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Botanical Name : Piper angustifolium
Species: P. aduncum
Common Names : Matico or Soldier’s herb, gusanillo, herbe du soldat, higuillo,wer-ui-qui-yik higuillo de hoja, hoja santa, jaborandi falso, jawawa, jointwood, kakoro, malembe toto,tupa burraco, man-anihs, matico pepper, matico, maticoblätter, matika, matiko, menuda, moco-moco, moho-moho, mucumucu, pimenta de fruto ganxoso, pimenta-de-fruto-ganchoso, upnpoingpoing, pimenta-de-macaco, pimenta-matico, Santa Maria negro, shiatani, soldaten kraut, soldier’s herb, spiked pepper, tapa-curaco, tokondé,
Habitat:Matico is native to Southern Mexico, the Caribbean, and much of tropical South America. It is grown in tropical Asia, Polynesia, and Melanesia and can even be found in Florida, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.
Matico is a tropical, evergreen, shrubby tree that grows to the height of 6 to 7 meter (20 to 23 ft) with lance-shaped leaves that are 12 to 20 centimeter (5 to 8 in) long.The tree produces cord-like, white to pale yellow, inflorescence spikes that contain many minute flowers that are wind-pollinated and that soon develop into numerous tiny drupes with black seeds. The seeds are then scattered easily by bats and birds. From these many seeds, it can form large stands of quickly-growing shrubby trees that can choke out other native vegetation. Established plants also thicken into clumps or stands by suckers arising from the root crown. In some countries Matico is considered as an invasive weed.
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In parts of New Guinea, although Matico is notorious for drying out the soil in the areas where it is invasive, the wood of this plant is nonetheless used by local residents for a myriad of uses such as for fuel and fence posts.
Edible Uses: The fruits are used as a condiment and for flavoring cocoa.It is sometimes used as a substitute for long pepper.
Part Used: The dried leaves.
Constituents: A volatile oil, slightly dextrogyrate, containing in some specimens Matico camphor. Some of the later specimens of oil are said to contain not camphor but asarol. A crystallizable acid called artanthic acid and a little tannin and resin are also found.
In the Amazon Rainforest, many of the native tribes use matico leaves as an antiseptic.It is effective as a topical application to slight wounds, bites of leeches, or after the extraction of teeth. The under surface of the leaf is preferred to the powder for this purpose. In Peru, it was used for stopping hemorrhages and treating ulcers, and in European practice in the treatment of diseases of the genitals and urinary organs, such as those for which cubeb was often prescribed.
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.