Long pepper/Filfil Daraz (فلفل دراز, پیپل پیپلی, مگھان) also called Indian long pepper, Pipli, Pippali and Piper Longum is a flowering vine. It is a fragrant plant which has soft stem that climbs on other plants or spread on ground. Its branches are thin and hairy. It bears dark green colour leaves which are soft, smooth, glossy, 2-4 inch long and 1-2 inch wide and heart-shaped leaves. It looks similar as the pan leaves. They are alternatively arranged and has pointed tips. The leaves have very prominent veins. It bears flowers which are unisex; consisting of both male and female flowers. As other peppers, the plant bears berries which are long and shapes like elephant trunk. It has same size as a match stick. When unripe the fruit is green and turns light red when ripe and dark dusty when dried.
The whole plant is usable especially its berries and the roots. The root contains piperine, steroids, glycosides, piplartine and piperlongumine. It is bitter, hot and warm in nature. Long pepper has multi use; some of them are listed below.
Uses of Long Pepper:
- Long pepper is mostly used in the cooking of non-vegetarian items like Biryanis, kababs and many others.
- Long pepper is widely used to prepare vegetable pickles.
- It is widely used in Malaysian and Indonesian cuisines.
- Cleanses the blood (alterative)
- Increases digestion
- Reduces gas and bloating
- Detoxifies the body
- Rejuvenative (especially for the lungs)
- Treats cough, asthma and hiccups
- Treats respiratory infections and disorders
- Reduces fever
- Benefits anemia
- Treats skin disorders
- Beautifies the complexion
- Reduces hemorrhoids
- Benefits liver, gallbladder and spleen issues
- Treats menstrual disorders such as amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea
- Reduces Vata Nervous System disorders (anxiety, fear, worry, etc)
- Enhances the memory and intellect (medhya)
- Useful in arthritis (especially gout and Rheumatoid Arthritis)
- Increases circulation
- Increases sperm mobility
- Increase the sexual potency (both men and women); treats impotence, low libido and premature ejaculation
- Increases fertility (both men and women)
- Useful in weight loss therapy
- Benefits sciatica
- Benefits insomnia
- Useful in epilepsy
- Reduces tumor formation
- Enhances the actions of other herbs when taken together
Long pepper is very useful and beneficial, yet it accompanies certain side-effects with it; some of them are listed below;
- Pregnant and lactating women should consume long pepper in limited quantities as over intake can be harmful due to its hot nature.
- It should be medicated under a medical supervisor as it can even lead to skin rashes and other allergies.
- It may also cause intestinal inflammation and raise in body temperature.