Thippili / Pippali / Piper Longum Farming Medicinal Plants
Among medicinal plants, Pippali or Thippili plays a major role. In Ayurveda, the plant is used to cure or control a range of diseases from Bronchitis, cough, and cold to leprosy. While there is a constant demand for Thippili in India, the rise of interest in western countries has made Thippili cultivation favorable for many farmers in India. Currently, Thippil is imported from countries like Sri Lanka and Malaysia where its commercially grown. Local produce is not sufficient to meet the requirements and demands. Cultivating Thippili is a profitable venture where climatic conditions are favorable. Fortunately, finding customers for Thippili is much easier today with various companies dealing with medicinal products and having requirements for the same.
- Roots and thicker stems are used for ayurvedic preparations
- The spikes or fruits are the most commonly used ayurvedic ingredient
- India Imports Long pepper from Malaysia, Singapore Indonesia, and Sri Lanka currently
- It is cultivated as a commercial crop where high rainfall, high humidity, and temperature is between 15 and 35 degree.
- Annual rainfall of 150 cm is recommended by Tamil Nadu University
- Planting is done during June July or September october, depending on the monsoon
- Recommended spacing of 2 meer by 2 meter in hills and 60 centimeter by 30 centimeter in plains
Areas of cultivation
- Suitable areas in india are West bengal, assam, meghalaya, maharashtra, kerala Orissa, Andhra pradesh, Uttar pradesh and tamil nadu
- Areas like assam and meghalaya where rainfall is high requires no supplemental irrigation
- Long pepper is shallow root crop and requires frequent irrigation and high humidity
- Partial shade is recommended for good growth
- flowers are unisexual
- Female spikes are 1.25 cm to 2 cm
- Male spkes are non productive and are 2.5 to 7.5 cm
- The plant grows wild in tropical rain forests of india
- High altitued is not conducive to high yield
- fruits take 2 montshs to mature from flowering
- Good intercrop between coconut and areca nut plantation
- Highly sensitive to drought and waterlogging
- Provide sufficient drainage as waterlogging is not healthy for the plant
- Ensure the soil is loose and has lots of organic matter by plowing the filed 3 times and harrowing it followed by leveling
Plant propagation and Planting
- vegetative Propagation from vines
- Vines with 3 notes from any part can be selected
- takes 15-20 days for rooting
- Can be direct planted in the field during monsoon or prepared in the nursery till rooting
- Nursery preparations should be done one month before the planned planting date
- Plant during monsoon (May/June)
- Planting distance 2 feet by 2 feet
- Viswam : a selection from Cheemathippili, Best for intercrop, Attanis 72 Cm height, prolonged flowering phase, Stout, short thick spikes, drark green when mature, 20% dry matter content,, Yields 240-270 days a year, 2.83% alkaloid.
- 20 Tones per hectare of FYM before first plantation .
- Annual application of FYM prior to monsoon
- No chemical fertilizers recommended
- Light poros soil
- Well drained
- Rich in organic matter
- Weeding should be done during initial stages
- No weeding will be required once plant covers the area.
- Usually takes 2-3 months for area to be covered.
- Mulching during summer prevents moisture loss.
Harvesting and drying
- Vines start fruiting in the sixth month
- The average Dry yield is 400 KG per hectare in the first year
- The third-year Dry yield is 1500 KG per hectare
- Once dried the ratio of 1:5 can be obtained
- Productivity is not economical after 3rd year
- Roots and thick stems can be harvested by the end of 3rd year
- The average yield of 500 KG root per hectare in third year for additional income
- harvest when spikes are Greenish but turning black
- The spikes are sun-dried for 4-5 days before storage and packing
- Average profit of 25000-75000 per hectare from the second year
- 3rd-year profit increases with sale of roots and stems apart from spikes