Botanical Name: Piper longum
It is used as a spice and also in pickles and preserves. The fruits and roots are used as medicine for respiratory disease and as counter irritant and analgesic for muscular pains and inflammation. It has carminative, haematinic and anti-helminhic properties.
Pepper long is the dried fruit of Piper longum which is a slender, aromatic plant with creeping jointed stems and perennial woody roots. The leaves are 5-9 cm long, 3-5 cm wide, ovate, cordate with broad rounded lobes at the base. Female spikes are cylindrical, male spikes are larger and slender. Female spikes are 1.3-2.5 cm long, 4.5 mm diameter, fruits ovoid, yellowish orange, minute, drupe and are sunk in the fleshy spike. The spike are red when ripe.
Origin and Distribution
The plant is distributed from Central Himalayas to Assam, Lower hills of Bengal, evergreen forests of Western Ghats, Nicobar Islands, Uttar Pradesh and Nepal. The Indonesian or Malaysian long pepper is from Piper retrofractum. Pepper long is cultivated on a large scale in lime stone soil and in heavy rainfall areas where relative humidity is high.