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Plants like tulsi, neem or Ashvagandha are extremely popular all around the world today thanks to the ancient tradition of Ayurveda. Reams and reams of medical research into the medicinal properties of these plants is available today which confirms many of their health benefits that were previously only known in India. And while it is great news that modern science and ancient traditions can together educate the public about the nutritional qualities of these plants and herbs, there are some lesser known plants that are yet to gain the kind of acceptance that tulsi or neem have. Only the most ardent followers of Ayurveda know of these plants and scanty research has been conducted into their properties. One such plant is Pipali, also known as Indian Long Pepper. Because a lot of you may be unaware of this amazing plant, we will try to take a closer look into its origins, composition and uses.
What is Pipali or Indian Long Pepper?
Pipali is a perennial aromatic shrub that is native to the Indian subcontinent, specifically North-Eastern and Southern India and is also indigenous to Sri Lanka. Unlike its close relative black pepper, Pipali carries two distinctive flavours in it – it tastes sweet and pungent at the same time. Due to this rich flavour quality that it possesses, it was an extremely valuable spice in antiquity when it was traded for the very first time by the Romans.
Nowadays, Pipali has spread across the world and is a part of several different cultures. It is especially popular in Northern and Eastern Africa, where it has been assimilated into the spices of Moroccan and Ethiopian cuisines.
But besides imparting a distinct flavour to the food, Pipali also holds merit for its medicinal properties. Since the time of ancient Ayurvedic texts, Pipali was recognized for its stimulating and rejuvenating effect on the respiratory tract and the digestive system. In ancient texts, Pipali is noted for helping in the release of metabolic heat from the body and also helping the absorption of other ingredients – it is for this reason that it formed the backbone of numerous Ayurvedic treatments.
But Pipali by itself also has numerous health benefits, some of which are listed below:-
Pipali has been recognized as a diabetic-friendly food due to its wonderful constituents. Pipali is known to reduce the levels of blood sugar in diabetic patients, something that they have to constantly wary of and work hard to keep in check. Pipali can thus assist their insulin treatment in keeping blood sugar levels normalized and within a healthy range.
Besides regulating blood sugar levels, Pipali also manages to help diabetics avoid the myriad side-effects and complications that arise out of diabetes, improving the overall health of their body.
Our modern lifestyles have a lasting and often terrible effect on the liver. Whether it is herbicides and pesticides in our vegetables, preservatives in processed food or consumption of alcohol, the liver has to take the brunt of the negative effect of such lifestyle choices. Thankfully, Pipali can rescue the liver as it can help the body deal with liver toxicity and even prevent jaundice.
Pipali also exhibits anti-bacterial properties which mean that it is an effective agent to destroy bacteria and prevent harmful infections that they cause.
Pipali rejuvenates the entire respiratory tract, especially the lungs, by boosting the blood flow to these parts. This in turn can help you fight off common colds, coughs and even bronchitis.
Pipali greatly improves the efficiency of the digestive system by ensuring that all the minerals and nutrients we intake are absorbed properly in the body. Not only this, by helping to dissolve and digest toxins in fat tissues that accumulate over time, it can also help you in losing weight and fighting off obesity.
To know more about the amazing properties of Pipali, click here.
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