Piper longum originates from Southeast Asia (Deccan peninsula). Pepper is a dense shrub with branches and with many leaves (6 cm wide and 9 cm long) which are oval in shape, shiny dark green in color superficially and matt pale- green in color on inferiorlly. Flowers are a spin fleshy, solitary and pedunculate, are 2.5-3.5 cm long, 5 mm wide, oval, very dark green in color. The smell is fragrant. The taste of Pepper is pungent with somewhat sweety sensation, giving it a unique position in the spices. Fruit is red to brown in color and is used mostly crushed and added to foods which are cooked by extended boiling.
Chemical Composition – Piper longum fruit contains a large number of alkaloids and related compounds, the most abundant of which is piperine with piperine methyl iperonaline, piperetine, asarinine, pelitorine, piperundecalidine, piperlongumine, piperlonguminine, refractomide A, pregumidiene, brachistamide, brachistamide-A, brachistine, pipercide, piperderidine, longamide and tetrahydropiperine.
Lignans- Sesamine, pulvuatilol, fargesine.
Essential oils- caryophylline, pentadecane and bisaboline.
Properties – Antifungal, antiamoebic, antimicrobial, antitussive, anti asthmatic, cardioprotective, hypocholesterolemic, hypoglycemic, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anti-ulcer, hepatoprotective, anti-depressant.
Recommendation – Obesity, diabetes, respiratory, digestive system disorders, cardiovascular disorders, urinary system disorder, bronchitis, chronic cough.