Bi Bo

Fructus Piperis Longi

Chemical Constituents

The primary active constituents in Piper longum are piperine, piplartine, and piperlongumine. Piperine constitutes four to five percent of the essential oil derived from the catkins. Additional active chemicals include several piperidine alkaloids, dihydrostigmasterol, sesamim, terpenines and isobuyldeca-trans-2-trans-4-dienamide. [3]


The dosage is between 1.5 to 3 grams depending upon condition and preparation. [1]



Bi Bo has a pungent taste and hot property. It dispels cold from the stomach and spleen. [4] It works most specifically in the stomach and intestines where it warms deep cold and releases constrained cold in the large intestine. It is used to drive Qi energy downwards. It has strong dispersing qualities that are useful in treating toothaches and sinus headaches. [2] 


Antiparasitic activity: 

A 1996 study found that an ethanolic extract of Bi Bo cured ninety percent of rats with an intestinal infection of Entamoeba histolyca, a common intestinal parasite. [5] 

Antioxidant activity: 

Bi Bo also exhibits antioxidant activity in rats at dosages of 250mg/kg to 500 mg/kg. The same study states that P. longum is also useful in reducing oxidative stress caused by used by Adriamycin. [6] 

Antiplatelet activity: 

The acidamides in Bi Bohave an antiplatelet effect, therefore inhibiting thrombus in rats. [7] 

Anti-hyperlipidemic activity: 

Bi Bo has been shown to have antihyperlipidemic effects comparable to existing prescription drug therapy. [8]

Anti-asthmatic activity:

A 1980 study of asthma in children age 1 to 12 found Indian Bi Bo to greatly reduce both the severity and frequency of asthmatic incidents. The study consisted of 240 children all suffering from asthma, taking increasing doses of the powdered fruit two to three times a day, starting at from as little as 1g per dose to a maximum of 30 g per dose. Once the maximum dosage was reached, each successive dose contained decreasing amounts of P. longum until the original dosage level was reached. The results of this treatment dramatically reduced the symptoms of asthma in nearly 80 percent of the subjects. Those of the majority found that asthmatic symptoms not only occurred less frequently, but with significantly decreased severity. A small minority of 8 percent, however, found that their symptoms were aggravated after the treatment. [9] 

Other activity: 

Gastric ulcer has been reported to be effectively treated by piper longum in rats by increasing mucus production as well as increasing pepsin. [10] Piper longum also inhibits cell adhesion according to a 2005 study. [11]


No documentation

Interaction and Depletions

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation

Interaction with Drugs

No documentation

Precautions and Contraindications

Side effects

Traditional practitioners caution that Bi Bo may drain Qi energy. [2] 

Generally considered safe for use as directed.


Not to be used by pregnant or nursing women without supervision of a healthcare professional.

Age limitation

No documentation

Adverse reaction

There is potential for gastrointestinal hemorrhage with internal overdose of Fructus Piperis Longi possibly due to the piperine content. [2]


  1. Z. You-Ping. Chinese Matria Medica: Chemistry, Pharmacology and Applications. Florida: CRC Press; 1998; pp 352-353.
  2. D. Bensky, S. Clavey, E. Stoger, A. Gamble. Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica, 3rd Edition. Seattle WA:Eastland Press;2004.701.
  3. M.S. Premila. Ayurvedic Herbs: A Clinical Guide to the Healing Plants of Traditional Indian Medicine. Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Press; 2006.
  4. Z. You-Ping. Chinese Matria Medica: Chemistry, Pharmacology and Applications. Florida: CRC Press; 1998; 360.
  5. S. Ghoshal, B.N. Prasad, V. Lakshmi. Antiamoebic activity of Piper longum fruits against Entamoeba histolytica in vitro and in vivo. J Ethnopharmacol. Mar1996;50(3):167-170.
  6. A.S. Wakade, A.S. Shah, M.P. Kulkarni, A.R. Juvekar. Protective effect of Piper longum L. on oxidative stress induced injury and cellular abnormality in adriamycin induced cardiotoxicity in rats. Indian J Exp Biol. Jul 2008;46(7):528-533.
  7. B.S. Park, D.J. Son, Y.H. Park, T.W. Kim, S.E. Lee. Antiplatelet effects of acidamides isolated from the fruits of Piper longum L. Phytomedicine. Dec2007;14(12):853-855.
  8. Z. Jin, G. Borjihan, R. Zhao, Z. Sun, G.B. Hammond, T. Uryu. Antihyperlipidemic Compounds from the Fruit of Piper longum L. Phytother Res. 26Jan2009.
  9. A. Fernandes, F. Tavares, V.B. Athavale. Asthma in children: a clinical controlled study of piper longum in asthma. Paediatr Clin India. 1980;15: 45-52.
  10. A.K. Agrawal, C.V. Rao, K. Sairam, V.K. Joshi, R.K. Goel. Effect of Piper longum Linn, Zingiber officianalis Linn and Ferula species on gastric ulceration and secretion in rats. Indian J Exp Biol. Oct2000;38(10):994-998.
  11. S. Kumar, P. Arya, C. Mukherjee, B.K. Singh, N. Singh, V.S. Parmar, A.K. Prasad, B. Ghosh. Novel aromatic ester from Piper longum and its analogues inhibit expression of cell adhesion molecules on endothelial cells. Biochemistry. 6Dec2005;44(48):15944-15952.