The genus Piper(L.) contains more than 700 species grown in tropical and subtropical rainforest. Pippali consists of dried fruits of Piper longum L. (Piperaceae) a slender,aromatic, creeping and perennial under shrub, native of the hotter parts of thecountry and found wild as well as cultivated extensively in Assam, lower hissof Bengal, ever green forest of Western Ghats, along west coast of SouthernStates and also recorded from Car Nicobar Islands. The source plant of Pippali mula (Piper longum Linn.) is anative of Indo-Malaya region.
TheGreek name Peperi, the Latin Piper and the English Pepper werederived from the Sanskrit name Pippali. It grows wild in the tropical rain forests ofIndia, 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 alsocultivated in Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Chirapunchi area of Assam, Akola-Amravatiregion of Maharashtra, Anamalai hills of Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Udupi andMangalore 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 bacterialdiseases.
The root is reported to have weak opioid but potent NSAID type ofanalgesic activity, antioxidant activity, anti-microbial In folklore practice;root is employed for the treatment of heart disease in East India. InTravancore region an infusion of the root is prescribed after parturition. It is most extensively used species in the Ayurveda. Mature but unripespikes are used in medicines, and also the roots throughout the country. It isused in the form of dried fruit (spikes) and the roots. There are two separatemale and female plants of Piper longum linn.In crude drugmarket, this plant is also used for the purpose of commercial, economic andmedicinal importance .
Currently the demand of root of Pippali isincreasing because of its uses in various types of Ayurvedic formulation. Butdue to scarcity, the problem to fulfill the demand or adulteration arises.Because in general female plants grow slower than that of male plants, maleplants are uprooted every year and female plants are uprooted every five year.
As all the parts of the plant Piper longum Linn. are medicinally importantincluding root, it was thought worth to study them individually; hence the rootpart is selected for the scientific investigation for its macroscopic andmicroscopic examinations.