves pain.
Upakulya – found near marsh places
Shoundi – some fruits are slightly bent
Shaamahva, Krikara, Katubeeja, Korangi, Shyama, Dantaphala

Patanjali Divya Pippali Churna – manufactured by Patanjali Ayurved Limited.

Sthanika karma (Systemic Acton)

Externally – Penetrating, Can be used as a Siro virechana medicine . Anti microbial, External application has Anti inflammatory action.

Nervous system – Pacify vata dosha, improve intellect, Indicated in diseases of vata origin

Digestive system – It is spicy in taste so  it acts as carminative, Anthelminthic. Mild purgative. Facilitate proper movement of vata dosha. Stimulate liver and indicated in splenomegaly. Also beneficial in abdominal cramp, bloating, loss of appetite, Constipation, splenic disorders etc.

Circulatory System – Indicated in Rheumatic heart diseases, Anemia. Increase blood pressure.

Respiratory System – Pacify kapha and Vata dosha. Indicated in kasa(Cough), hiccough and in breathing difficulties, Helps to expel out the excessive kapha from respiratory passage. Indicated in Tuberculosis.

Excretory system – Being Madhura vipaka, it increases urine production

Reproductive System – Its fruit is Aphrodisiac and root causes uterine contraction. Indicated in Amenorrhea and in Dysmenorrhea.
Skin – Induce in skin disorders (Kushta)

Indicated in fever (Jeerna jvara, and in vishama jvara) In Jirna jvara it can be administered along with Jaggery.

Satmikarana – Rejuvinative For Rasayana action Vardhamana pippali can be administered.

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