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Description for Peeper longum
Long pepper is a close relative of the black pepper plant. It is a slender, aromatic, climber with perennial woody roots, creeping and jointed stems, and fleshy fruits embedded in the spike. The fruit of the pepper consists of many minuscule fruits each about the size of a poppy seed embedded in the surface of a flower spike that closely resembles a hazel tree catkin.
The fruits contain the alkaloid piperine, which contributes to their pungency. Another species of long pepper, Piper retrofractum, is native to Java, Indonesia. The fruits of this plant are often confused with chili peppers, which belong to the genus Capsicum, originally from the Americas.
The fruit of the long pepper is aromatic, hot and stimulant. It improves the digestion and has decongestant, antibiotic and analgesic effects. The fruit is used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is known as bi ba.
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Typical uses of Peeper longum
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