Pippali is a very diverse essential in the world of Ayurvedic medicine. The name itself means “to drink and digest,” revealing one of its main benefits: Increasing the digestion and burning toxins. As an herb or a culinary spice, Pippali is commonly used to treat a wide range of disorders from coughs, colds, and congestion to digestive issues, reproductive issues, and even mental imbalances.
Pippali can be a great herbal option any time of year. However, due to its powerful lung rejuvenation properties, it is an exceptionally amazing herb to take during the spring season. Although springtime possesses many beautiful aspects, this season is also well known for irritating allergies, congestion, colds, and cough. Ayurveda states that the spring season is the main time of year for Kapha dosha and, therefore, Kapha imbalances such as the ones just mentioned will flourish. Adding Pippali to your springtime seasonal routine will be a great addition to ward away the common issues that this season brings.
Pippali is known as a “tridoshic” herb, as it is suitable for all body-types. Unlike its close relative, black pepper (maricha), Pippali can even be used in moderation for Pitta types due to its cooling, post-digestive effect (vipak). Therefore, Pippali can be a safe and effective option for most digestive disorders, even when Pitta (fire/heat) is increased in the body. Please note that this is a very potent herb and should only be used in small dosages, although Kapha types can typically get away with taking a bit more.
Health Benefits of Pippali:
- Cleanses the blood (alterative)
- Increases digestion
- Treats Manda Agni (low fire)
- Reduces gas and bloating
- Detoxifies the body
- Rejuvenative (especially for the lungs)
- Treats cough, asthma, and hiccups
- Treats respiratory infections and disorders
- Reduces fever
- Benefits anemia
- Treats skin disorders
- Beautifies the complexion
- Reduces hemorrhoids
- Benefits liver, gallbladder, and spleen issues
- Treats menstrual disorders such as amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea
- Reduces Vata Nervous System disorders (anxiety, fear, worry, etc.)
- Enhances the memory and intellect (medhya)
- Useful in arthritis (especially gout and Rheumatoid arthritis)
- Increases circulation
- Increases sperm mobility
- Increases the sexual potency (both men and women); treats impotence, low libido, and premature ejaculation
- Increases fertility (both men and women)
- Useful in weight loss therapy
- Benefits sciatica
- Benefits insomnia
- Useful in epilepsy
- Reduces tumor formation
- Enhances the actions of other herbs when taken together (Yoga Vahi)
Pippali is an essential element in the Ayurvedic Pharmacopia and can be found in numerous traditional herbal formulations including:
How to use Pippali:
Pippali has a wide variety of health benefits and therefore there is a wide range of methods for taking this herb. A simple way to get Pippali in the daily regimen is to use it in place of black pepper (or in addition to) and add it to any savory dish. For a larger dose (and more potent benefits), here are some simple home remedies on how to include Pippali into your routine.
- For allergies, coughs, colds, congestion: Take 1/4 tsp. turmeric, 1/4 tsp. ginger and 1/8 tsp. pippali. Mix in 1/4 cup of warm water and add 1 tsp. of raw, local honey. Wash down with warm water. Take upon awakening and again between 2-4 p.m.
- For fever or flu: Mix 1/4 tsp. of pippali in 1 cup of tulsi, ginger tea. Add 1 tsp. honey. Take 3 times daily during fever or flu.
- For hemorrhoids: Take 1/2 cup of homemade yogurt with 1/4 tsp. pippali. Take this daily after breakfast and again after dinner.
- For menstrual disorders: Take 2 Tbsp. of organic aloe vera juice and 1/8 tsp. pippali; mix in 1/2 cup of warm water. Take this 3 times daily before meals.
- For clear skin: Take 2 Tbsp. of organic aloe vera juice, 1/4 tsp. turmeric and 1/8 tsp. pippali; mix in 1/2 cup of warm water. Take 3 times daily during meals.
- For low libido (men): Take 1 tsp. of ghee, 1/8 tsp. pippali and 1/2 tsp. ashwagandha. Mix in 1/4 cup of warm water. Take 3 times daily before meals.
- For low libido (women): Take 1 tsp. of ghee, 1/8 tsp. pippali and 1/2 tsp. shatavari. Mix in 1/4 cup of warm water. Take 3 times daily before meals.