Namaste Beautiful Spice-Lovers. Have you met Pippali, Long Pepper? (not at all related to Pippi Long Stocking!). Pippali is actually the Sanskrit word for this close relative of the somewhat less-spicy better known, black pepper, both from the Piperacea family. 

The gorgeously fascinating and aromatically elegant long fruit of this flowering vine, is dried and used as a spice, but more so as a spice-medicine with roots in Ayurveda, dating back thousands of years. Not surprising. This pepper plant is special. It has a unique gift of boosting the potency of other herbs and spices when taken together. This generous act is known in Ayurveda as Yoga Vahi, where the assimilation, metabolism, and absorption of substances are enhanced in the body by another special botanical. Turmeric bio-availability is a good example, we have heard of black pepper making this anti-inflammatory spice-marvel more easily assimilated in the system, but Long Pepper takes it up a notch. 

This is not the aromatic spice’s only superpower. Pippali is good medicine for the respiratory system, particularly for the lungs. Not only does it restore lung tissue, it detoxifies accumulations in the lungs and relieves asthma. Beneficial to both Kapha and Vata constitutions with stimulating and warming actions. Pippali is a lung tonic of note, and we need to know about it. At this time when wild fires are burning and smoke fills the air, when flu season is upon us, and COVID-19 persists, the protection of our lungs is more than wise, its crucial. Long Pepper is a Rasayana, a plant of longevity, an alterative, breathing life into our lungs. And I’ll make this long pungent spice story, short and sweet…..get yourself some. 

LONG PEPPER AS A SPICE-MEDICINE FOR THE FALL SEASON:

1. Add to a blend, equal parts ground Long Pepper, Ground Ginger, Ground Turmeric. Add a pinch to warm water or almond milk. Add to your chai with cardamom and cinnamon. 

2. Add a pinch to warm milk with a drop of honey, drink as a morning tonic (rasayana).  

3. Use as a spice for soups, kichari, and roasted grains and veggies, along with cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger. Found in the famous spice blend in Ras El Hanout.

4. Found in the classic Ayurvedic formula Trikatu, use for lung

WHERE CAN YOU GET SOME?

Not so easy to find but WORTH IT. I recently ordered some online at this amazing Canadian Spice Store. For an online search look for Long Pepper or Pippali, its out there! I’m excited to hear what you find.

Fragrant Blessings.
Your Spice Mistress, Glynnis x

A note: Long Pepper is not for ongoing long-term use as a medicine. It is safe as a short term tonic and for acute respiratory and digestive issues. Used as a spice in a blend is a good way to incorporate a small amount into your diet. 

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