Wonderful PIPPALI – A Must In Every Winter Medicine Cabinet

–By Ayan.

One of  the most celebrated Ayurvedic herbs is Pippali, renowned for its benefits for the lungs but valuable in many other capacities too. Literature on Pippali can be found in both classical texts and contemporary peer reviewed journals. Pippali can be used in four capacities—as a culinary spice of rare distinction, as a home remedy, as a powerful medicinal herb and as a catalyst to potentiate the action of other herbs and drugs.

Pippali (piper longum) is indigenous to north-eastern and southern India and Sri Lanka. But it is cultivated throughout India, especially in Bengal. A very similar plant is found in Indonesia. A member of the family piperacae, Pippali is a perennial aromatic shrub. The flowers of Pippali grow in spikes, which are harvested and dried to form the Long Pepper. The root, Pippali Moola, is also a valuable herb widely mentioned in classical texts. It is important to note that, unlike cayenne pepper, and despite common misunderstanding, Pippali is not in the nightshade family and is perfectly acceptable to those who are unable to tolerate nightshades.

Pippali has as pungent rasa and sweet vipak. Its virya is anushnashita—neither hot nor cold, a fact the renders it invaluable for pitta. It contains volatile oil, alkaloids piperin and piperlonguminine, terpenoids and N-isobutyl deca-trans-2-trans-4-dienamide, a waxy alkaloid.

Pippali regulates sroto—agni of pranavahasrotas, the respiratory tract. It acts as a bronchodilator, decongestant, expectorant, and lung rejuvenative. In annavahasrotas, the digestive tract, it also has powerful actions as carminative and deepan (agni kindler). Pippali kindles bhutagni in the liver, improving liver function, and is a metabolic stimulant, aiding the thermogenic response by increasing the level of thyroid hormone.

As a culinary spice, Pippali has been celebrated for its unique combination of pungent and sweet. It was an essential ingredient in Roman cooking and is used to this day in the cuisine of Morocco and Ethiopia, where it is an ingredient in berebere, a masala mix. Although its use in Indian cuisine has been replaced by the much harsher cayenne pepper introduced by the Portuguese, it is still used in certain traditional pickles.

Several researches have shown immunostimulatory and antigiardial effects of Pippali and it is effective against entamoeba hystolytica.
A 2006 study published in the Journal of Phytomedicine shows that Pippali inhibits liver fibrosis in animal studies. This provides support for the traditional use of Pippali in alcoholic liver disease and chronic hepatitis.
This spice’s anti-inflammatory and analgaesic effects may be equal to that of Ibuprofen, according to one animal study.
Another study demonstrated that Pippali is a useful anti-cancer agent. “These results indicate the potential use of spices as anti-cancer agents as well as anti-tumour promoters.”

As a home remedy, Pippali should be in every winter medicine cabinet. As always, choice of anupan will determine which aspect of the action of Pippali will predominate.

  • A pinch of Pippali in aloe vera gel will immediately relieve bronchospasm in an episode of bronchitis or severe cough.
  • The same recipe can also be used before meals to help with intolerance to fats.
  • In asthma, a quarter teaspoon of Pippali can be mixed in a teaspoon of honey and taken three times daily after meals.
  • For hyperacidity, a quarter teaspoon of Pippali can be mixed with a half teaspoon of rock candy and a half cup of room temperature milk.
  • A pinch of Pippali with a teaspoon of crushed rock candy is a good home remedy for hoarseness of the voice.
  • To enhance prana, a quarter teaspoon of Pippali can be mixed in ghee and taken in the morning.
  • As a rejuvenative home remedy in chronic fatigue, a quarter teaspoon of Pippali can be taken daily with gritamadhu (a combination of ghee and honey) .
  • As a carminative, a quarter teaspoon Pippali can be combined with a pinch of hing and a teaspoon of ghee and taken after meals.
  • In haemorrhoids, make a Pippali yoghurt drink. Combine two tablespoons of yoghurt, a cup of pure water and a pinch of Pippali, blend together and drink after lunch and dinner.
  • In obesity, combine a pinch of Pippali with a teaspoon of honey and drink in the mornings followed by hot water, for enhanced thyroid function and fat burning.
  • In chronic cough, asthma and low agni, Pippali milk can be used. Make a medicated milk by adding a quarter cup of water to a cup of milk. Add a pinch of Pippali and cook back down to one cup.
  • Pippali is safe to use in pregnancy in small amounts. For asthma in pregnancy, a small amount of Pippali can be taken, mixed in ghee. A medicated ghee can also be made with Pippali, cooking a decoction of Pippali into ghee until all the water is absorbed. This is an excellent remedy for healing lungs that have been damaged by smoking.
  • As a medicinal herb, Pippali can be used to heal and rejuvenate pranavahasrotas. It is an excellent addition to any spring rejuvenative formula. As a powerful herb, it should be used in smaller proportions in the formula. It combines well with Punarnava in formulas for pranavahasrotas (respiratory conditions), with Shankhapushpi for chronic liver disease, with Ashwagandha in fatigue conditions and with Guggulu in rheumatoid arthritis. It is also of value in anti-parasitical formulas.

If both health and taste are on your mind, then Pippali can be a good replacement for black pepper. Pippali as a spice and medicine counts for many healthy benefits, and brings a special flavouring to the palate. Of course, that does not mean black pepper get de-vauled. Every spice is special. But Pippali has proven effective against so many common ailments that this can be enjoyed as a tasty addition to everyday food and a healthier one to the diet !

Copyright © MayineTreeConsciousness 2014. Use or duplication of this material is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

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The Magic Of Sesame (Til) Oil !

by Ayan.

Known as Tila in Sanskrit and Til in Hindi, Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. It is prized as an oilseed for at least 5,000 years. This was the main oil crop and was cultivated during the times of Indus valley civilization and is still widely grown in India and China.
It is a common ingredient in almost all cuisines around the world. With a rich nutty flavor, it has gained an important place on kitchen shelves.Til is an annual plant, this erect plant grows to a height of 40 to 90 cms. The leaves vary in size and shape. The flowers are bell shaped and vary in color (white, pale yellow, purple). The fruit of this plant is a capsule and contains small seeds. Upon ripening, the fruit naturally splits and releases the seeds. The seeds have highest oil content than any other oil seeds.

The texts of Ayurved have described three varieties of Til based on colour of seeds. They are “Rakta (red), Krishna (black) and Shweta (white)”. Usually Krishna tila or black sesame seeds are considered to have excellent medicinal properties and are recommended in ayurvedic treatments and ayurvedic preparations.
Til (sesame) was the first crop used for extracting oil. Before 600 BC, Til (sesame) oil was used as a salve, medicine and in food by the rich Assyrians community. From times immemorial, this oil has been an important part of the world of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Various traditions like Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern used Til oil as a flavor enhancer and natural health stimulant.
Til (sesame) seeds have a fabulous nutritional profile, granting their capabilities in fighting, preventing, and reversing illness and disease. The seeds are especially high in copper, manganese, calcium, and magnesium. But the value doesn’t end there.
Some notable constituents of Tila
Here are some notable vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you can expect to find in a 28gm serving of Til seeds.
Manganese – 0.7 mg.
Copper – 0.7 mg.
Calcium – 277 mg.
Iron – 4.1 mg.
Magnesium – 99.7 mg.
Tryptophan – 93 mg.
Zinc – 2 mg.
Fiber – 3.9 gm.
Thiamin – 0.2 mg.
Vitamin B6 – 0.2 mg.
Phosphorous – 179 mg.
Protein – 4.7 gm.
The fibres belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, that lower cholesterol and prevent high blood pressure. These fibres also protect the liver from oxidative damage.
Tila  Benefits
Til Seeds are extremely beneficial for:
Boosting bone health
Lowering blood pressure
Preventing cancer
Preventing/curing Iron deficiency anemia
Boosting healthy skin
Preventing headaches and migraines
Reducing stress
Preventing constipation
Preventing diabetes
Lowering cholesterol
Boosting heart health
Protecting against radiation-induced DNA damage
Boosting oral health: by preventing cavities, removing dental plaque
Detoxifying the body
Reducing PMS symptoms
Intestinal parasites
Overcoming/ preventing Lactation disordersVery good High-Protein Vegetarian Diet – Til seeds offer 4.7 grams of protein every 28g grams, giving them a perfect place in a high-protein vegetarian diet.Tila -OilTila in Ayurveda
Most of the Ayurvedic therapies use Til (sesame) oil for its ability to strengthen the system, detoxify the body and ensure the proper functioning of all the vital organs. Til seed oil is considered as a sacred oil in many parts of India and is used in votive lamps and other ceremonies of religious importance.Among the seven chakras or the vital points of human energy, Til oil is said to benefit the Hriday (heart) chakra, the Svadisthana ( Sacral) chakra and the Mooladhar (root) chakra. The Heart chakra is responsible for unconditional love for others and self, compassion, emotions and all kinds of relationships with the world.The Sacral chakra is responsible for the right to think, self-confidence, self-control and intellect. The Root chakra is responsible for dealing with the challenges of the world.Til oil is rich in vitamin E (potent antioxidant), iron, omega-6 fatty acids, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper, dietary fibre and flavonoids phenolic antioxidants. All these enriching nutrients make Til oil as a powerful antioxidant with antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, immune-stimulant, restorative, anti-rheumatic, carminative, tonic, anti-diabetic, anti-atherogenic, cardiac, dermatologic, laxative, emollient, warming and anti-depressant properties.
Charak Sanghita and Sushrut Sanghita have listed enormous health benefits of Til oil. Til oil has the potent to balance excess vata along with kapha and pitta deficiency.

Let’s take a look at the Ayurvedic health benefits of Til seed oil in terms of various ways of administration :

1. Oil Pulling: This is a simple Ayurvedic therapy that helps in eliminating the harmful toxins from the body and enhances immunity. This is known as Gandusha in Sanskrit.

2. Abhyanga, the art of Ayurvedic massage therapy: Abhyanga or Ayurvedic massage with Til oil is a significant part of the Ayurvedic treatment to relieve muscular pain and tension, make the skin healthy and glowing, regularize the breathing pattern, improve blood circulation, relax the nervous system, revive the mind and relieve stress and sleeping difficulties.

3. Nasya, nasal cleansing: Nasya is one important methodology among the 5 methods of Ayurvedic Panchakarma therapy. It is the method of administering herbal oils and medicines through the nostrils. According to Ayurveda, nose is the entrance to the brain. Applying a few drops of Til oil in the nostrils as nasal drops helps in treating illnesses above your shoulders. This aids in removing the toxins from the body, alleviate stress, sinusitis, allergies, headache, cold and wrinkles.

4. Pathya, daily diet: When used as cooking oil in daily diet, Til oil is highly beneficial for the entire system from head to toe. The daily use of this oil heals and cleanses internal and external wounds, augments the power of digestion and metabolism and enhances intelligence.

So the next time you reach out to your pantry/kitchen shelf for your daily necessities , do remember to not let this oil and the seeds stay put stacked away in some corner. Think of all its health benefits, make Sesame (til) an essential part of your life…And do let us know of your experience !


Copyright © MayineTreeConsciousness 2014. Use or duplication of this material is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.