PIPPALI

PIPPALI
Common name Long pepper (E), Pipal (H), Pimpli (H) Sanskrit Pippali Latin Piper longum – Fructus (Piperacea) This small shrub grows all over the tropical forests of India. It is a fine rejuvenative to the respiratory system; its sweet post-digestive effect is very nourishing to the deeper reproductive tissues of the body. ENERGETICS Rasa (taste) Pungent Virya (action) Mildly heating not hot Vipaka (post-digestive effect) Sweet Guna (quality) Oily, light, penetrating Dosha effect VK-, P+ Dhatu (tissue) Plasma, blood, fat, nerve, reproductive Srota (channel) Circulatory, digestive, respiratory, reproductive CONSTITUENTS Volatile oil- beta-bisabolene, beta-carophyllene Alkaloids – piperine, piperlongumine, piplartine Lignans – sesamin, fargesin Fixed oil- esters1 BIO-MEDICAL ACTION Digestive stimulant, carminative, expectorant, bronchodilator, anthelmintic, analgesic, circulatory stimulant, aphrodisiac INDICATIONS Lungs Primarily used for cold, wet and ‘mucusy’ conditions of the lungs. It is a rejuvenative for the lungs, pranavahasrotas and avalambaka kapha. It encourages vasodilation and therefore increases circulation, specifically to the lungs. Used with honey in asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and compromised immunity in the respiratory system to reduce kapha. It is also used to treat mild fever by removing the ama from rasa dhatu and alleviating the concurrent aches in the muscles and joints.2 GIT Used to stimulate agni and clear weak digestion with symptoms of nausea, slow digestion, flatulence with a cold and painful abdomen. In malabsorption it can increase assimilation of nutrients. Clinical studies show that that piperine increases the absorption of curcumin in Turmeric root (used at 1:10). Its anthelmintic qualities are used as part of a formula to kill worms, amoebas and parasites. It helps to treat diarrhoea from cold symptoms and constipation (vibandha) from stagnant apana vayu. Also used in diabetes as it reduces any excess of and rejuvenates the medasdhatu.3 Reproduction Its sweet post-digestive effect points to its ability to tonify the shukra dhatu and reproductive tissue which is useful in infertility, impotence and premature ejaculation. It is the only hot and penetrating substance to do this as hot substances usually consume shukra dhatu.4

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Williamson Frawley and Lad 3 Koul and Kapil 1993. Tillotson 4 Bhavaprakasha

© Sebastian Pole 2006

Circulation Its pungency and sweetness invigorate blood and nourish rakta. By enhancing the digestive fire in the tissues it is a rasayana to rasa and rakta dhatu as it helps to assimiliate more nutrients for building the plasma and the blood. It can also help to penetrate the cold pain of sciatica.5 Liver It has a hepatoprotective effect that may benefit fibrosis.6 Nerves Its ability to nourish majja dhatu, due to its sweet vipaka, helps in vata disorders and also to nourish the brain. AYURVEDIC ACTION Deepana Enkindles the digestive fire Pachana Digests toxins Amanashak Destroys toxins Bhedaniya Purgtive Chedana Scratches toxins from the tissues Krimighna Vermifuge Medohara Reduces fat tissue Kushtaghna Alleviates skin diseases Shwasakasahara Benefits breathing Shirovirechan Clears toxins from the head Hikkanigrahan Alleviates hiccups Jwarahara Mitigates fevers Vrishya Aphrodisiac Rasayana Rejuvenative, specifically to plasma, blood, fat and reproductive tissues Medhya Improves the intellect COMBINATIONS + Ginger, Black pepper as Trikatu for low agni, kapha, ama and weak lungs. + Haritaki, Licorice, Pushkaramoola for allergic rhinitis, hayfever and atopic asthma. + Gokshura, Kappikacchu and Ashwagandha for male reproductive function. + Kutki, Neem, Bhumiamalaki in hepatitis. CONTRAINDICATIONS In excess pitta and other inflammations of the intestines. SAFETY The piperine content of Long pepper, when used as an isolated ingredient, has been associated with enhancing blood levels of certain medication such as propanolol, theophylline, rifampicin as it may inhibit drug metabolism in the liver when it is used over a long period of time at a high dose. Hence all patients taking drugs that are metabolised in the liver must be carefully monitored if Long pepper is prescribed. 7 Other sources report that in its whole form it is a short-term bio-availability enhancer, increasing nutrient absorption, quickening absorption and reducing blood levels of medication.8 DOSAGE 1–5g/day powder or 5–15ml of a 1:5 @ 60% tincture. Due to safety issues do not use at a high dose (more than 5g/day) for long periods of time. Low dose is safe for long-term use as attested to by the vast amount of Ayurvedic formulas containing Pippali.
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Gogte Tillotson 7 Mosby 8 Williamson

© Sebastian Pole 2006

NOTES * Pippali thrives in more temperate conditions than Black pepper. • Its sweetness gives it rejuvenative properties and its oilyness make it less drying and not as excessively heating as Black pepper. • The fresh green Pippali reduces pitta and increases kapha. * Often boiled with milk for deficient lungs. Pippali vardhanam is a cumulative treatment where 1 long pepper is boiled in a glass of milk and water (1:1 reduced to 1) and drunk daily. 1 long pepper is added daily for 14 days (up to 14 Pippali!) and then reduced by the same ratio for 14 days. Excellent for asthma where there is no dairy intolerance. * Pippalimoola, Piper longum radix is also used in Ayurveda. It has similar properties as the fruit, but is a more ‘condensed’ heat. Combining it with Trikatu makes Chaturushna, The Four Pungents. It has the same properties as Trikatu but is slightly stronger.

© Sebastian Pole 2006

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