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Research Article Open Access
The genus Piper belongs to the family Piperaceae and has more than 2000 species. These plants are found almost all over the world. Some of these species are also found in India. In India these plants are mostly available in Northern part & North-Eastern part such as Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Khasi and Jayantia hills of Meghalaya, Assam, Manipur. Piper is mostly known for its commercial, economical and medicinal importance. These plants contain many chemical constituents such as pipereidine, chavicin, starch, protein, cineole, p-cymene, lignin, sesquiterpenes, piperlotine, benzoic acid derivatives, schimiditin and carvone; even volatile oils such as terpenes, phellandrene, caryophyllene, piperonal-dihydrocarbeol and caryophyllene oxide are found to be very rich in these plants. Various activities such as antifeeding, antibacterial, antifungal, antiinflammatory, antiamoebic, antiplatelets, insecticidal, antioxidant, cytotoxic, antiplasmodial, DNA damaging activities etc. are manifested by these plants. These plants are being utilized by many traditional medicinal system like Traditional Chinese Medicine, Indian Ayurvedic system and folklore medicine of Latin America. Some of these species are very much useful in preparation of spices like Piper nigrum which is known as the King of Spices and also enhance the bioavailability of food and drugs as a carminative. The fruits of Piper are used for the treatment of various diseases of respiratory tract viz. cough, bronchitis, asthma.
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Author(s): Rajat Ghosh, Katon Darin, Payel Nath, Panchali Deb