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Ethnobotanical, Phytochemical, and Pharmacological Aspects of Piper nigrum (Filfil siyah): An Update

S M Ahmer, Mohammad Rashid, Zainab Zaki, Qazi Zaid Ahmad


Piper nigrum (Filfil siyah) is a very popular medicinal plant. It is used in Unani as well as the Ayurvedic System of medicine for several diseases due to their diverse pharmacological potentials and minor side effects. In the Unani System of Medicine, it is recommended for the treatment of Nafkh al-Mi‘da (Flatulence in the stomach), Qulanj Rihi (colic due to flatulence), Waj-ul-Meda (Gastric Pain), Kasir-e-Riyah (Carminative), Zofe-Ishtiha (Anorexia), Muharrik (Stimulant), Munaffith-i- Balgham (Expectorant), Muqawwi-e-Jigar (Liver tonic), Daf-e-Humuzat (Antacid), Muqawwi-e-Aasab (Nervine Tonic), etc. It is also used to cure conditions like asthma, coryza, colds, and hoarseness of voice, tuberculosis. Piper nigrum is one of the ingredients of Tiryaq-e-Samaniya, Jawarish Jalinoos, Jawarish Kamooni and Jawarish Bisbasa. The main bioactive substance found in P. nigrum is piperine, while other substances such piperic acid, piperlonguminine, pellitorine, piperolein B, piperamide, piperettine, etc are also present. It includes a pungent alkaloid ‘’piperine’’ which has various pharmacological effects like anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, antioxidant, immune-modulatory, antitumor, antibacterial, activities, etc. This comprehensive review study on Piper nigrum was conducted by using the Unani classical texts. Scopus, PubMed, Google Scholar, the AYUSH Portal, and ResearchGate were used to organize recent studies on the pharmacognosy, phytochemistry, and pharmacological aspects of Piper nigrum. The current review paper is intended to provide a refreshed literature review on the recent advancement of pharmacognosy, phytochemistry, and pharmacological aspect of Piper nigrum and review the Unani compound formulations prepared using P. nigrum as well as its pharmacological actions and uses.

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