Peperomia pellucida

Botanical Name : Peperomia pellucida
Family: Piperaceae
Genus: Peperomia
Species: P. pellucida
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Piperales

Common Names: Throughout the Americas, it is known as pepper elder, silverbush, rat-ear, man-to-man, clearweed (North America); konsaka wiwiri (Guianas); coraçãozinho or “little heart” (Brazil); lingua de sapo, herva-de-vidro, herva-de-jaboti or herva-de-jabuti (South America).It is also called Crab Claw Herb.

In Oceania, it is called rtertiil (Belauan); podpod-lahe or potpopot (Chamorro).

In the different dialects of the Philippines, it is called pansit-pansitan or ulasimang-bato (Tagalog), olasiman ihalas (Bisaya), sinaw-sinaw or tangon-tangon (Bikol), and lin-linnaaw (Ilocano).

In other parts of Asia, it is known as càng cua (Vietnam); pak krasang (Thailand); suna kosho (Japan); rangu-rangu, ketumpangan or tumpang angin (Bahasa/Malay).

Habitat ; Flowering year-round, the plant is found in various shaded, damp habitats all over Asia and the Americas. It grows in clumps, thriving in loose, humid soils and a tropical to subtropical climate.

Description:
Peperomia pellucida is a small annual  herb, shallow-rooted herb, usually growing to a height of about 15 to 45 cm. it is characterized by succulent stems  with tiny flowers on a spike, shiny, heart-shaped, fleshy leaves and tiny, dot-like seeds attached to several fruiting spikes. It has a mustard-like odor when crushed.
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The family Piperaceae comprises about a dozen genera and around 3000 species.

Propagation: When matured, the small fruits bear one seed which fall of the ground and propagate.

Uses:
Peperomia pellucida has been used as a food item as well as a medicinal herb. Although mostly grown for its ornamental foliage, the entire plant is edible, both cooked and raw.

Constituents:
The analgesic properties of the plant seem to be related to its effect on prostaglandin synthesis.

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Anti-inflammatory, chemotherapeutic, and analgesic properties have been found in crude extracts of P. pellucida. It may have potential as a broad spectrum antibiotic, as demonstrated in tests against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa , and Escherichia coli (A. C. Bojo et al. 1994). Chloroform extracts from dried leaves of P. pellucida have been shown to exhibit antifungal activity against Trichophyton mentagrophytes.

Although the plant can cause asthma-like symptoms in patients with known hypersensitivity reactions to the species, no clinical data have yet been reported on human toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:
In Suriname’s traditional medicine, a solution of the fresh juice of stem and leaves is used against eye inflammation.  It is also applied against coughing, fever, common cold, headache, sore throat, diarrhea, against kidney – and prostate problems and against high blood pressure.  In Northeastern Brazil the plant is used in the treatment of abscesses, furuncles, and conjunctivitis.

Infusion and decoction or salad for kidney troubles, gout and rheumatic pains; pounded plant warm poultice for boils and abscesses.  Externally, it is used as a facial rinse for complexion problems. Leaf juice is used for colic and abdominal pains.  Avoid using with other pain relievers and diuretics. Used as a poultice for sore throats.  Suppresses peristalsis due to the volatile oil present

Ethnomedicinal uses for the plant vary. P. pellucida has been used for treating abdominal pain, abscesses, acne, boils, colic, fatigue, gout, headache, renal disorders, and rheumatic joint pain.

In Bolivia, Alteños Indians use the whole plant to stop hemorrhages. The roots are used to treat fevers and the aerial parts are used as dressing for wounds.

In northeastern Brazil, the plant has been used to lower cholesterol.

In Guyana and the Amazon region, it is a popular cough suppressant, emollient, and diuretic. It is also used to treat proteinuria.

In the Philippines, a decoction of the plant is used to decrease uric acid levels and to treat renal problems. It is also used topically for skin disorders such as acne and boils.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peperomia_pellucida
Piperaceae, Peperomia pellucida
http://www.icnhs-herbal-medicine.page.tl/Pansit_pansitan.htm
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

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