The genus Piper
(L.) contains more than 700 species grown in tropical and subtropical rain
forest. Pippali consists of dried fruits of Piper longum L. (Piperaceae) a slender,
aromatic, creeping and perennial under shrub, native of the hotter parts of the
country and found wild as well as cultivated extensively in Assam, lower hiss
of Bengal, ever green forest of Western Ghats, along west coast of Southern
States and also recorded from Car Nicobar Islands.
The source plant of Pippali mula (Piper longum Linn.) is a
native of Indo-Malaya region. The
Greek name Peperi, the Latin Piper and the English Pepper were
derived from the Sanskrit name Pippali. It grows wild in the tropical rain forests of
India, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri lanka, Rhio, Timor and the Philippines.
In India, the plant grows abundantly in Assam, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh,
Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It is also
cultivated in Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Chirapunchi area of Assam, Akola-Amravati
region of Maharashtra, Anamalai hills of Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Udupi and
Mangalore regions of Karnataka.
Pippalimula have been
used as stomachic, thermogenic, aphrodisiac,
carminative, expectorant, laxative, digestive and emollient, antigiardias,
antiamoebic, anti-asthmatic, antiseptic and also active against bacterial
diseases. The root is reported to have weak opioid but potent NSAID type of
analgesic activity, antioxidant activity, anti-microbial In folklore practice;
root is employed for the treatment of heart disease in East India. In
Travancore region an infusion of the root is prescribed after parturition. It is most extensively used species in the Ayurveda. Mature but unripe
spikes are used in medicines, and also the roots throughout the country. It is
used in the form of dried fruit (spikes) and the roots. There are two separate
male and female plants of Piper longum linn.
In crude drug
market, this plant is also used for the purpose of commercial, economic and
medicinal importance .Currently the demand of root of Pippali is
increasing because of its uses in various types of Ayurvedic formulation. But
due to scarcity, the problem to fulfill the demand or adulteration arises.
Because in general female plants grow slower than that of male plants, male
plants are uprooted every year and female plants are uprooted every five year.
As all the parts of the plant Piper longum Linn. are medicinally important
including root, it was thought worth to study them individually; hence the root
part is selected for the scientific investigation for its macroscopic and