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Friday, July 29, 2011

Medicinal/EthnoherbologicalApplications of Pansit-pansitan or the Peperomia pellucida

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Peperomia pellucida in a wild habitat

Pansit-pansitan (family: Piperaceae) is an herbal medicine also known as Ulasiman-bato, olasiman-ihalas & tangon-tangon in the Philippines. English name: peperomia.Peperomia pellucida is an annual herb. It is shallow rooted and may reach 40 cm high. It has succulent and angular stems. Leaves are alternate, heart-shaped and turgid, as transparent and smooth as candle wax.Inflorescense is spike with tiny dot like flowers scattered along solitary stalik.Fruits are naked; they mature gradually from the base to the tip and turn brown when ripe. Propagation of the plant is brought about by seeds. Numerous tiny seeds drop off when mature and grow easily in clumps and groups in damp areas. They don’t have any dispersal mechanism and this is the reason behind their rare occurrence. One can see these plants growing in every rainy season again and again on the same place.
Peperomia grows on damp and often loose soil. It is found growing along the wet margins of drains, and in nooks in the gardens and yards. It is seen growing most often in the rocky parts of canals.
Nutritional value
Leaves and stems of the plant are commonly used by human beings who use it for salads, vegetables, and for medicinal purposes. Taken as a salad, Pansit-pansitan helps relive rheumatic pains and gout. An infusion or decoction (boil 1 cup of leaves/stem in 2 cups of water) can also be made and taken orally- 1 cup in the morning and another cup in the evening.
Infusion and decoction of leaves and stems are used for gout and arthritis. It is used externally, as a facial rinse for complexion problems. Pounded whole plant used as warm poultice for boils, pustules and pimples. Peperomia pellucida belongs to the “preferred list” of Philippine medicinal plants, being studied for its use in the treatment of arthritis and gout. For arthritis: Leaves and stems of the fresh plant may be eaten as salad. Or, as an infusion, put a 20-cm plant in 2 glasses of boiling water; and 1/2 cup of this infusion is taken morning and evening.
Peperomia pellucida has been reported to be used traditionally as an Anti-hyperuricemic Agent ie. it can be administered for lowering uric acid level in blood. Besides this, its applications have been reported for the treatment for abscess and boils, arthritis, edema, headache, kidney troubles, migraine, neuralgia, and rheumatism.
For the herbal treatment of skin disorders like abscesses, pimples and boils, pound the leaves and/or the stalks and make a poultice (boil in water for a minute or two then pounded) then applied directly to the afflicted area. Likewise a decoction can be used as a rinse to treat skin disorders. For headaches, heat a couple of leaves in hot water, bruise the surface and apply on the forehead. The decoction of leaves and stalks is also good for abdominal pains and kidney problems. Like any herbal medicine it is not advisable to take any other medication in combination with any herbs. Consult with a medical practitioner knowledgeable in herbal medicine before any treatment.
Key Words: Pansit-pansitan, Piperaceae, Ulasiman-bato, annual herb, Ethnoherbological,anti-hyperuricemic Agent                            More Reading...

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