English Name: Long Pepper
Scientific Name: Piper longum L.
Nepali Name: पिपला
Two species of Piper i.e. Piper longum and Piper peepuloides are traded in Nepal but generally Piper longum is only traded in the market.
Piper longum: Twining perennial herb, creeping and rooting below, often minutely tomentose. Leaves petioled, 3-8 cm long, 2-8 cm wide, broadly ovate to cordate, shortly acuminate, glabrous, lower leaves long stalked, upper leaves sessile, clasping the stem at their base, usually five veined at the base. Flowers greenish in spikes, July to August. Fruits October to January.
It is distributed from 200 to 1300 m throughout Nepal. Harvest time is from November to January.
Ripen inflorescence harvested are dried. Fruit is dark brown or black in color, 2. 5 to 7 cm long, lanceolate / pointed, green in raw, dark green when matured and black when comes in trade. Fruit seems having many dusts stuck in outer side. It smells very sweet and aromatic.
Government of Nepal has prioritized it for Cultivation and Conservation.
Mainly, fruits are used as condiments. Fruit and leaf are used as hair tonic and to control malarial fever. Pipla is used as medicine and anti-poisonous medicine for snake and wild lizard bites. It is also used in herbal tea. Roots are used as medicine in the treatment of fever, energetic, cough and common cold.
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