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Shiny Bush (Pansit-pansitan)

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Shiny Bush (Pansit-pansitan) Peperomia pellucida in a Pot growing with other plants.
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Shiny Bush (Pansit-pansitan) - Peperomia pellucida

Pansit-pansitan is a small, fleshy herb (about 40 cm tall), which grows in yards, nooks and other damp areas. The plant have green, heart-shaped leaves, fleshy stems that produce tiny flowers on a spike. The small, oblong-shaped fruits turn to black when ripe. Parts uses are leaves and stems.

Information verbatim from wikipedia: Peperomia pellucida is an annual, shallow-rooted herb, usually growing to a height of about 15 to 45 cm. it is characterized by succulent stems, shiny, heart-shaped, fleshy leaves and tiny, dot-like seeds attached to several fruiting spikes. It has a mustard-like odor when crushed. The family Piperaceae comprises about a dozen genera and around 3000 species. The genus Peperomia represents nearly half of the Piperaceae with the genus Piper making the bulk of the rest.

Common names

  • source: wikipedia:

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). 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); rinrin (Nigeria).

Medical Uses of Shiny Bush (Pansit-pansitan) - Peperomia pellucida

  • Fresh juice made from stem and leaves controls eye inflammation or minor eye problems.
  • Crushed whole plant as warm poultice, is effective for pimples, boils, and wound.
  • Concoction of leaves used in treating fevers, headaches, sore throats, coughs, common colds, and diarrheas.
  • Boiled leaves and stems is used for gout, arthritis, rheumatic pains, and conjunctivitis. The mixture is also effective in controlling high blood pressure.
  • Juice made from leaves and stem, taken externally, is a good facial wash for skin problems.
Herbal remedies in zamboanga.PNG

Where Shiny Bush (Pansit-pansitan) - Peperomia pellucida Grows

This is a tropical plant and grows like weed in any damp area.

News About Shiny Bush (Pansit Pansitan)

Olasimang Bato/SINAW-SINAW

(edad50, Granny'sBackyard)

Sinaw-sinaw (Peperomia pellucida Linn) or tangon-tangon(Bicol) also known as ‘ulasimang bato’, ‘pansit-pansitan’(Tagalog), ‘sida-sida’, ‘tangon-tangon’, ‘olasiman ihalas’(Bisaya), or ‘ lin-linnaaw’(Ilocano), is an annual herb, shallow rooted, with succulent stems that often grows in groups in nooks in the gardens, plant pots, yard or even on top of your uncleaned roof tops. It grows in rocky parts of canals and considered weeds and pulled out by most gardeners. The leaves are heart shaped and turgid, transparent and smooth. It has tiny dotlike flowers scattered along solitary and leaf-opposed stalk. Tiny numerous seeds drop off when mature and grow easily in clumps in any damp area.

In America, it is known as pepper elder, silver bush, rat ear, man-to-man, clearweed in North America, konsaka wiwiri in Guianas, coraçãozinho or "little heart" in Brazil, lingua de sapo, herva-de-vidro, herva-de-jaboti or herva-de-jabuti in South America. The Oceanas called it rtertiil ( Belauan), podpod-lahe or potpopot (Chamoro).

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).

Many Filipinos are still ignorant of this nutritious and medicinal plant so they ignore and pull it away from their backyards. Don’t you know that a 100 gram of Ulisimang Bato could contain 1.1 grams of carbohydrates, 0.5 gram of protein,0.5 gram of fat,94 mg of calcium,13 mg of phosphorus,4.3 mg of iron,1250 ug of beta-carotene and 2 mg of ascorbic acid or vitamin c; which we need in our daily diet, wherein it could be eaten raw as part of a salad meal? The leaves and stems can be eaten as vegetables. I remember my mother mixing it with sautéed mongo bean, or mixed it with other vegetable dish. Sometimes she would make a very yummy salad that has the crispness of a carrot stick and celery.

In terms of medicinal value, Ulasimang bato could help one in their arthritis, headache and convulsion, abdominal pains, kidney problems, skin problems and gout. It could also decrease one’s Uric acid and tophi formation if one has high Uric acid levels. In Bolivia, a decoction of roots is used for fever, and aerial parts for wounds while in Brazil, it is used to lower cholesterol, for treatment of abscesses, furuncles and conjunctivitis. Ulasimang bato is also antipyretic (that is why it relieves headache), antifungal (which kills particularly the Trichoployton mentagrophytes fungal parasite) and antibacterial (which kills bacterias like Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria).

Sinaw-sinaw or ulasimang bato is popular for the treatment of gout and arthritis. Leaves and stems of the fresh plant maybe eaten as salad or as a medicinal tea. Infuse or put a 20cm. plant in 2 glasses of boiling water. Take ½ cup of this infusion in the morning and 1/2 cup in the evening. Or a decoction of the leaves taken 3 times a day every after meal. Here is how to do it; wash the leaves thoroughly, cut and chop into small pieces. Boil in 2 glasses of chopped leaves with 4 glasses of water, let it boil for 15 minutes under low fire without cover, cool then strain. Drink 1/3 glass of this decoction 3 times a day after each meal.

Sinaw-sinaw is also good for cleansing the kidney. Put fresh leaves in a pitcher of water and drink it daily. For kidney stones and those with high uric acid levels, boil 8 inches of plant for every two glasses of water. Drink ten (10) glasses a day for a month. This dissolves kidney stones. Toward the end of the program, you would notice you urinate cloudy, milky stone-filled urine. Continue drinking the brew for a few days more for good measure. This program cleans the kidneys of lithiasis and, thereby, cures Renin-induced secondary hypertension where the underlying cause of renin secretion is kidney lithiasis.

It can be used as facial rinse for complexion problems. Pounded whole plant is used as warm poultice for boils, pustules and pimples.

However, lactating women or a breastfeeding mother and pregnant women should not take or use sinaw-sinaw. Even those who have asthma –like symptoms should not take sinaw-sinaw as it might be triggered by hypersensitivity reactions to certain plant species.




Pansit-pansitan , a Herbal Medicine for Arthritis, Gout, Pimples,etc.

By Adelfa Mallapre

Pansit-pansitan (family: Piperaceae) is used as a herbal medicine for the treatment of:

• Arthritis
• Gout
• Skin boils, abscesses, pimples
• Headache
• Abdominal pains
• kidney problems

Pansit-pansitan is also known as Ulasiman-bato and tangon-tangon in the Philippines. Its English name is peperomia. Its leaves and stalk are edible. It can be harvested, washed and eaten as fresh salad. 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.

For the herbal treatment of 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.

Always listen to your body's messages. Do not ignore its complain. Herbal medicines are good at the start of symptoms. If sysmptoms persist, however, see your doctor.

Be healthy and enjoy life!


Root Awakening

By Dr Wilson Wong(Certified practising horticulturist and Green Culture Singapore (www.greenculturesg.com) founder , NParks-certified park manager)
Shiny Bush has medicinal properties

What is the name of this plant? Does it have medicinal properties and is it safe to eat? - Sim Lay Koon http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/default/files/articles/2017/07/01/ST_20170701_NZROOT01F44N_3239384.jpg

The plant is commonly called Shiny Bush or Pepper Elder. Its botanical name is Peperomia pellucida.

It is a weed that grows frequently in gardens and flower pots. It can be eaten or cooked.

The Shiny Bush has medicinal properties. For example, it has been reported that its bruised leaves are used to treat headaches caused by fever, while the sap from the leaves can be used for abdominal pain and colic.

But you should check with a certified medical practitioner if you want to use the plant to treat ailments.

Tip: Sawtooth Coriander thrives in Singapore's climate

The true coriander (Coriandrum sativum) can be a difficult plant to grow in the hot lowland tropics as it tends to flower prematurely.

A good substitute is the Sawtooth Coriander (Eryngium foetidum, above), which thrives in Singapore's climate. It can be grown in the ground outdoors or in containers in apartments.

To get a good flavour from the plant, grow it under direct sunlight, although it can tolerate some shade.

Its leaves are very pungent, so only a small amount should be used to flavour dishes.

Belimbing fruit gives sambal a tangy kick

Are the fruit of this tree edible? -- Debbie Siow

http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/default/files/articles/2017/07/01/ST_20170701_NZROOT012JVL_3239386.jpg

The tree is known by various names such as the Belimbing, Cucumber Tree and Tree Sorrel.

Its botanical name is Averrhoa bilimbi and is closely related to the starfruit plant.

Its edible sour fruit is used in sambal, curry, pickles and chutneys to give them a tangy kick. It has a range of traditional medicinal uses too.

Due to its high acidity, the juice from the fruit is used to remove rust.

This tree thrives in a sunny spot outdoors in fertile, well-drained soil.

Indian Borage a substitute for oregano

My son came home from a farm visit with this plant and it has been flourishing ever since. What is it and can I cook it or use it to treat illnesses? -- Jennifer Wee

http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/default/files/articles/2017/07/01/ST_20170701_NZROOT01GF4Y_3239385.jpg

Known botanically as Plectranthus amboinicus, this plant also goes by its common name, Indian Borage. As it is sometimes used as a substitute for oregano, it is also known as Cuban Oregano.

It is a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae, and is often mistaken for the common mint plant. There are two variegated cultivars of the Indian Borage - the edges of the leaves are either white or yellow.

Locally, this plant is used to treat coughs. Its leaves are boiled and the liquid is drunk to soothe the throat.

Young shoot tips of sweet potato best for eating

Are the leaves of the sweet potato plant edible? -- Lim Mui Huang

http://www.straitstimes.com/sites/default/files/articles/2017/07/01/ST_20170701_NZROOT01OIXO_3239383.jpg

The leaves of the sweet potato (botanical name - Ipomoea batatas) are edible. The leaves of some cultivars may be more palatable than others. To avoid a fibrous texture, you should pick only the young tender shoot tips for cooking.


The Anti-inflammatory Properties of Pansit-pansitan and Turmeric for the Treatment of Gout and Arthritis

(asianherbsforhealth admin)

http://www.asianherbsforhealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/pansit-pansitan-and-turmeric.jpg

I am part of some Facebook groups that focus on herbal treatment and medication and I have seen quite a number of questions about gout and arthritis.

So here are some of the best anti-inflammatory herbal medicine that could help you with the treatment of gout and arthritis.

More and more people are discovering the power of herbs and vegetables. I know that like me, some of you prefer to take herbal medicine rather than ingesting synthetic ones.

By sharing my story, I hope to help speed up your recovery and also save you a few bucks from buying expensive medication from the pharmacy.

Pansit-pansitan (Peperomia pellucida) or Ulasimang Bato

Pansit-pansitan is a fleshy shallow rooted herb used as herbal medicine and food. Its scientific name is Peperomia pellucida Linn. Other people call it as ulasimang bato, clear weed, shiny bush, silver bush, Cao hu jiao.

Pansit-pansitan grows anywhere and as its other names suggest, it’s just weed but it’s one of the most well-known Asian herbs because it is packed with great benefits.

According to folk medicine, this weed has been widely used for the following health conditions: eye inflammation, skin inflammation, wounds, sore throat, prostate problems, arthritis, high blood pressure, mental excitement disorder, abscesses, gout, skin boils, fever, burns, pimples, headache, abdominal pains, and kidney problems.

Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Pansit-pansitan

Did you know that the Philippine Department of Health only recommends 10 medicinal herbs in the Philippines?

Pansit-pansitan or Ulasimang bato is one of them.

Research and studies have shown that Pansit-pansitan has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that are very effective in the relief of joint pain caused by arthritis.

A study has also shown that Pansit-pansitan extract can reduce uric acid level in the blood. This means you can use it as an herbal supplement to control gout attacks, as a substitute for allopurinol.

How can I use it at home?

1. Pansit-pansitan tea:

– Wash the leaves thoroughly. 3 to 4 times to get rid of all the soil.
– Including the roots, boils a cup of pansit-pasitan in 3 cups of water.
– Drink half a cup, 3x a day.

2. Pansit-pansitan salad

– Wash the leaves thoroughly. 3 to 4 times to get rid of all the soil.
– Cut into small pieces (do not include the roots).
– Add some sliced onions.
– Dissolve a teaspoon of sugar in 3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and add a pinch of pepper.
– Mix all ingredients together.
What is Turmeric or Luyang Dilaw?

Ever eaten curry? Then you’ve probably already eaten turmeric because it is the main ingredient in the curry spice.

The food industry has used turmeric widely as a coloring/flavoring agent for mustard, curry, some butter, and cheese. The chemical that gives turmeric its color is curcumin and it is also the substance that gives it its medicinal properties.

In Philippines folkloric medicine, mothers have used turmeric as treatment for fever. For years, many Filipinos thought this was the only use for this Asian herb. But that is just the tip of the iceberg — Turmeric has so much more to offer.

The Latin name for turmeric is “Curcuma Longa” and it has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic herbal medicine. (Ayurveda is the 5,000-year-old natural healing system of India)

Because of its many health benefits, this Asian herb has also earned the name “the Golden Goddess.”

Turmeric has plenty of health benefits which include:

– improvement of brain function
– lowers cholesterol
– antioxidant
– effective disinfectant
– moderates insulin level
– relieves pain and inflammation caused by arthritis
How to take it?

Because turmeric is considered as a food supplement, you can easily purchase them in health stores and even the grocery.

Turmeric is now available in powder form, capsules, or extracts. It is only recommended to be taken by adults though. Studies to administer them to children have not been approved yet.

If you are using its roots you can take 1.5 to 3 grams a day. If you are taking the fluid extract you can take 1 to 2 teaspoon per day.

Precaution: If you are taking other medications please consult your doctor before taking turmeric. According to study, curcumin strengthens the effects of blood thinning drugs and drugs that reduce stomach acids, as well as diabetes medications.

My Take on the Health Benefits of Pansit-pansitan and Turmeric

Among all the health benefits of Pansit-pansitan andTurmeric, I like them best for their powerful anti-inflammatory and properties.

You see, my dad has gout and I really feel bad when he gets attacks. Sometimes the pain becomes too much that you can’t even put a blanket over the inflamed area.

We consulted a doctor and he prescribed different drugs but we knew he needed to change his diet if we wanted the attacks to stop.

There’s a number of dishes he can no longer eat plus he doesn’t drink coffee anymore. He has now replaced it with turmeric tea.

My dad also takes Pansit-pansitan with Turmeric capsules that we personally make and thankfully… they really work!


Health Benefits of Shiny Bush (Pansit-Pansitan)

(Healthy Food Healthy Tips)

Shiny Bush or Silver Bush, locally known as Pansit-pansitan, is a common fleshy shallow rooted herb that has been used as food item as well as a medicinal herb . The entire plant is edible both cooked or raw. Pansit-pansitan has taken its niche in the folkloric herbal medicine providing health benefits for gout, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

Pansit-pansitan grows to about 15 to 45 cm in height in damp and lightly shaded areas. It has been used as food item as well as a medicinal herb for its analgesic, anti-arthritic, diuretic activity. The entire plant is edible both cooked or raw.

Pansit-pansitan plant can grow wild but also grown as ornamental foliage. It is characterized by its shiny heart shaped leaves about 4 cm in length, growing from an erect translucent green stalks. Pansit-pansitan has tiny dot-like flowers that grow from erect and slender green spikes that turn brown when matured. The fruits are also very small, round to oblong, ridged, first green later black. Tiny seeds drop off that grows easily in groups.

Pansit-pansitan Traditional Health Benefits

Pansit-pansitan is widely used as folkloric herbal medicine. Pansit-pansitan is known for the following health benefits:

Eye inflammation,
Sore throat,
Diarrhea,
Prostate problems,
High blood pressure,
Arthritis,
Gout,
Skin boils,
Wounds,
Burns,
Skin inflammation,
abscesses,
pimples,
Headache
Fever,
Abdominal pains ,
Renal problems,
Mental excitement disorder.
Analgesic / Anti-inflammatory action of Pansit-pansitan

Pansit-pansitan has been traditionally used to treat fever, cough, common cold, headache and arthritis. In a study of aerial parts of peperomia extract in mice indicated that that it exhibited anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. The anti-inflammatory activity was attributed to interference with prostaglandin synthesis. In another study done on rabbits, pansit-pansitan extract exhibited an anti-pyretic activity which indicates that it is comparable to standard aspirin.

Anti-cancer

A study have isolated compounds in P.Pellucida that has inhibitory actions against growth of some cancer cells. This shows its potential as an anti-cancer supplement.

Antioxidant

In a study done on P.Pellucida extract, it has shown that it has a strong scavenging activity against free radicals suggesting that pansit-pansitan is a good natural anti-oxidant.

Anti-bacterial

A study has isolated a compound called patuloside A, a xanthone glycoside from P. pellucida that is found to have broad spectrum antibacterial activity.

Anti-arthritic

A study have shown that extracts from pansit-pansitan combined with ibuprofen treatment has significantly improved the symptoms associated with arthritis. Particularly that of knee joint rheumatism.

Uric Acid reduction in blood

In a controlled study involving rats, extracts from P. pellucida were administered and uric acid levels were monitored. The study have shown that rats that were subjected to pansit-pansitan extract indicated a 44% reduction of uric acid level in blood while those that are given allopurinol drug have shown 66% reduction in uric acid level. This results show that pansit-pansitan may contain compounds that maybe used as alternative to allopurinol to control uric acid levels in the blood.

Depressant

In a study done in Bangladesh, mice were given nikethamide to induce excitement. The mice were later administered with extracts from pepperomia pellucida to determine its depressant activity. The results of the study suggest that pansit-pansitan extract has a dose dependent depressant activity that is beneficial for treatment of excessive mental excitement.disorder.

Pansit-pansitan Usage, Dosage
Where can I buy / get Pansit-pansitan?

Pepperomia Pellucida or pansit-pansitan grows wild in nooks and corners in damp lightly shaded areas. The whole plant can be harvested fresh, eaten raw as in salad ingredient or cooked with other vegetables and meat.

Pansit-pansitan tea can be prepared by collecting stems and leaves mixed with boiled water or formed into poultice to be applied topically over skin wounds and inflammation.

Pansit-pansitan Tea
• Wash freshly gathered Pansit-pansitan plant parts
• Chop then add in 4 cups of water for every 1 cup
• Let it boil for 10 to 15 minutes with the pot cover removed.
• Let it steep then strain.
• Drink half cup of Pansit-pansitan tea three times a day.
• Pansit-pansitan tea concoction can be stored in suitable glass container for later consumption.
• Dried leaves are more potent. Reduce the blend by half.
Pansit-pansitan Use, Warnings and Side Effects

Pepperomia Pellucida or pansit-pansitan intake and use has no reported side effects for most people. In a study done on pansit-pansitan extract overdose in mice, it was suggestive of a moderately wide margin of safety of the plant

Pregnancy and Breast feeding

There are no sufficient studies made to determine the side effects of Pepperomia Pellucida (Pansit-pansitan) taken in medicinal amounts to infants and babies. Stay on the safe side, avoid taking Pansit-pansitan in herbal medicine dosage when pregnant and while breast feeding.

Allergies

In rare cases, the herb has caused allergic reaction as side effect.

Stay healthy and positive! Share and make your loved ones aware!


Paleo Tuna Spaghetti with Pansit-pansitan

(luvy, Chop, Chat and Chomp)

I was glad to see my plants growing abundantly in my garden after more than two weeks of not seeing them. Thank God for my household help who tended my garden while I was away.

I decided to try making spaghetti using carrots as pasta (Erich taught me this idea) so I can make use of these plants.

I have not cooked spaghetti since I turned Paleo and Tommy's eyes brightened when he saw what I was serving him. Spaghetti was his favorite and still is. I didn't tell him it was carrots, I just let him eat. He liked it! He consumed half of it, I ate one-fourth, the remaining we will bring to my kids for them to taste. We will be going there in their apartment in a few hours.

I would love to share the recipe :)

Paleo Tuna Spaghetti with Pansit-pansitan
• 2 big carrots, julliened, enough olive oil to fry the carrots (I used mild and light tasting olive oil for frying)
• Sauce:
- olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 big onion, chopped
- 5 medium tomatoes, sliced
- 1 can tuna in brine
- sea salt and freshly-ground pepper
- chili flakes
- oregano and basil, chopped
- pansit-pansitan for garnishing
-- Fry the carrots in olive oil and set aside.
• For the sauce:
- Saute garlic, onions, tomatoes in olive oil.
- Add tuna with the liquid.
- Season with sea salt and pepper.
- Add chili flakes.
- Add the oregano and basil.
- On a platter, place the carrots and top with sauce.
- Garnish with the pansit-pansitan.
- Serve while hot.

Happy cooking!


Plant Profile: Peperomia

(Cindy, Indoor Low Light Gardening)

Peperomia is a genus of small, tropical plants which are accustomed to growing in low light. Popular for their compact growth habits, ornamental foliage and diversity of appearance, peperomia plants are a low light gardener's dream come true. There are more than 100 cultivated species from which to choose, each with varying leaf size, color and texture.

Description:

Peperomia plants are compact, reaching 12 inches in length and up to 36 inches in width. Appearance between species is varied, but all peperomia share a few common characteristics. Thick, fleshy evergreen leaves are typical of the plant, although they may be any number of different shapes. Some are heart or lance-shaped and others are oval or strappy. A few peperomia species feature trailing, thread-like leaves, which makes them more suitable for hanging baskets than other types.

Many species of peperomia produce tiny, non-ornamental flowers which are borne on upright, conical flower spikes (pictured on right). The lush leaves of the plant, which can be solid green, marbled or striped, are supported by thick stems which also vary in color from green to pink or red. Leaves may be tinged with colors of creamy white, yellow, gray or red, which makes for very colorful and attractive foliage.

Other Names:

Peperomia is also known as baby rubber plant, pepper face, radiator plant, and American rubber plant. Although these names usually only apply to one species of peperomia (p. obtusifolia), they are often mistakenly given to any species in the genus.

Habitat:

Native to southern Florida, South and Central America, and tropical areas of Africa, peperomia's natural habitat is a shady forest floor. Peperomia plants thrive in high humidity, moist soil and low light levels. They are best grown in small containers or hanging baskets, no larger than 6 inches in diameter, and should always be kept slightly pot bound.

Soil:

Peperomias are happiest in light, airy well-drained soil. While they like moisture, they don't like to stand in water, which may cause fungal diseases. Add loam, sand, bark or styrofoam beads to a high-quality organic potting mix for the best results. Avoid peat moss and other moisture retaining materials if possible.

Light:

Low light is best for peperomia plants, although they will tolerate medium or even bright light. However, always avoid direct sun.Variegated species are not recommended for low light areas, as the leaves will lose their coloration. As a general rule, variegated foliage requires more sunlight than darker green foliage. Keep this in mind while choosing a variety, particularly if you have very low light levels indoors.

Temperature:

Temperatures should be kept between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, which isn't too difficult indoors. Peperomia are tropical plants, and can sustain serious damage from the cold if temperatures drop below 50 degrees, so keep them away from drafty windows in the winter.

Water:

Peperomia are not very drought tolerant, but they also don't like living in wet or soggy soil. It's a delicate balance, and extremes on both end should be avoided. Drench the soil thoroughly each time you water, but allow it to dry out in between waterings. A peperomia plant grown in low light may only need watering once every 7 to 10 days.

Humidity:

Mist the leaves occasionally during spring and summer with a spray bottle containing lukewarm water to increase humidity around the plant. Peperomia plants like high humidity, and a well-placed humidifier can cut down on the manual misting.

Fertilizer:

Soil should not be kept overly fertile, as peperomia are naturally slow-growing. and over fertilization can cause excessive growth. Feed plants once per month using a 20-10-20 NPK houseplant fertilizer. Refer to the manufacturer's directions for proper dosage and apply a half-strength dose at each feeding.

Pruning:

Little to no pruning is required for slow-growing peperomia plants. Simply trim back any stems that outgrow their bounds as needed.

Repotting:

Move peperomia plants to a larger pot any time the roots have wrapped completely around the bottom of the growing container. Repot in spring while the plant is actively growing when necessary, although peperomia plants rarely outgrow their pots. However, you may wish to repot once every two years simply to replace the potting mix.

Pests/Diseases:

Peperomia are very susceptible to root rot and edema, a disease in which they take on too much water. Keep the soil well-drained to avoid these problems. Wilting may be caused by too little light, low temperatures or excessive watering. Mealy bugs and spider mites can be a problem. Check foliage regularly for evidence of pests. Treat problems immediately by removing the insects by hand or using a recommended insecticide.


"Pansit-pansitan", weeping willow, and "takip kuhol"

By Dr Abe V Rotor

"Pansit-pansitan" (Piperomia pellucida) relieves arthritis, and lowers uric acid. But as a general rule cnsult your family doctor.

Pansit-pansitan or olasiman-inhalas (linlinna-aw Ilk). It is a succulent weed growing in moist and shady places. Pellucidus means waxy or translucent which is characteristic of this common annual plant. I can vouch for the effectiveness of this herbal remedy. This is how it is used.

• Gather the fresh plants from around the house, usually among potted plants. Leave the main stem and roots to grow new shoots for the next harvest.

• Wash the stems and leaves with running water. You may remove the elongated floral part which bears plenty of tiny black seeds.

• Boil two cups of water for three minutes. Three to four stems make a decoction. Allow it to cool.

• You may add honey or sugar while decoction is still hot.

• Add hot water for a second or third serving. It may be taken liberally at anytime or until ailment subsides.

• There are other ways pansit-pansitan is prepared. In Vietnam’s Ho ChiMinh public market it is sold in bundles as salad vegetable. It reaches a length up to two feet.

It is usually served fresh or blanched. I found out that pansit-pansitan can be taken with coffee by simply adding to it while it is very hot. Or simply dip into a cup of to piping hot water, and allow it to cool. Pandan mabango (Pandanus odoratissimus) may be added to flavor the drink. Patients may find relief in a day or two. If there is any allergic reaction such as diarrhea or palpitation, discontinue the treatment and see your doctor.

Weeping willow is a natural pest repellant. It drives mosquitoes and flies around. You save on expensive and dangerous pesticides by having a tree in the yard. Its leaves exude fresh and pleasant smell in the surroundings. The leaves when crushed is best for aromatherapy. It exudes fresh menthol. Burn some dried leaves to drive out vermin like mosquitoes and cockroaches. Try some crushed leaves as deodorant in the bathroom and bedroom.


Pansit-Pansitan And Its Surprising Health Benefits

(News Health Today)

Pansit-pansitan is an herb commonly found in gardens, but is used for its medicinal values. This herb can be consumed with or without cooking. Also, it has taken its niche in the herbal medicine as a great way to fight arthritis, gout and other related inflammatory conditions.

This plant is easy to spot. It is characterized by its shiny leaves that resemble the shape of the heart. It also has tiny dot-like flowers that grow out of slender green spikes. The fruits of the pansit-pansitan plant are also small. Pansit-pansitan is widely utilized as an herbal medicine for a good number of illnesses. In addition to it growing in the gardens, it can also be spotted in damp areas that are lightly shaded.

Take a look at the health benefits of pansit-pansitan and its effect to the overall health: What Are The Health Benefits Of Pansit-Pansitan?

Here are the different illnesses that pansit-pansitan can help prevent if taken on a regular basis:

• Headache
• Fever
• Abdominal pains
• Diarrhea
• Prostate problems
• High blood pressure
• Eye inflammation
• Sore throat
• Arthritis
• Gout
• Skin boils
• Wounds
• Burns
• Skin inflammation
• Pimples

Here are the in-depth heath benefits of pansit-pansitan:

Analgesic – This plant has been used for many centuries as a treatment to coughs, common cold and fever. In addition, it exhibits an anti-pyretic effect, which can be compared to the standard aspirin.

Antioxidant – It is known that pansit-pansitan has a strong scavenging activity to fight free radicals. It means that it is a good antioxidant for the body.

Antibacterial – It is proven that pansit-pansitan contains the compound known as xanthone glycoside. This particular compound has a wide range of antibacterial activity, meaning pansit-pansitan has good antibacterial properties.

Anti-cancer – Pansit-pansitan contains inhibitors that get rid of any possible growth of cancer cells. It also shows that this plant has a high potential if becoming a good anti-cancer supplement.

Reduction of uric acid in the blood – Studies show that pansit-pansitan contains compound significant to the reduction of uric acid in the blood. These compounds are a great alternative to allopurinol for controlling the levels of the uric acid in the body.

Although pansit-pansitan has no known side effects, it must be taken with precaution. If you are breastfeeding, avoid this plant. There are also cases, albeit rare, of allergies related to pansit-pansitan.


Can adding Peperomia Pellucida to the water cleanse it from bacteria ?

By Emmanuel Santiago

The plant known as Peperomia Pellucida is a native plant in the caribbean and South America. It can be called "Prenetaria","shiny bush", "rabbits ear". etc. depending on the country it is found. It is an annual herb and likes to appear in places with high humidity.

Bacteria in water

Regular drinking water can contain harmful bacteria that can cause diseases in human beings. A common bacteria that can be found in water is the Legionella, which are bacteria that can cause a type of pneumonia known as "Legionnaires disease". Most of the bacteria in water is eliminated using harmful chemicals such as Cl in water. Another bacteria called Coliforms are common in water. Under the coliform group we can find the E. Coli Bacteria.

Uses

Peperomia Pellucida is commonly used to treat abdominal pain, headaches, rheumatic pain, gout, kidney-problems, cardiac arrhythmia and fatigue. In Surinam a solution of the fresh juice of stem and leaves is used against conjunctivitis.Worldwide, the plant is used to cure conjunctivitis and skin sores. Also, it is cultivated on purpose for medical reasons.

How?

By adding the plant known as "Peperomia Pellucida" to contaminated drinking water in our home as some days pass the plant will eliminate the bacteria. I will fill a bowl with 28 fl. oz. of water and detect what type of bacteria are growing in the water. Later, I shall add 2 pieces of 4 inches of "Peperomia Pellucida" to the water and let it rest for 4 days. Then i will analyze a portion of that water and check for remaining bacteria. The process of analyzing samples of water will be repeated once every 4 days 3 times or until there aren't any remaining bacteria.

Peperomia Pellucida is a natural medicinal herb that can be used in the cleansing of water from harmful substances like Chlorine. Since it is widely used in water for medicinal and water cleansing purposes we can use this plant in order to eliminate bacteria that grow in our water.

The U.S. General Accounting Office reports that there are serious deficiencies in water treatment plants in 75% of the states. This means that most water we consume has bacteria or is contaminated. The use of chlorine sometimes isn't very effective and results in the formation of dangerous compounds such as chloroform in our drinking water supplies.


Indigenous herbs to cure diseases?

By Helen Flores

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is evaluating the medicinal use of more indigenous herbal plants that could be used in the treatment of some diseases, officials said yesterday.

Dr. Jaime Montoya, executive director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PHRD), said research and development involving several plants is currently being undertaken.

Among the plants are peperomia pellucida (ulisimang bato) and blumea balsamifera (sambong) for urolithiasis, Corchorus olitorius (saluyot) and cassia fistula (kanya pistula) for constipation, mimosa pudica (makahiya) for malaria, anona muricata (guyabano) and psidium guajava (bayabas) for tuberculosis.

Some of the available herbal medicines in the market today are Momordica charantia (ampalaya) tablet for Type II diabetes mellitus, vitex negundo (lagundi) tablet for cough and asthma, cassia alata (akapulko) lotion for fungal infection, and menthe cordifolia (yerba buena) for pain.

Research showed that ampalaya has blood sugar-lowering benefits.

Montoya, however, said recent study showed that ampalaya leaves contain more polypeptide-P, a plant insulin that has blood-sugar-lowering benefits.

He said herbal medicine comprised 3.5 percent of the total pharmaceutical market.


Vietnamese Crab Claw Herb (Peperomia pellucida)

(greentropicals)

Salad Pepperomia, Vietnamese Crab Claw Herb(Rau Càng Cua) (Peperomia pellucida)

Culinary : A small plant with bright green heart-shaped shiny succulent leaves used in salad. The best salad plant ever! The whole plant’s foliage (all leaves and branches) is washed and tossed into salads. Goes well with any of your favorite salad dressing.

Medicinal : The leaves contain antibacterial antibacterial activity against Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus, and antifungal activity. It can be eaten without cooking or heating. It can cure, fever, headache, stomachache and weak body.


Pansit-Pansitan And Its Surprising Health Benefits

(Woman Today)

Gardening and health go well together.

Last issue, we featured four of the 10 medicinal plants that the Department of Health deems should be a part of any Filipino garden. Here's the continuation of the said list.

SAMBONG (Blumea Camphor) For kidney stones, edema (manas) and hypertension To prepare the decoction: Wash the leaves and chop into pieces. Measure 2 glasses of water and 1 glass of chopped leaves. Boil under low fire for 15 minutes without cover. Allow to cool and strain. The decoction is ready for drinking. Take 1/3 glass thrice a day.

YERBA BUENA (Mentha cordiflia Opiz) For body pain To prepare the decoction: Wash the leaves and chop into pieces. Measure 2 glasses of water and 1 glass of chopped leaves. Boil under low fire for 15 minutes without cover. Allow to cool and strain. The decoction is ready for drinking. Take 1/3 glass thrice a day.

AKAPULKO (Cassia alata) For fungus e.g ringworm (buni), tinea flava (an-an) and scabies (galis aso) To prepare: Pound the leaves and extract the juice. Place juice on affected areas once or twice a day. It can also be taken as a decoction. Boil 1 glass of chopped leaves into 2 glasses of water for 15 minutes. Use the decoction to wash the affected areas once or twice a day.

AMPALAYA (Momordica charantia) For diabetes mellitus The leaves and fruits of the ampalaya can be eaten either steamed or cooked, or as part of other dishes. A decoction can also be made: Wash the leaves and chop into pieces. Measure 2 glasses of water and 1 glass of chopped leaves. Boil under low fire for 15 minutes without cover. Allow to cool and strain. The decoction is ready for drinking. Drink a glass 30 minutes before a meal.

NIYUG-NIYUGAN (Quisqualis indica) For intestinal worms Only the seeds are used and they should be mature seeds which are then diced and cracked to remove the flesh/nut. Adults should take 8 to 10 seeds; from 7 to 12 years old, about 6 to 7 seeds; from 6 to 8 years old, about 5 to 6 seeds; from 4 to 5 years old, about 4 to 5 seeds. Seeds should be consumed 2 hours after a meal. Seed ingestion should be repeated when initial dose has no effect.

ULASIMANG BATO OR PANSIT-PANSITAN (Peperomia pellucida) For high uric acid level The pansit-pansitan can be eaten as a salad or a decoction can be made. To prepare the salad: Wash 1-½ glasses of mature leaves. Season with salt and pepper. To prepare the decoction: Wash the leaves and chop into pieces. Boil 2 glasses of the leaves in 4 glasses of water for 15 minutes. Cool and strain. Drink 1/3 glass after every meal or thrice a day


Pansit-Pansitan And Its Surprising Health Benefits

(OFW AKO)

Pansit-pansitan is an herb commonly found in gardens, but is used for its medicinal values. This herb can be consumed with or without cooking. Also, it has taken its niche in the herbal medicine as a great way to fight arthritis, gout and other related inflammatory conditions.

This plant is easy to spot. It is characterized by its shiny leaves that resemble the shape of the heart. It also has tiny dot-like flowers that grow out of slender green spikes. The fruits of the pansit-pansitan plant are also small. Pansit-pansitan is widely utilized as an herbal medicine for a good number of illnesses. In addition to it growing in the gardens, it can also be spotted in damp areas that are lightly shaded.

Take a look at the health benefits of pansit-pansitan and its effect to the overall health: What Are The Health Benefits Of Pansit-Pansitan?

Here are the different illnesses that pansit-pansitan can help prevent if taken on a regular basis:

• Headache
• Fever
• Abdominal pains
• Diarrhea
• Prostate problems
• High blood pressure
• Eye inflammation
• Sore throat
• Arthritis
• Gout
• Skin boils
• Wounds
• Burns
• Skin inflammation
• Pimples

Here are the in-depth heath benefits of pansit-pansitan:

Analgesic – This plant has been used for many centuries as a treatment to coughs, common cold and fever. In addition, it exhibits an anti-pyretic effect, which can be compared to the standard aspirin.

Antioxidant – It is known that pansit-pansitan has a strong scavenging activity to fight free radicals. It means that it is a good antioxidant for the body.

Antibacterial – It is proven that pansit-pansitan contains the compound known as xanthone glycoside. This particular compound has a wide range of antibacterial activity, meaning pansit-pansitan has good antibacterial properties.

Anti-cancer – Pansit-pansitan contains inhibitors that get rid of any possible growth of cancer cells. It also shows that this plant has a high potential if becoming a good anti-cancer supplement.

Reduction of uric acid in the blood – Studies show that pansit-pansitan contains compound significant to the reduction of uric acid in the blood. These compounds are a great alternative to allopurinol for controlling the levels of the uric acid in the body.

Although pansit-pansitan has no known side effects, it must be taken with precaution. If you are breastfeeding, avoid this plant. There are also cases, albeit rare, of allergies related to pansit-pansitan.


MEDICINAL USES OF “PANSIT-PANSITAN”

(OFW AKO)

Shiny Bush or clear weed (Pansit-pansitan in the Philippines), with scientific name Peperomia bilineata Miq.; Peperomia pellucida Linn.; Peperomia hymenophylla Miq. is commonly a small bush which grows in lawns and idle lots.The plant has a distinct heartshaped shiny leaves with soft branches.It can also be used for food as a vegetable.

Pansit-pansitan is a potent source of different nutrients and minerals that can be beneficial to the body like zinc,manganese ,iron,copper.It has significantly high sodium content. Its branches contains carbohydrates,alkaloids,tannins,flavonoids,steroids and triterpenoids.

USES OF PANSIT-PANSITAN AS MEDICINE:

You can make a tea by boiling the leaves and the branches together with clean water.Here are the diseases that can be cured by using pansit-pansitan:

1.Arthritis and rheumatism or gout. It has natural pain reliever and anti-inflammatory properties for people who are suffering from joint pains such as arthritis,rheumatism or gout.

2.Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Drink the tea made from boiling the branches and leaves.

3.Uneven skin tone. Rinse your skin using the water from boiled leaves.Just make sure that it is warm enough or cooled down first before using.

4.Boils Crush the leaves and branches using mortar and pestle and apply it directly into the boils.

5.High Cholesterol level. Eating the plant like vegetable can help lower high cholesterol level.

6.Pimples. Apply crushed leaves to the affected part.It will help soothe the pimple and get rid of the inflammation.


Pansit-pansitan or Shiny Bush (Peperomia pellucida)

(Practical Gardening)

It is also locally known as Ulasimang-Bato. Recently, we've started adding this plant as part of our veggies. First, because it grows readily almost anywhere. Second, because of its medicinal properties. It is one of the 10 recommended medicinal plants of the Department of Health. The 10 are: Bawang, Lagundi, Akapulko, Bayabas, Ampalaya, Niyog-niyogan, Sambong, Yerba Buena, Ulasimang-Bato and Tsaang-Gubat (BLABAN-SYUT). We take it as a salad. The barest preparation is to add some vinegar after thoroughly washing it. You can also add some chopped onions, black pepper, cucumbers, etc. Here are some of the plants on a shallow pot.

From philippineherbalmedicine.org:

Pansit-Pansitan (Peperomia pellucida Linn.) a.k.a. Ulasiman-Bato or Pansit Pansitan

Pansit-pansitan (family: Piperaceae) is an herbal medicine also known as Ulasiman-bato, olasiman-ihalas & tangon-tangon in the Philippines. English name: peperomia. It is a small herb that grows from 1 to 1 1/2 feet. Pansit-pansitan can be found wild on lightly shaded and damp areas such as nooks, walls, yards and even roofs. Pansit-pansitan has heart shaped leaves, succulent stems with tiny flowers on a spike. When matured, the small fruits bear one seed which fall of the ground and propagate.

The leaves and stalk of pansit-pansitan are edible. It can be harvested, washed and eaten as fresh salad. 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.

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.

Pansit-pansitan is used as an herbal medicine for the treatment of:

• Arthritis
• Gout
• Skin boils, abscesses, pimples
• Headache
• Abdominal pains
• kidney problems

From stuartxchange.com:

Botany

An annual herb, shallow rooted, may reach 40 cm high, with succulent stems. Leaves are alternate, heart-shaped and turgid, as transparent and smooth as candle wax. Tiny dotlike flowers scattered along solitary and leaf-opposed stalk (spike); naked; maturing gradually from the base to the tip; turning brown when ripe. Propagation by seeds. Numerous tiny seeds drop off when mature and grow easily in clumps and groups in damp areas.

Distribution

An annual herb, favoring shady, damp and loose soil. Often grows in groups in nooks in the garden and yard. Conspicious in rocky parts of canals.

Parts utilized

Leaves and stems.

Constituents and properties
• Considered anti-inflammatory, refrigerant, analgesic, antifungal, anticancer.
• Study yielded 5 new bioactive compounds: two secolignans, two tetrahydrofuran lignans, and one highly methoxylated dihydronaphthalenone. source
Uses
Nutritional
-Leaves and stems may be eaten as vegetable.
-In salads, the fresh plant has the crispness of carrot sticks and celery.
Folkloric
-Infusion and decoction of leaves and stems are used for gout and arthritis.
-Externally, as a facial rinse for complexion problems.
-Pounded whole plant used as warm poultice for boils, pustules and pimples.
-In Bolivia, decoction of roots used for fever; aerial parts for wounds.
-Used for headaches, rhumatic pains, impotence.
-In Brazil, used to lower cholesterol; for treatment of abscesses, furuncles and conjunctivitis
New uses
-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.
Studies
• Analgesic / Antiinflammatory: Extract study of aerial parts of PP tested in rats and mice exhibited anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities.
• CNS Depressant Activity: Study of peperomia leaf extract showed dose-dependent depressant effects probably due to psychoactive substances that are CNS depressant.
• Antipyretic: Study of PP leaf extract on rabbits showed antipyretic effects comparable to a standard aspirin.
• Antibacterial: Study of methanolic extract of PP exhibited a very good level of broad spectrum antibacterial activity.
Availability
-Wild-crafted.

Phytotherapy plants that heal

By Cheshire Que

I grew up in a home surrounded by various plants and fruit trees. Although I was given western medicine whenever I got sick, I was not totally ignorant of the use of medicinal plants as my grandfather was a believer that plants had healing properties.

I was transported back in time as I wandered through Nurture Farmacy’s unique vegetable plots, which were intricately shaped liked the organ systems of the body. Nurture “Farmacists” donned in traditional Filipino costumes expertly explained the medicinal benefits of the plants, which are specific to illnesses of the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, reproductive system, digestive system as well as for general wellbeing.

Nurture Farmacy’s fertile soil yields a melange of herbs, fruits, and vegetables such as kale. This green leafy vegetable belongs to the cabbage family or cruciferous type of vegetables. It is nutrient dense, high in fiber, a good source of protein, rich in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, calcium, and lutein, which promotes eye health.

One of the Nurture “Farmacists” gave me a quick lesson on phytotherapy focusing on 10 plants that heal:

Altamisa – This plant is wrapped in a banana leaf and heated over fire. The extract is then taken pure to treat kabag or gas pain, indigestion, and dysmennorhea. It is also said to have antibacterial properties good for post pregnancy.

Oregano – This plant is rubbed on the skin to treat acne and dandruff. It can also be boiled or heated to get the extract to relieve cough and colds.

Taheebo – This plant has antimicrobial properties, which can prevent or alleviate symptoms of urinary tract infection (UTI). This is usually prepared and drunk as tea.Phytotherapy plants that heal mb2

Akapulko – The leaves are crushed and rubbed on to the affected area. This is used to treat skin diseases like buni or ringworm, which is caused by fungal infection.

Katakataka – As simple as pounding the leaves will release cool fluid that will make you feel better when you are feverish. Apply the leaf onto the forehead. This plant also relieves throbbing pain, especially from wounds.

Mayana – This reddish plant can be applied to treat bruises, bukol or lumps, itchiness, and skin allergy.

Pansit pansitan – This herb is steamed and eaten first thing in the morning to help control blood glucose level for people with diabetes or insulin resistance.

Sulasi – A single sniff of this aromatic herb is more powerful than ammonia when used for fainting spells. It also relieves dizziness. Crush leaves and apply to temple area.

Pandakaki – This plant is often boiled to ease stomachache. When crushed, it releases a white extract that can be applied to areas pricked with thorns for easy removal.

Turmeric – Commonly known as luyang dilaw, this plant has anti inflammatory properties that can prevent diseases like cancer. It can be added to recipes or drunk in the form of tea.

If you have any medical condition or are taking any medication, consult your doctor before taking any home remedies. Remember to regularly eat fresh, whole foods to nourish your body and prevent diseases. Let food be your first medicine and the kitchen be your first pharmacy.

Nurture Farmacy is a DOT accredited organic farm tourism destination located at Amadeo, Cavite. www.nurturefarmacy.com; www.nurturewellnessvillage.com;

cheshireque@gmail.com; www.cheshireque.com; Instagram/@cheshirequerdn



Peperomia pellucida (pansit-pansitan)

(Less Meat Diet)

Peperomia pellucida is an annual, shallow-rooted herb, usually growing to a height of about 15 to 45 cm. The plant flowers year-round and is characterized by succulent stems, shiny, heart-shaped, fleshy leaves and tiny, dot-like seeds attached to several fruiting spikes. It has a mustard-like odor when crushed. It grows in clumps and thrives in loose, humid soils in various shaded, damp habitats and a tropical to subtropical climate; it may be found all over Asia and the Americas.

Peperomia pellucida has been used as a food item as well as a medicinal herb; the entire plant is edible, both cooked and raw (good for salads). 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 the Philippines, P. pellucida is also known as pansit-pansitan or ulasimang bato; it is one of the 10 herbal medicines approved by the Philippines’ Department of Health. A decoction of the plant (boil 1 ½ cups of the herb with 2 cups of water for 15-20 min) is used to decrease uric acid levels (as a remedy for rheumatism and gout) and to treat renal problems. It is also used topically for skin disorders such as acne and boils.

I found several clumps growing in my garden while I was weeding (yes they grow as weeds) and thought I’d make some herbal tea. It tasted fine by itself but you could probably add some honey if it suits you.

Though the plant is available the whole year round, if you find them growing abundantly in your garden, you may want to dry them for longer storage. You may even want to give them as gifts this coming holiday season.


Two Sisters and the Maroons

(Jamaica Observer)

If ever there was a reminder of the deep importance of honouring the past in order to understand the future, visiting the Maroons of Charles Town, Portland was certainly it. Long fascinated with Maroon life and culture, this for us was an inspiring journey of discovery. While it has been established that we have the Maroons to thank for what has become Jamaica's most famous food export, "jerk", there is so much more to Maroon cuisine. Flavours that were both familiar and yet distinctly different were abundantly present in the meal we shared with Colonel Frank Lumsden and the Charles Town community.

Our meal, made sacred after the invocation and blessing by the Colonel, was a literal feast spread wide across a table dressed with banana leaves. Rice and peas; susumber vegetable run down; wild jerked hog cooked in the pit, plut — a supremely delicious combination of vegetables, dumplings, potatoes and spices cooked down in coconut milk custard; fresh bammy cooked on the griddle without oil, along with lots of vegetables both fresh and raw.

There were many defining moments of our visit to Charles Town; most were experienced during our chat with Paul "Pablo" Atkinson while he cooked the wild hog in a shallow pit in the yard, the same way his forefathers would have done it centuries ago. Wild hog is less fatty than pork because of its lean, primarily vegetable-based diet; and unlike jerk pork it is seasoned with an exotic medley of fever grass (lemon grass), bird pepper, pepper elder leaves, bay leaves, French thyme, wild ginger and escallion, among other things. The hog was originally cooked in a pit covered with the leaves of the pepper elder tree in an effort to prevent smoke detection by the British militia.

In the kitchen with cooks Claudia Brown and Marcia Douglas (who is also a drummer and dancer), we again encountered, the minty, aromatic flavour of pepper elder, the lemony wisp of fever grass, and the punch of bird pepper, together regular additions to most dishes in Charles Town, along with more expected seasonings like thyme, ginger, and Scotch bonnet. We learned that the Maroon diet is heavily vegetarian, and very natural. Meat is mainly consumed at feasts or celebrations.


Our day came to a perfect end after our delicious spread, with the pulsating rhythm and harmony of the drums. We danced and sang with our hosts, as our ancestors would have done hundreds of years ago, in a practice that was pure, elemental, and magical. It was a message to us, of the need to revisit our history and our heritage to fully appreciate how beautiful and blessed a people we are.

Maroon-Style Jerked Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Sweet Potato and Plantain

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

For Maroon-Style Jerk Marinade

2 tablespoons ground allspice

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon chopped ginger

3 cloves chopped garlic

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 stalk fever grass (lemon grass), chopped

1 handful pepper elder leaves (optional)

6-10 bird peppers (or 1 to 2 Scotch bonnet) based on personal taste

6 stalks escallion, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup pineapple juice

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon cracked pepper

Water as needed (optional)

3 lbs pork tenderloin

6 bay leaves (fresh or dried)

Method

Put all ingredients for pork marinade except bay leaves in a blender and puree till smooth. Thin with a little water if necessary.

Marinate pork tenderloin by massaging the marinade into the meat reserving excess marinade. Crumble and sprinkle bay leaves over marinated meat and allow it to rest for at least 2 hours. Remove pork from marinade and season with salt.

Place meat on a warmed charcoal grill set at medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes, turning and basting with leftover marinade liquid. Let the meat rest 5-10 minutes before carving, and serve with cumin and pimento roasted sweet potatoes.

Cumin and Pimento Roasted Sweet Potato and Plantain

Ingredients:

4 medium sweet potatoes

2 medium ripe plantains

1 tablespoon cumin

1 teaspoon ground allspice (pimento)

2 tablespoon fresh thyme, whole

1/4 cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, sliced

Salt

Pepper

Method

Peel and cube potatoes and plantain. Toss with oil, salt, pepper, garlic, cumin and allspice and let sit for 15 minutes. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread in a single layer on a baking tray. Roast for 15 minutes at 425 degrees until the potatoes are brown on outside and crispy. Lower heat to 400 and continue to roast for a further 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through inside and crispy on outside.


ULASIMAN-BATO

(Pharmacy Informatics 2014)

(Scientific Name: Peperomia pellucida, Family Name: Piperaceae, Common Name: Peperomia)

Ulasiman- bato is an annual herb, shallow rooted,may reach 40 cm high, with succulent stems. Leaves are alternate, heart-shaped and turgid, as transparent and smooth as candle wax. Tiny dotlike flowers are scattered along solitary and leaf-opposed stalk (spike); naked; This grass grows in moist areas in Southeast Asia. Its heart-shaped leaves, about 1.5cm diameter, are shiny and watery and are very soft, easily destroyed.maturing gradually from the base to the tip and is turning brown when ripe.

Numerous tiny seeds drop off when mature and grow easily in clumps and groups in damp areas. These plants are usually propagated by seeds. They are also commercially propagated by cuttings. Peperomia cuttings root easily. Plants can be divided at potting time. They are removed and separated into smaller pieces, each with a few roots attached. Leaf or stem cuttings can also be taken in the spring or summer. The lower leaves of the shoots are removed and a cut is made below the bottom node (joint). They are then laid on a bench for an hour or two to allow a protective corky skin to form over the cuts. They are then inserted in a propagating case with bottom heat of 70-75 degrees F. It is best not to seal the top completely, as the plants are semi-succulent in nature and excessive humidity is detrimental. When enough roots have formed, cuttings can be planted in 3-inch pots or in hanging baskets.

Peperomia pellucida is used as a tea for a loose cough. In the Grenadines, where it is called silver bush, it provides a tea for undernourished children. In Africa it is frequently employed in infusions for convulsions. In Trinidad, where it is called shiny bush, it is used for colds and as a cooling medicine for children. In Jamaica this plant is still included among the ubiquitous "cold bushes": it is considered especially valuable as a children's remedy. One informant who had resided in Cuba said that it is an excellent "blood cooler" and helps one to sleep.

PARTS USED:

Leaves (fresh)

Stems (fresh)

The two major uses of ulasimang bato are:

1. Rheumatism and gout. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes 1 1/2 cup herb with 2 cups or water.

2. Salad. In addition or replacement to your favorite lettuce.


One way to make pancit pancitan available the whole year round is to dry it. You may also want to sell it for business.

1. Wash it gently with running water.

2. Rinse and place in front of electric fan immediately to remove adhering water drops.

3. Arrange in trays and air dry at room temperature. Air drying is recommended because high temperature might destroy its herbal potential. Drying time may take weeks.

4. Pack in clean plastic bags and seal.

ACTIVE CONSTITUENTS:

Preliminary phytochemical screening of methanol extracts of stems yielded carbohydrates, alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, steroids, triterpenoids, with the absence of saponins and proteins. Study yielded 5 new bioactive compounds: two secolignans, two tetrahydrofuran lignans, and one highly methoxylated dihydronaphthalenone. Proximate analysis of leaves yielded a high ash content, a higher crude fiber content, and a still higher carbohydrate content. Mineral analysis showed low manganese, iron, zinc and copper, with high sodium content. Phytochemical screening yielded alkaloids, cardenolides, saponins and tannins. An ether soluble fraction of the whole plant yielded 4,7-dimethoxy-5-(2-propenyl)-1, 3-benzodioxole or apiol, in a liquid state, 2,4,5,-trimethoxy styrene, mp 138°, and three phytosterols, campesterol, stigmasterol and β-sitosterol. Study of essential oil showed the main components to be dillapiole (39.7%) and trans-caryophyllene (10.7%).

The plant Peperomia pellucida was found to have variety of chemical constituents. Phytochemical screening revealed the presence of alkaloids, cardenolides, saponins and tannins, while anthraquinones was observed to be absent. Stem also contain alkaloid, tannins, flavanoids and steriods, except saponins. The roots of Peperomia pellucida also had shown the presence of alkaloid, tannins, steroids and carbohydrates etc. The essential oils of the plant were found primarily in medical literature. One study identified 71 compounds from the essential oils of 10 Piperaceae species. Sesquiterpenes appear to be the major chemical constituents in the essential oils. Carotol (13.41%) was the major hydroxylated sesquiterpene in a chemical analysis of Peperomia pellucida. Flavonoids, phytosterols, arylpropanoids (eg, apiols), substituted styrenes, and a dimeric ArC2 compound or pellucidin A have been isolated. Antifungal activity has been documented for arylpropanoids such as the apiols. Other compounds, like the peperomins, have cytotoxic or anticancer activity in vitro. Isolated flavonoids include acacetin, apigenin, isovitexin, and pellucidatin. Isolated phytosterols include campesterol and stigmasterol.

Also contains five new compounds (1−5), including two secolignans, two tetrahydrofuran lignans, and one highly methoxylated dihydronaphthalenone. These compounds were accompanied by the known peperomins A, B, C , and E , 7, 8 - trans 8, 8‘ – trans -7‘ ,8‘- cis- 7, 7‘ – bis (5-methoxy-3,4 methylenedioxyphenyl) - 8 - acetoxymethyl- 8‘ hydroxymethyltetrahydrofuran, 7, 8 – trans - 8, 8‘ – trans - 7‘, 8‘ – cis -7- (5-methoxy-3,4 methylenedioxyphenyl) -7‘ -(4-hydroxy -3, 5-dimethoxyphenyl) -8, 8‘ diacetoxymethyltetrahydrofuran , sesamin , and isoswertisin . Patuloside A (3-β-D-glucopyranosyloxy-1, 5, 6-trihydroxy-9H-xanthene-9-one) is a xanthone glycoside isolated from Peperomia pellucida.

TRADITIONAL USE:

Plants have played a significant role in maintaining human health and improving the quality of human life for thousands of years, and served as valuable components of food and medicines. Peperomia pellucida leaves and stems may also be eaten as vegetable. In salads, the fresh plant has the crispness of carrot sticks and celery. As Ethno-medicinal uses of this plant Peperomia pellucida has been applied for treating abdominal pain, abscesses, acne, boils, colic, fatigue, gout, headache, renal disorders, and rheumatic joint pain. In Bolivia, Altenos 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 the cholesterol level. 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. In different region of Lakshmipur district of Bangladesh, the leaves of the plant are used by local people in the treatment of excited mental disorder. It is also used topically for skin disorders such as acne and boils. In South America, A solution of the fresh juice of stem and leaves is used against eye inflammation. Infusion and decoction of leaves and stems are used for gout and arthritis. According to Manila Medical Society P. pellucida is used to relieve arthritic pains, but can cause CNS depression. This plant has externally used as a facial rinse for complexion problems. Pounded whole plant used as warm poultice for boils, pustules and pimples and also used for headaches, rheumatic pains and impotence. Peperomia pellucida is also used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It is described in Ayurveda as – Rasa – Katu and Madhur; Guna- Lakhu, rooksha, Teekshna; and Virya- Ushna. The plant is described to passify vitiated cough, pitta, constipation, kidney diseases, urinary retention, dysuria, urinary tract infections, emaciation, edema and general weakness. Infusion and decoction of leaves and stems of fresh plant are eaten as salad for the treatment of gout and arthritis. According to Ethno-botanical studies the whole plant has been in medicinal use since long. It is crushed and mixed with water to form a mixture, heated and administered orally to cure hemorrhage. It is also been applied against coughing, fever, common cold, headache, sore throat, diarrhea, against kidney and prostate problems and against high blood pressure.

Traditionally, the plant is used for the treatment of infected wounds and for the management of a variety of dermatologic conditions. It is similarly used in Tropical West Africa for this purpose. Recently, the anti-inflammatory activity of the plant has been studied, especially in relation to the treatment of arthritis and gout.

Whole plant – as warm poultice to treat abscesses, boils and pimples, rheumatism and fatigue.
bruised leaf – for headache, convulsions.
infusion or decoction-against gout, kidney troubles, rheumatic pain, externally as rinse for complexion problems.
Leaf juice – for colic and abdominal pains.
Eaten as fresh salad.
PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTIVITY:

Peperomia pellucid (Sinaw-Sinaw) is one of the herbal medicines highly recommended by the Philippines Department of Health. This plant has been proven to possess therapeutic benefit through properly proven scientific method of herbal medicine preparation. DOH considers it effective in fighting arthritis and gout. The cupful of leaves can be eaten fresh like a salad or tea. The plant is also taken as decoction. A cup of clean chopped leaves is boiled in two cups of water for 15 to 20 minutes. The preparation is strained and is drunk after meals.

Infusion and decoction of leaves and stems are used for gout and arthritis.

Externally, it is used as a facial rinse for complexion problems.

Pounded whole plant used as warm poultice for boils, pustules and pimples.

Analgesic / Anti-inflammatory action of Pansit-pansitan

Pansit-pansitan has been traditionally used to treat fever, cough, common cold, headache and arthritis. In a study of aerial parts of peperomia extract in mice indicated that that it exhibited anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. The anti-inflammatory activity was attributed to interference with prostaglandin synthesis. In another study done on rabbits, pansit-pansitan extract exhibited an anti-pyretic activity which indicates that it is comparable to standard aspirin.

The research utilizes a crossover pre and post research design. Convenience sampling was done on the selection of the respondents. Ibuprofen was used as a model treatment to base the effectivity of the decoction. The study has two interventional phases the decoction phase and the ibuprofen phase which lasted for a month in each phase. Result showed that both the twice a day intake of the peperomia pellucida decoction and the ibuprofen treatment taken as needed for pain, indeed has significantly lowered the mean scores on the pain, stiffness, and disability on the WOMAC arthritis index among the respondents. Recommendations for further studies involve devising a strategy to be able to compare the effect of peperomia pellucida decoction and the standard therapy treatment for joint rheumatism, this should involve a proper randomization sampling of the respondents, proper blinding methods, a placebo, and a non-pharmacologic methods should be included and tested in that study.

Extract study of aerial parts of PP tested in rats and mice exhibited anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities. The antiinflammatory activity was attributed to interference with prostaglandin synthesis. Results also showed low toxicity.

Anti-cancer Activity of Pansit-pansitan

A study have isolated compounds in P.Pellucida that has inhibitory actions against growth of some cancer cells. This shows its potential as an anti-cancer supplement.

Antioxidant activity of Pansit-pansitan

In a study done on P.Pellucida extract, it has shown that it has a strong scavenging activity against free radicals suggesting that pansit-pansitan is a good natural anti-oxidant.

Anti-bacterial activity of Pansit-pansitan

A study has isolated a compound called patuloside A, a xanthone glycoside from P. pellucida that is found to have broad spectrum antibacterial activity.

Anti-arthritic Activity of Pansit-pansitan

A study have shown that extracts from pansit-pansitan combined with ibuprofen treatment has significantly improved the symptoms associated with arthritis. Particularly that of knee joint rheumatism.

Uric Acid reduction in blood

In a controlled study involving rats, extracts from P. pellucida were administered and uric acid levels were monitored. The study have shown that rats that were subjected to pansit-pansitan extract indicated a 44% reduction of uric acid level in blood while those that are given allopurinol drug have shown 66% reduction in uric acid level. This results show that pansit-pansitan may contain compounds that maybe used as alternative to allopurinol to control uric acid levels in the blood.


Depressant activity of Pansit-pansitan

In a study done in Bangladesh, mice were given nikethamide to induce excitement. The mice were later administered with extracts from pepperomia pellucida to determine its depressant activity. The results of the study suggest that pansit-pansitan extract has a dose dependent depressant activity that is beneficial for treatment of excessive mental excitement.disorder.

Study of peperomia leaf extract showed dose-dependent depressant effects probably due to psychoactive substances that are CNS depressant.

TOXICITY:

1. P pellucida when taken in excessive amounts showed a dose-dependent increase in adverse effects in the major systems of the body such as integumentary, musculo-skeletal, nervous, respiratory, digestive and urogenital, covering the dose range from 6 g to 32 g per kg body weight of mouse. There was also a delayed appearance of adverse effects such as delayed time of death, delayed appearance of soft faces, and delayed recovery or no recovery from weight loss. [11]

2. Oral median lethal dose (LD50) in male and female adult mice observed over a 14-day period was 11.78 g/kg body weight + 0.69 SE (95% confidence limits: 10.42, 13.12 g/kg). [11]

3. The moderate slope of the dose-response line (Y= -4.2966 + 8.6795x) was suggestive of a moderately wide margin of safety of the freeze-dried aqueous extract powder. [11]

Conclusion:

The LD50 of P pellucida in male and female mice over a 14-day observation period was 11.78 g/kg body weight + 0.69 SE (95% confidence limits: 10.42, 13.12 g/kg). P pellucida when taken in excessive amounts showed a dose-dependent increase in adverse effects in the major systems of the body. The moderate slope of the dose-response line was suggestive of a moderately wide margin of safety of the plant. [11]


Nigeria: Eating to Beat Stroke

By Chukwuma Muanya

Analysis

Are you hypertensive or/and diabetic? If the answer is yes, then you have higher risk of having a stroke. But researchers have found eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts; replacing butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil; using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavour foods; limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month; drinking red wine in moderation, which is optional; regularly engaging in physical activity; and of course keeping your blood pressure under control would lower the risk of getting a stroke. CHUKWUMA MUANYA writes.

A stroke is a sudden loss of brain function. It is caused by the interruption of flow of blood to the brain (ischemic stroke) or the rupture of blood vessels in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke). The interruption of blood flow or the rupture of blood vessels causes brain cells (neurons) in the affected area to die.

The effects of a stroke depend on where the brain was injured, as well as how much damage occurred. A stroke can impact any number of areas including your ability to move, see, remember, speak, reason and read and write.

Stroke is the second leading cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability worldwide. It is estimated that at least 16,000 new stroke cases are recorded annually in Nigeria.

Stroke risk factors, according to a study published in the Nigerian Medical Journal included hypertension (82.7 per cent), obesity (32.6 per cent), diabetes (23.5 per cent), hyperlipidemia/high lipid levels (18.4 per cent), atrial fibrillation/ most common abnormal heart rhythm (9.2 per cent), and cigarette smoking (7.7 per cent).

The researchers from the National Hospital, Garki, Abuja; College of Medical Sciences, University of Maiduguri, Borno State; and the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja recommend among other things improved public awareness of vascular risk factors, smoking-cessation campaigns, and aggressive control of hypertension.

However, according to updated American Heart Association (AHA)/American Stroke Association (ASA) guideline published in the American Heart Association's journal Stroke, eating Mediterranean or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)-style diets, regularly engaging in physical activity and keeping your blood pressure under control can lower your risk of a first-time stroke.

According to Wikipedia, the Mediterranean diet is a modern nutritional recommendation originally inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of Greece, Southern Italy, and Spain. The principal aspects of this diet include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of meat and meat products.

Lead author of the study and professor and chairman of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, United States, James Meschia, said: "We have a huge opportunity to improve how we prevent new strokes, because risk factors that can be changed or controlled -- especially high blood pressure -- account for 90 percent of strokes."

Meschia added: "Talking about stroke prevention is worthwhile. In many instances, stroke isn't fatal, but it leads to years of physical, emotional and mental impairment that could be avoided."

The updated guidelines recommend these tips to lower risk:

•Eat a Mediterranean or DASH-style diet, supplemented with nuts.

•Don't smoke. Smoking and taking oral birth control pills can significantly increase your stroke risk. If you're a woman who experiences migraines with aura, smoking raises your risk of stroke even more than in the general population.

•Mediterranean-style or DASH-style diets are similar in their emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, poultry and fish. Both are limited in red meat and foods containing saturated fats, which are mostly found in animal-based products such as meat, butter, cheese and full-fat dairy.

•Mediterranean-style diets are generally low in dairy products and DASH-style diets emphasize low-fat dairy products.

•Avoiding secondhand smoke also lowers stroke and heart attack risks, according to the guidelines.

•Monitor high blood pressure at home with a cuff device.

•Keep pre-hypertension from becoming high blood pressure by making lifestyle changes such as getting more physical activity, eating a healthy diet and managing your weight.

•Reduce the amount of sodium in your diet; sodium is found mostly in salt.

•Visit your healthcare provider annually for blood pressure evaluation.

•If your medication to lower blood pressure doesn't work or has bad side effects, talk to your healthcare provider about finding a combination of drugs that work for you.

The writing committee reviewed existing guidelines, randomized clinical trials and some observational studies.

The DASH diet is a dietary pattern promoted by the U.S.-based National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services) to prevent and control hypertension.

The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods; includes meat, fish, poultry, nuts, and beans; and is limited in sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, red meat, and added fats. In addition to its effect on blood pressure, it is designed to be a well-balanced approach to eating for the general public. It is now recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as an ideal eating plan.


How to Make Pancit Pancitan Tea (Ulasimang Bato)

(marvin, foodrecap)

Pancit pancitan or ulasimang bato is one of the 10 herbal medicine approved by the Department of Health.

Here is the complete list.

1. Lagundi (Vitex negundo L.)
2. Yerba Buena (Clinopodium douglasii)
3. Sambong (Blumea balsamifera L. DC)
4. Tsaang Gubat (Carmona retusa (Vahl) Masam.)
5. Niyog- Niyogan (Quisqualis Indica L.)
6. Akapulko (Cassia alata L.)
7. Ulasimang-bato (Peperonia pellucida)
8. Bawang (Alium sativum L.)
9. Ampalaya (Momordica charantia (L.) DC)
10. Guava (Psidium guajava L.) < – – this one is my favorite

The two major uses of ulasimang bato are:

1. Rheumatism and gout. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes 1 1/2 cup herb with 2 cups or water.
2. Salad. In addition or replacement to your favorite lettuce.

I gathered some of it from my mother’s garden and prepared the tea as instructed.

I added few granules of muscovado sugar to make the taste better.

One way to make pancit pancitan available the whole year round is to dry it. You may also want to sell it for business.

1. Wash it gently with running water.
2. Rinse and place in front of electric fan immediately to remove adhering water drops.
3. Arrange in trays and air dry at room temperature. Air drying is recommended because high temperature might destroy its herbal potential. Drying time may take weeks.
4. Pack in clean plastic bags and seal.

If you are in a hurry, you can use vacuum dryer instead.


Ulasimang Bato Salad, Pansit Pansitan

(marvin, foodrecap)

I have a previous post of How to make Pancit Pancitan Tea. This medicinal herb is getting popular because it is one of the ten medicinal herbs approved by the Department of Health.

This herb is a cure for rheumatism and gout.

I gathered another set of ulasimang bato not to cure illness or make some tea. Another use of this herb is for salad.

I wanted a plain salad so I can taste its flavor clearly. I washed it thoroughly with running water. Rinse. I spread some mayonnaise. I ate it outside our house so I can spit it immediately in case the taste was awful.

Luckily, the leaves taste good but the stalks have a slight astringent taste like raw pechay stalks. The astringency remained in my sense of taste for about 2 hours.

Just like any kind of fruits and vegetables, medicinal herb is better and more potent when taken fresh. So better eat this herb fresh.


Peperomia:Pansit-Pansitan for • Arthritis • Gout• Skin boils, abscesses, pimples• Headache• Abdominal pains• kidney problems

(riezen, disease-of-life)

Pansit-pansitan (family: Piperaceae) is an herbal medicine also known as Ulasiman-bato, olasiman-ihalas & tangon-tangon in the Philippines. English name: peperomia. Pansit-pansitan is a small herb that grows from 1 to 1 1/2 feet. It can be found wild on lightly shaded and damp areas such as nooks, walls, yards and even roofs. Pansit-pansitan has heart shaped leaves, succulent stems with tiny flowers on a spike. When matured, the small fruits bear one seed which fall of the ground and propagate. The leaves and stalk of pansit-pansitan are edible. It can be harvested, washed and eaten as fresh salad. 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.

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. Pansit-pansitan is used as an herbal medicine for the treatment of: • Arthritis • Gout• Skin boils, abscesses, pimples• Headache• Abdominal pains• kidney problems



Pansit-pansitan – Scientific name: Peperomia pellucida Linn.

(Healing Wonders of Philippine Medicinal Plants)

An annual herb, shallow rooted, may reach 40 cm high, with succulent stems. Leaves are alternate, heart-shaped and turgid, as transparent and smooth as candle wax. Tiny dotlike flowers scattered along solitary and leaf-opposed stalk (spike); naked; maturing gradually from the base to the tip; turning brown when ripe. Propagation by seeds. Numerous tiny seeds drop off when mature and grow easily in clumps and groups in damp areas.

Distribution

An annual herb, favoring shady, damp and loose soil. Often grows in groups in nooks in the garden and yard. Conspicious in rocky parts of canals.

Parts utilized

Leaves and stems.

Nutritional value:

Leaves and stems may be eaten as vegetable. In salads, the fresh plant has the crispness of carrot sticks and celery.

Medicinal Uses:

Infusion and decoction of leaves and stems are used for gout and arthritis. Externally, as a facial rinse for complexion problems. Pounded whole plant used as warm poultice for boils, pustules and pimples.

New uses

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.


Uses and Preparation of Ulasiman-bato; Pansit-pansitan (Peperomia pellucida)

(Traditional-Medicine News)

Scientific name: Peperomia pellucida (L.) HBK Common names: Pansit-pansitan (Tagalog); sinaw-sinaw (Bisaya); peperomia.

Indications and preparations: Infusion, decoction or salad for gout and rheumatic pains; pounded plant warm poultice for boils and abscesses.

Description: a plant that usually grows during rainy season. It is 40 centimeters in height. The shape of the leaves are rounded and pointed at the tip. The fruit is round and coffee-like in color.

How to Plant Pansit-pansitan: Plant the seeds. You do not need to water them everyday.

Harvesting: Harvest only the healthy leaves.

Preparation:

There are 2 ways to prepare pansit-pansitan.

- Prepare 1/2 cup of fresh leaves and chew 3 times a day.

- Put 1 1/2 cups of fresh leaves in an earthen jar. Pour in 2 glassfuls of water. Cover it. Bring mixture to a boil. Remove the cover and let it continue to boil until the 2 glassful of water originally poured has been reduced to 1 glassful. Let it cool, then strain the mixture.

How to Use: Divide the decoction into 3 parts and drink 1 part 3 times a day after meals.


Pansit-Pansitan (SHINY BUSH) as Herbal Medicine

(medicinalherbs4)

A herb used to treat arthritis, gout, skin disorders, abdominal pains and kidney problems. It is applied to the skin as poultice or as a decoction when taken internally.

Parts utilized

Leaves and stems.

Properties

• Considered anti-inflammatory, refrigerant, analgesic, antifungal, anticancer.

Uses Infusion and decoction of leaves and stems are used for gout and arthritis. Decoction of leaves used for urinary tract infections. Externally, as a facial rinse for complexion problems. Pounded whole plant used as warm poultice for boils, pustules and pimples. In Jamaica and the Caribbean used for colds and as a diuretic for kidney problems. In Brazil, used for abscesses and conjunctivitis. In Bolivia, decoction of roots used for fever; aerial parts for wounds. In Bangladesh, leaves used in the treatment of excited mental disorders. In Africa, used for convulsions and tumors. Used for headaches, rheumatic pains, impotence. In Brazil, used to lower cholesterol; for treatment of abscesses, furuncles and conjunctivitis New uses 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.


Ulasimang bato – Pansit pansitan - English

(Halamang Gamot / Herbal Medicine)

Is a herbal medicine known also as ulasiman-bato, ulasiman-ilahas, singaw-singaw, sida-sida, tagulinaw and tangon-tangon in some part of the Philippines, It’s English name is Peperomia, shiny bush, silver bush, clear weed, rat-ear and clear weed.

It is a wild plants that grows on damp and lightly shaded area, it has a alternate heart shaped leaves with a very succulent round steams, a green spikes, dot-like flowers that bear seed which fall of the ground and propagate.

Leaves and steam are edible, often use by some on a salad and can be eaten raw.

Use as herbal remedy for: Arthritis, Gout, Skin boils, Wounds, Burns, Skin inflammation, abscesses, pimples, Headache, Abdominal pains, kidney problems, Eye inflammation, Sore throat, Diarrhea, Prostate problems, High blood pressure, Fever, Renal problems, Mental excitement disorder.

How to prepare:
• As vegetable:
-The leaves and steams may be eaten raw, when freshly harvested and washed.
• As drink :
1. Wash the leaves/steams
2. Measure 2 glasses of water and 1 glass of leaves/steam.
3. Boil
4. Set aside, cool and strain.
Use 2 times a day, 1 cup in the morning and 1 cup in the evening
•For skin problems
-Wash and pound the leaves/steams and apply it directly to affected area.
•For headache
-Wash a couple of leaves, bruise the surface and apply on the forehead.

Apec menu showcases local herbs

By Cathy Cañares-Yamsuan (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

IMAGINE global leaders like US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping eating a typical Pinoy fare found on the dinner table of every Juan.

This, in a nutshell, is how restaurateur and gastronomer Margarita “Gaita” Fores summed up the menu that will be served to the heads of state attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders’ summit when Malacañang hosts a welcome dinner for them on Wednesday.

Fores declined to go into details, only saying that Filipino herbs like “pansit-pansitan” that gardeners of old used to ignore would be showcased this time.

Fores and Glenda Barretto, another respected trailblazer in Filipino gastronomy, have joined forces for a culinary showdown that would have Apec leaders as spectators and diners as well.

“I cannot divulge exactly what we will be serving,” Fores told Inquirer Lifestyle in an exclusive interview.

“But what we plan to do is make people appreciate our common cuisine that is Filipino but executed in an innovative way. I am super excited,” she added.

Batanes to Jolo

Fores pointed out that their effort had pushed them to source assorted agricultural produce “from Batanes to Jolo.”

She also noted that the mission to educate Obama, et al., senior ministers and other Apec delegates about Filipino cuisine had inspired many local chefs to participate.

“Many of our chefs have been commissioned to prepare dishes … up until the 20th,” she said.

Fores said the “common advocacy of local chefs to source unique ingredients to showcase diverse produce and highlight the uniqueness” of Filipino food was the driving force behind the initiative.

“We tend to take for granted what is served to us everyday that we do not realize our food is already getting international attention,” she added.

Fores said many of the dishes that would be served to the world leaders were inspired by recipes from the book “Culinaria,” published by Anvil Books through the support of Asia Society and Doris Magsaysay-Ho.

Featured in buffet

The other night, a heady mix of Filipino food and Western dishes was the highlight at the dinner for Apec senior ministers and other delegates at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

Featured in the buffet laid out by The LJC Group were chicken galantina, bamboo rice with forest mushrooms, grilled boneless chicken with annatto and garlic, prawn in kamias cream sauce, lamb adobo, spaghetti, tagliolini, roast US black Angus rib eye and assorted rice cakes.


Ulasimang Bato Side Dish

(PhilAsian Herb)

If you're into gardening, why not be among the first to cultivate Ulasimang Bato or commonly known as Pansit-Pansitan. It's easy to grow anyway; they easily thrive on damp places like damp rocks or stone walls or floors. They grow wild and spread fast so you don't have to care much for them. When harvest time comes, you can enjoy your Ulasiman Bato side dish with your fried fish or pork.

I like its other name--Ikmo-Ikmohan. I used to create stories about an old man "Ikmo" who fell in love with a young, pretty girl. Anyway, Ulasimang Bato or Shiny Bush, when mature, grows tiny seeds on long, slender stems which easily fall off to start new sprouts. The plant looks like young mongo sprouts, standing erect though small, with both rounded leaves and white noodle-like stems shiny. Thus, it's also called Pansit-Pansitan because of its noodle-like, white stems.

How to Grow These Wild Mini Bush

It's a wild plant that likes thriving in damp areas. So, if it's wild, how do you "grow" it? Pile rocks somewhere in your garden or have a low concrete barrier constructed there where it will be naturally damp. Or, look for where Pansit-Pansitan already grows in abundance and transfer the rocks to your garden. Or, have a concrete canal constructed in your garden where clean water runs. Soon, you'd see the wild bush growing after some algae have formed. Then you'd soon enjoy your own Ulasimang Bato side dish.

Why Grow It?

Why grow it? To make sure you enjoy clean and safe Ulasimang Bato, you'd have to grow them somewhere clean. Some folks here in Deep Asia get them from vacant lots or street canals, wash them, and eat them or boil them for the medicinal brew. The problem with this is, we don't know whether the wild bush, freely exposed from the elements, is contaminated or not.

Who knows if cats or dogs urinate on them (worse, if they have been exposed to rat urine) or if some other contaminants have marred their safeness? So, look for where the bush already grows, get those rocks on which they have clung to, transfer them to your garden, and wait for the next sprouting batch to turn up and start growing that.

How Does Ulasimang Bato Taste?

Then you'd be able to harvest safe and healthy Pansit-Pansitan and enjoy your Ulasimang Bato side dish. Just wash the stems and enjoy their crunchy, succulent quality with your fried fish. They taste like steamed mongo sprouts, only sweeter. And you'd love how easily they crunch between your teeth and how the sweet juice splashes in your mouth.

Or brew it together with the leaves for a detox tea that many claim can heal kidney stone and UTI problems. You want to get rid of your gout or other similar joint inflammations? Try Ulasimang Bato tea.

Nutrition

Pansit-Pansitan is said to be high in fiber and minerals like iron, manganese, zinc. sodium, and copper. As far as phytochemicals are concerned, it has cardenolides, tannins, saponins, and alkaloids--good antioxidants. What does this mean? They can be good help for healing inflammation, cancer, fungus and also serve as an analgesic. It has other medicinal uses, but to me it's best as Ulasimang Bato side dish that should be enjoyed more often and by more people. So grow them in your garden.


7 Unusual Plants PROVEN to Cure High Blood Pressure

By Christian Goodman

A joint study recently published out of several departments at Ambrose Alli University in Nigeria, including the departments of Botany, Pharmacology and the Medical Laboratory, looked at more than a dozen indigenous herbs and plants that have been used for centuries to reduce high blood pressure, to see if there was any scientific merit to their touted effectiveness.

What makes the study really useful is that there are so many communities all across Nigeria and really all the countries from the Ivory Coast to Angola that have high numbers of people with hypertension, but also the perfect climate (near the coastlines) to grow these common plants.

Some of them are limited to Africa, but many of them can be found in practically any market, anywhere in the world.

Studies looking at the medicinal qualities of herbs and other plants tend to all point to the general consensus that two key chemical types are usually present when a plant or compound is found to be effective on hypertension: alkaloids and cardiac glycosides.

Alkaloids are chemicals that naturally occur in plants that have medicinal properties in some way. The most common example that textbooks cite is the alkaloid caffeine that exists in coffee beans and tea leaves.

The alkaloids in the plants named below, though, aren’t like caffeine (which stimulates). The bitter taste is characteristic of the alkalines reserpine, which has long been used as a treatment for hypertension, and vincamine, which has vaso-dilating properties.

Cardiac glycosides are present in many, many plant species but can be very harmful depending upon the plant and how it is consumed. For example, cardiac glycosides are present in all of the safe plants listed in this article…but they are also present in highly toxic plants such as mistletoe, swizzle stick, and Nigerian Senna.

So which plants have both of these highly effective compounds? They are listed below:

Lets start with some better known plants… – Garlic – We have heard for years about the healing powers of garlic. However, most people would not be able to tell you why it works to lower high blood pressure or ease arthritis pain. Garlic is one of those wonder-foods that contains innumerable chemicals that do very good things in the body to lower high blood pressure, reduce stress, and eliminate inflammation. While raw garlic is the best source of the most concentrated amounts of these powerful chemicals, cooked or roasted garlic is still a pretty effective ally in the quest for good health.

– Avocado – This little fruit doesn’t get the press it deserves. It’s a high-fiber wonder-food that gets a bad rap because of its high fat content. However, the fats are unique in that they contain highly effective chemicals that beat inflammation back with a stick. In addition to the healthy alkaloids and cardiac glycosides, avocados are also very high in vitamin K, folate, and vitamin C.

– Onion – This pungent little polyphenol powerhouse packs a health punch that makes the bitter taste seem a little easier to swallow. Its extremely high flavonoid content also makes it a healthful food. Combining these first three ingredients might make your breath smell a little bad but you’re on your way to an incredibly healthy garnish for potatoes, tacos, or salads.

– Guava leaf – This food is ground and steeped and taken more as a tonic than as a food While the guava fruit is itself a tasty, healthy treat, the tea made from the leaves is very high in flavonoids and has been long used as a remedy for irregular heartbeat in South America and West Africa.

– Ashanti Pepper – This pepper, a relative of black pepper, is only found along the coastal regions of West Africa. It’s not only used to treat high blood pressure, but also indigestion, fever, constipation, muscle pain, and even flatulence.

– Bitter Leaf – This plant is used a lot in traditional Nigerian cuisine, and for good reason. Even though its name implies bitterness (as you would expect, as it is high in alkaloid content), it is reportedly very mild. It has been proven in a number of studies to reduce cholesterol, specifically the bad LDL type, although outside of the cardiac glycoside and alkaloid properties the exact reason is unknown.

– Cow Foot, or Pansit Pansitan – This entire plant is reportedly edible, cooked or raw. It had been used for generations to treat everything from sore throat, eye inflammation, and pimples to gout, arthritis and high blood pressure.

While garlic, onion, avocado and guava are a little easier to come by, Ashanti Pepper, Bitter Leaf and Cow Foot might be a little trickier to get hold of if you’re not already living along the West African coast.

However, with the proliferation of health food sites popping up all over the web, it has become easier and easier to find those unique and strange plants only available on other continents.

The key to making use of the benefits these types of plants and their healing chemicals offer is to not go overboard and also to do a little research on which herbs and plants are actually consumable and non-toxic.

The study out of Nigeria included a number of plants like mistletoe and swizzle stick that are actually highly toxic. Inexperienced dabblers in herbal therapies are frequently the ones who wind up with a toxicity that is very dangerous, so make sure that you always consult a professional before you go grinding up your Christmas plants.

In the meantime, work on perfecting your guacamole recipe and load up on the fresh garlic, onion, and avocado. Serve it with a nice, healthful tea using some of the other plants listed and you’re off to a natural way to drop high blood pressure.


The Health Benefits of Pancit-Pancitan

(jem22, Alternative Medicines In The Philippines)

The Philippines is a country with a diversified flora, home of many different plant species which have scientific medicinal value recently found in the current research made by the Philippine Department of Health (DoH). One of these plants is the "Pansit-pansitan".

These plants are shallow rooted and have shiny stems which are also succulent. The leaves are transparent, alternating in as turgid and heart-shaped. These plants grow easily in clumps within lightly shaded damp areas, loose soil and are conspicious in the rocky parts of canals or streams.

Pansit-pansitan is a native Philippine herb (scientific name: Peperomia pellucida) - also known as "Ulasiman bato" or English name "Peperomia" or "Shiny Bush". Pansit-pansitan is one of the crude plants known and approved by the Philippine DoH to provide relief and treatment of rheumatic pains and gout.

Pansit-pansitan plants are quite edible, from the flowers, stems and leaves. These plants grow to a length of one-and-a-half feet. Once harvested and washed, pansit-pansitan can be readily eated as salad. Likewise, these plants can also be made into a decoction by boiling one cup of washed and cleaned stems and leaves in two cups of water. Decoction should be taken twice a day - one in the morning and one in the evening. Decoction of pansit-pansitan leaves and stems are good for kidney problems as well as abdominal pains.

Pansit-pansitan can also be used to treat skin disorders such as pimples, boils, and abcesses. To create a poultice, the stems and leaves are heated and pounded to form a paste which can be applied directly to the affected area. Decoction can also be used as a wash to treat and rinse the skin disorders as well as facial problems.



Pepper elder medicinal herb may be used to treat renal problems

(medicinalherbs4u)

Pepper elder (Peperomia pellucida) has been used medicinally for thousands of years to treat all kinds of ailments and although modern medicine has replaced the more widespread use of this herb, it still continues to hold its own in herbalism. It is truly a primary and traditional medicinal herb that has its own history of success in treating various ailments. pepper elder herb

It is of the Piperaceae family or the pepper family and although It is mostly grown for ornamental purposes, the whole plant is edible and can be utilized cooked or raw.

This medicinal herb is effective in treating abdominal pain, abscesses, acne, boils, colic, fatigue, gout, proteinuria, headache, renal disorders, and rheumatic joint pain. An herbal bath with this plant will relieve aches and pains and gives an individual a peaceful sleep. These are some of its benefits. Health benefits of pepper elder

Peperomia pellucida is used in regards to hemorrhages treatment, and the root can be used for fevers. This herb is also useful to lower cholesterol and it is a popular cough suppressant in places like Guyana and other regions in the Caribbean.

In the Philippines, a decoction of this plant is used to lower uric acid levels. Some of the common names of this herb are Silver-bush, Rat-ear, Man-to-man, and Clearweed.

It would do well for householders to have this herb in their possessions since it holds so much health benefits and is an alternative herbal remedy for so many ailments.

Jamaicans refer to it as jointer

The medicinal properties of this medicinal herb are sedative, stimulant, relaxant, anti inflammatory, antiseptic, bactericide, along with culinary uses.

This herb is also found in Jamaica and it is used for its medicinal purposes as well as culinary. It has a very spicy aroma and thereby individuals used this herb to jerk pork, giving the pork a nice flavor. It is also known as 'jointer' in Jamaica. I am yet to find out why it is called by that name. However, we Jamaicans have a way to refer to things and persons around us by aliases.

It is discovered that chloroform extracts derived from the dried leaves of this plant may be used to combat Trichophyton mentagrophytes in vitro. This is due to its antifungal property that is found in it.

Some rural people use this herb on their donkeys as well as horses to prevent tiredness and weariness because it is effective in preventing fatigue. Pepper elder is therefore a very beneficial and useful medicinal plant for both humans and animals.


Nigerian researchers explore local cures for measles

(ktpharm,EcBasis)

The weather has been very hot and humid, making people more susceptible to viral infections like measles. CHUKWUMA MUANYA examines herbal cures for measles.

AS the temperature and humidity levels rise, they leave certain diseases such as meningitis and measles in their wake. Measles is in town. From Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, the story is the same; children, teenagers and even adults going down with measles. The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says the country is in the measles transmission season.

Measles is an infectious disease caused by a virus. It can be prevented by the Mumps Measles and Rubella (MMR) immunisation. One can catch measles simply by sharing a drink with, or being coughed on by someone who has it. Measles is spread through the droplets breathed out of the nose and mouth, as well as saliva or mucus containing the virus. It takes about two weeks from the time one get measles until one start getting sick. This is called the incubation period. One can get measles at any age, but it is most common in kids aged between one and four.

The first signs of getting measles are feeling generally unwell, a runny nose, hacking cough, red eyes, high temperature, and aches and pains. Young people may find bright lights hurt their eyes too. Spots inside the mouth (known as Koplik’s spots), which are small, red, with blue or white centres, are a good way of telling if someone has measles. These appear just before the rash does.

The rash usually starts on the head and neck, and spreads to the rest of the body. It begins as small red spots, but these join to make patches. The patches can flow into one another and completely cover the skin. The rash lasts for about six days.

Treatment for measles generally consists of only supportive care, with particular attention to maintaining good hydration, especially in the developing world.

Recently, however, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has also recommended that vitamin A supplementation be given with measles vaccination in the developing world. The impetus behind this recommendation stems from the fact that a precipitous decrease occurs in vitamin A levels, which may already be low in children who are malnourished. By giving a bolus of vitamin A with the vaccine, the WHO hopes to attenuate some of the complications (example blindness) associated with vitamin A deficiency. Antibiotics are indicated with diagnosed or suspected secondary bacterial infection but are not empirically indicated.

WHO also recommends that infected individuals or those suspected to have infection with the live measles virus should be quarantined until they are no longer contagious to prevent spread of the disease to other non-immunized individuals.

Vitamin A supplementation has been recommended in developing nations because of the higher rate of blindness following measles infection in malnourished individuals.

Also, local plants have been successfully used to treat measles in the country. The plants include: Bambusa vulgaris; Aframomum melegueta (grains of paradise, guinea grains or alligator pepper, ehin-edo in Edo, ose oji in Igbo, erhie in Urhobo, ata-ire in Yoruba); Elytraria marginata (ewe eso in Yoruba); Peperomia pellucida; Vernonia amygdalina (bitter leaf in English, oriwo in Edo, chusar doki in Hausa, atidot in Ibibio, onugbu in Igbo, ityuna in Tiv, and ewuro in Yoruba).

Others are: Momordica charantia (African cucumber/ Balsam pear, daddagu in Hausa, iliahia in Igala, kakayi in Igbo or ejirin weeri in Yoruba); Newbouldia laevis (fertility plant or tree of life, ogirishi in Igbo, akoko in Yoruba, ukhimi in Esan); and Ocimum gratissimum (scent leaf, sweet basil, efinrin ajase in Yoruba, ebavbokho in Bini, aai doya ta gida in Hausa, and nchuanwu in Igbo.

Indeed, studies conducted in laboratories around the world have shown that traditional medicinal plants provide a rich source of antiviral activities.

Researchers at the Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, have studied the use of medicinal plants for the treatment of measles in Nigeria.

M. A. Sonibare, J. O. Moody, and E. O. Adesanya have conducted an ethnobotanical survey of three Local Government areas of the Ijebu area of Ogun State in southwest Nigeria for plants used in the treatment of measles.

According to the study published last year in Journal of Ethnopharmacology, unstructured interviews were conducted among both urban and rural dwellers of three major groups of Ijebu people inhabiting the area (Ijebu North, Ijebu northeast and Ijebu Ode Local Governments).

A total of 20 respondents comprising by herbalists, herb sellers and the elderly, who have privileged information on the plants used in the treatment of measles among children were encountered during the survey. In all, 23 plant species belonging to 18 Angiosperm families were said to possess curative properties for the cure of measles among the local populace. Amongst the most frequently used plants are Elytraria marginata, Peperomia pellucida, Vernonia amygdalina, Momordica charantia, Newbouldia laevis, and Ocimum gratissimum.

The most frequently mentioned family is Cucurbitaceae. The mode of preparation and recommended dosages are enumerated in this paper. The results of the study call for an urgent need of the introduction of a strategy for the conservation of indigenous medicinal plants in the area.

Nigerian researchers have also assessed the effectiveness of Bambusa vulgaris (bamboo) and Aframomum melegueta (alligator pepper) against three human viruses namely: measles, yellow fever and polio.

The study was carried out by scientists from the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, University of Ado-Ekiti, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State. The study was documented in the July 2009 edition of the African Journal of Plant Science.

Using alcoholic extracts of these plants, the scientists found that B. vulgaris can help in the prevention of measles while A. melegueta would work both for measles and yellow fever viruses.

In carrying out the study, the scientists collected the leaves of these plants, dried and powdered them before going on to soak them in 80 per cent ethanol for five days. These were then filtered and the ethanol evaporated off to produce dried extracts of the plant. The extracts were then tried on micro-organisms that cause measles, yellow fever and polio.

According to the study, “the outcome of the antiviral screenings of A. melegueta and B. vulgaris was impressive as the extracts possess activity against two of the viruses which were tested; measles and yellow fever.”

They declared that it was interesting to attempt to correlate the traditional applications of the plant extracts with the micro-organisms that caused measles and yellow fever. It was declared that the potency of these plants in the treatment of yellow fever and measles most probably was due to the phytochemicals, group of chemical substances, in the plants. Such phytochemicals include tannin, phenolic compounds, saponins and flavonoids. These chemical substances are known to activate the white blood cells of the body to fight disease causing germs and at the same time prevent these germs developing resistance and multiplying in number. Based on their finding, they recommended that application of extracts from these plants could help in the treatment of measles and yellow fever infections.

Previous studies had shown that the rhizome, leaves, fruits and seeds of alligator pepper could be used to cure worms, small pox, chicken pox, catarrh, congested chest, fractures, hypertension and cholera.

The researchers indicate that the fruits and seeds are commonly used as an ingredient of many local herbal preparations. According to The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa by H. M. Burkill, “the fruits of alligator pepper are usually used as stimulants, carminatives and in vermifuge, especially among the Ijaws. The powdered rhizome with table salt is specially given as vermifuge for round worms. The decoction of the leaves together with the leaves of Momordica charantia and Sorghum arundinaceum cereal in local dry gin (alcohol) is recommended to be taken one dose daily against cholera.

“The decoction of the leaves is used for small pox and chicken pox. When the decoction of the leaves is mixed with leaves of lime, lemon grass and mango it is used as remedy for catarrh while the steam from the decoction is inhaled for congested chest.”

Burkill reported that Peperomia pellucida (cow-foot) is used as medicine in diarrhoea, dysentery; naso-pharyngeal affections; paralysis, epilepsy, convulsions, spasm; pulmonary troubles; skin, mucosae; tumours, cancers.

Momordica charantia of Cucurbitaceae family is used for malaria, fever, as laxative, for diarrhoea, high blood pressure, dysentery, and gonorrhoea.

The leaves of smooth Newbouldia laevis are squeezed and the extract use to treat eye problems. Roots, barks and leaves are used during childbirth, constipation and on septic wounds. Decoction of the leaves is used to treat sore eye, young fresh leaves are used to cure eye inflammation and redness and the leaves are used for the treatment of ear pain. The leaves are squeezed and the juice from it is dropped into the eye and the young fresh leaves are crushed in little amount of water and the extract is dropped into the eye to cure eye inflammation and redness and the leaves are heated and became weak and squeezed. The juice from it is dropped into the ear against ear pain; one drop, twice daily.

Ocimum gratissimum (scent leaf) leaves are used locally for soup. It is also used to treat cases of stomach upset and diarrhea. The scent leaf plant is considered digestive, tonic, and stimulant. The plant is considered carminative and aphrodisiac and used to treat diseases of the brain, heart, liver and spleen, to relief griping and piles. A decoction of the leaves is considered a useful remedy for gonorrhoea and for seminal weakness.

Peperomia pellucida leaves extracts are a natural alternative for commonly used anti-biotics like Ciprofloxacin, Norfloxacin, Roxithromycin and Penicillin derivatives. Peperomia pellucida leaves extracts are reportedly devoid of the usual side effects associated with conventional anti-biotics like gastric irritation and resistance. Peperomia pellucida leaves extracts are successfully used to treat measles.

“Boil 50 grams of Peperomia pellucida aerial shoots in 250 ml of water for 30 minutes. Strain and drink the Peperomia pellucida aerial shoot extracts twice daily for week. The symptoms of infectious condition associated with measles is reduced in a week and complete relief is afforded using Peperomia pellucida aerial shoot extracts.

No specific precaution needs to be followed while using this treatment.”


Pansit-Pansitan (Peperomia pellucida Linn.) a.k.a. Ulasiman-Bato

By Victor P. Dumlao (attechno-Medicine News)

Pansit-pansitan (family: Piperaceae) is an herbal medicine also known as Ulasiman-bato, olasiman-ihalas & tangon-tangon in the Philippines. English name: peperomia. It is a small herb that grows from 1 to 1 1/2 feet. Pansit-pansitan can be found wild on lightly shaded and damp areas such as nooks, walls, yards and even roofs.

Pansit-pansitan has heart shaped leaves, succulent stems with tiny flowers on a spike. When matured, the small fruits bear one seed which fall of the ground and propagate. The leaves and stalk of pansit-pansitan are edible. It can be harvested, washed and eaten as fresh salad. 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.

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.

Pansit-pansitan is used as an herbal medicine for the treatment of:

• Arthritis
• Gout
• Skin boils, abscesses, pimples
• Headache
• Abdominal pains
• kidney problems

Peperomia pellucida, an Amazing Wild Medicinal Herb

By Dr. M. P. Mishra

Peperomia pellucida the plant of immense medicinal value, is variously known in different Indian and other languages. Its names in Sanskrit are Toyakandha and Varshabhoo. In Malayalam it is known as Mashitandu chedi. In Philippines it is known as Ulasiman-bato, Olasiman-ihalas, and Tangontagon. it is known as càng cua (Vietnam); pak krasang (Thailand); suna kosho (Japan); rangu-rangu, ketumpangan ortumpang angin (Bahasa/Malay).

Distribution Peperomias are Herbs of tropical and subtropical regions. Most of them occur in Central and Northern South America. Fewer species are known from Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Different endemic species are known from the islands of the Indian Ocean, the Pacific, and the Caribbean. It has been reported that Peperomia is native to tropical America and Asia. It is well represented and naturalized in India too.

Although a lot of them grow as epiphytes in rainforest habitats, others are succulents found in the high Andes. It can be found in lightly shaded and damp areas such as nooks, walls, yards, and even on roofs. Peperomia is the largest genus of the family of the Piperaceae.

The Plant Now, two types of Peperomias are seen in my area – P. obtusifolia and P. pellucida. It belongs to the family Peperomiaceae. Some researchers have reported that there are following types of Peperomias – (i).Cupid Peperomias (P. scandens variegate) (ii).Creeping Peperomias (P. prostrata) (iii).Watermelon Peperomias (P. arqueir) (IV).Baby rubber plant (P. clusifolia) (v).Desert privet (P. magnoliafolia variegate) Peperomias can grow anywhere in filtered light conditions. The plant grown just anywhere may be contaminated by aerial and soil pollutant like human and animal excrement. It is reported that unfinished concrete block fences that often remain damp are favourite habitats of this herb. It can be used for brewing and healing purposes after being ensured that it is free from contaminants.

The plant has a threadlike but angular trailing stem. Those growing in rich habitats do have fleshy and stout stems. Its leaves are blunt, heart shaped and in good habitats it grows as a long shrubby looking creeping cover or as an epiphyte. The elongated stems look like a vine with leaves rising 6 to 9 cm above the surface. Both leaves and stems have shiny waxy surfaces.

The foliage of the plant looks ornamental. It has been reported to be a tropical perennial. It usually does not exceed 12” in height. Flowers are tiny and unnoticeable and grow in the form of a cord like spike. Inflorescence consists of compact, erect spikes of minute creamy white flowers. Some of Peperomias are epiphytes growing on rotten logs. These have thick angular stems and fleshy leaves. Most Peperomias have tiny flowers which are packed in a characteristic greenish or brown conical spike like an inverted catkin. A few species have more attractive flowers such as white scented clusters of spikes produced by P. fraseri from Ecuador.

Some species are popular house plants. A variety of cultivars of Peperomia caperata with attractively marked foliage are widely available through horticultural trade, and varieties of compact Peperomias can sometimes be found among selection of plants intended for bottle gardens.

Fruits remain tiny, dot like smooth, and oval. These develop partially embedded in the spike with their hooked beaks protruding outside.

Peperomias have long profile in succulent society of plants. However, several species are succulent and form tubers. P. campylotrapa is a deciduous tuber forming plant found in the cooler regions of Mexico. After flowering, the aerial growth dies away and the tuber can survive long periods of drought. P. macrorhiza which is found in Peru and P. monticola which is found in Mexico form a large group and can be of interest for plant collectors. About 1000 species of Peperomias have so far been described mainly from South America. About 17 of these are reported to be found in Africa, and similar or less number has been reported from Asia.

Rotting, ring spots manifested as distorted foliage with chlorotic or necrotic rings that are found on the leaves. This disease can be caused by cucumber mosaic virus and the only treatment is to destroy the infected parts. Many Peperomias can be propagated by leaves, or tip cutting, although the variegated and succulent species grow mainly by tip cuttings.

Traditional and Ethno- herbological Uses of the Plant Ayurveda recommends the whole Peperomia plant as medicinal. It is described in Ayurveda as – Rasa – Katu and Madhur; Guna- Lakhu, rooksha, Teekshna; and Virya- Ushna. The plant is described to passify vitiated cough, pitta, constipation, kidney diseases, urinary retention, disuria, urinary tract infections, emaciation, edema and general weakness.

Through a detailed study of various aspects of the plant, it has been found that it has a long and rich history of medicinal applications across American and Asian countries. Ethno-botanical studies of the plant reveal that the whole plant has been in medicinal use since long. It is crushed and mixed with water to form a mixture, heated and administered orally to cure hemorrhage. In Bolivia, a decoction of root has been used for the treatment of fevers. The extract of the aerial part of the plant has been reported to be applied to cure wounds. Mufioz et al. (2000) have studied natural bioactive compounds in the extract of Peperomia in Bolivia through multidisciplinary approach. They have evaluated and found that the plant extract if administered orally for a certain period can cure malaria. Khan and Omoloso have studied anti bacterial activities of P. pellucida and they have confirmed that the plant extract has anti-microbial properties.

P. pellucida has been used for curing various types of ailments in the past. Still it is used for the treatment of abdominal pain, acne, boils, colic, gout, head ache, renal disorders, rheumatic pain, breast cancer, impotence, mental disorders, and even small pox. It has also been eaten raw or cooked to eat for the treatment of rheumatic pain. Aziba et al. have studied the analgesic activity of the extract of upper or the aerial part of the plant. The plant has been in use to lower cholesterol level in blood in the Northeastern Brazil. On the other hand it has been in use to treat protein urea and other urinary disorders. In the region of Amazon, it is in use as cough suppressant, diuretic and for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia. Dos Santos et al. (2004) have studied the oil extracted from different species of Peperomia in Brazilian Atlantic forests. Fatima et al. have studied the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of Peperomias. Thus, the ethno- botanical practices popular in different parts of the world have already been tested and confirmed by various researchers from time to time.

Infusion and decoction of leaves and stems of fresh plant are eaten as salad for the treatment of gout and arthritis. Various studies have confirmed the traditional knowledge that the extract of the plant is analgesic, anti-inflammatory, depressant of Central Nervous System, antipyretic, and anti-bacterial.

Chemical compounds isolated from Peperomia pellucida Seeds of Peperomia pellucida yield an essential oil. This oil has been reported to contain as many as 71 chemical compounds. Major chemical constituents of the essential oil are sesquiterpenes.A number of chemical compounds have been isolated by different workers from time to time. Some major categories of compounds isolated from the plant body of different species of Peperomia are Flavonoides like acacetin, apigenin, isovitexin, and Pellucidatin; Phytosterols like campesterol and stgmasterol; essential oils like hydrozylated sesquiterpene; carotol etc. The plant has also been reported to contain peperomines that are reported to have cytotoxic or anti-cancer properties. Besides these, the plant extract also contains Arylpropanoides like apiols having anti-fungal activities.

Medicinal Values of Peperomia pellucida Oral administration of the extract of Peperomia pellucida in rats has been confirmed (Arrigoni et al.2001, de Fatima et al.2004,) to interfere with the synthesis of Prostaglandin, thus acting as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Oral administration of the extract of P. pellucida in rats has been confirmed to cause analgesic activity (Aziba et al. 2001). Aziba et al. have worked on analgesic activity of Peperomia pellucida aerial parts in mice.

The extract of whole plant of Peperomia pellucida has been reported to check the growth of Chloroquine- resistant Plasmodium falciparum Indo- strain by 95%. It has also been reported that this type of extract causes total lyses of Leismania braziliensis, L.; L. donovani; and L. amazonensis (Munoz et al., Chan-Bacab et al. 2001).

Xu S et al. have studied the bioactive compounds from P. pellucida and have reported that the crude extract of the plant cause cytotoxicity against the cancer cell lines HL-60, MCF-7 and HeLa.

Persons hyper sensitive to the plant may feel asthma like conditions due to strong mustard like odor of the plant.

Crude methanolic extracts of P. pellucida has been reported to show broad spectrum anti-microbial activity. Bojo et al. (1994) studied the anti-bacterial activity of the extract of P. pellucida using disc diffusion methods. Similar studies by Khan et al. (2002) also document similar results for the anti-microbial activity of P. pellucida extract against numerous species of bacteria including Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus auren.

The chloroform extract from dried leaves of P. pellucida have been reported by Ragasa et al. (1998) to have antifungal activity against Trichophyton metagrophytes.

From the foregoing accounts it is evident that the plant Peperomia has immense medicinal values that demand further researches towards the development of safe and suitable medications for the treatment of pains, inflammations, stomach problems and even cancers. Suitable and safe medications can be prepared to treat bacterial and those caused by protozoa like malaria and other fevers. For this the plant should be grown on commercial basis and conserved in the wild.

In the current age of environmental pollution and habitat destruction herbs of immense medicinal values are being unknowingly destroyed by human activities. More extensive surveys of floras of different area, listing and investigations followed by repeated researches are essential to conserve the property hidden in the biodiversity of the world.


Pepper Elder (Peperomia pellucida) to Decrease Uric Acid Levels

(Herbalzzz.com Admin)

A high uric acid level is usually because of the body either produces too much uric acid or the kidneys do not eliminate uric acid rapidly enough. It may, but not always, cause recurrent attacks of gout. A high uric acid level in the blood, or usually called hyperuricemic, may also cause some people to develop kidney stones or kidney failure and in some people may develop high blood pressure, heart disease or chronic kidney disease, though it is still unclear whether this is a direct cause or merely an early warning sign of these conditions.

High level of uric acid is usually treated with allopurinol. This medicine has been proven to be effective in inhibiting Xanthine Oxidase, a type of enzyme which helps in uric acid formation. Unfortunately, this medicine is likely to increases the risks of hepatitis and allergic reaction.

As an alternative, Pepper Elder (Peperomia pellucida) offers almost the same anti-hyperuricemic effect with little side effect. It has been proven through some in vitro studies in the Philippines, India and Indonesia. Besides, it has been ethno-medicinally used since long time ago.

To make a Pepper Elder decoction, prepare two fists of fresh Elder Pepper leaves and stems. Wash and bring to boil in 3 glasses of water. After boiling, simmer over low heat until the water is reduced to a half glasses. Allow it to cool and strain. Drink regularly every night before going to bed. See if there any progress after a week.

As a preventive measure, retard from purine-rich diet such as organ meat, game meat, anchovies, herring, gravy, dried beans, dried peas, mushrooms and other foods is among many factors causing high level of uric acid. It is also suggested to drink plenty of fluids to help flush uric acid from the body. Drink a minimum of 4 and ½ liters of water daily.

As mentioned above, Pepper Elder is relatively safe. However, those who have hypersensitivity reactions to the species is advised to be careful if using it, as it can cause asthma-like symptoms.


Local cures

By Ana Marie Pamintuan (SKETCHES, The Philippine Star)

’Tis the season for binge eating, and also – as health experts warned – for getting sick. All those rich foods can lead to high blood pressure and stroke or heart attack, elevated blood sugar and numerous other afflictions from pigging out.

Holiday partying, drinking and lack of sleep, combined with the recent drop in temperatures, are also causing colds, whooping cough and fever. The approach of the New Year means worse air pollution, which can cause allergic rhinitis, skin rashes and conjunctivitis.

Treatments are readily available. But for millions of Filipinos, even over-the-counter generic drugs for common afflictions are a luxury they can’t afford.

Instead they turn to their villages’ medicinal lore: Philippine oregano for colds, unripe guava for amoebiasis and ordinary diarrhea.

With so many people swearing by the efficacy of folk medicine, there must be something to it. Some Spaniards, during the colonial period, documented indigenous plants with healing properties. During the American occupation, a research and development center studied Philippine plants for medicinal properties and other possible uses.

As Big Pharma will tell you, developing a single cure, from the start of R&D to the numerous tests until its approval for commercial release, can cost about $600 million. Only the multinationals, national governments and Bill and Melinda Gates have that kind of money to spend on R&D.

But surely R&D support, on a lower scale, is possible for our country to develop a local pharmaceutical industry that can compete with India.

We’re buying generics from India, and no wonder – that country has long regarded the pharmaceutical industry as an engine of economic growth, providing meaningful jobs and making health care accessible to its people.

While Big Pharma frowns on the start of the Indian pharmaceutical industry, which went around global patent regulations, the Indian industry has become the world’s third largest in terms of volume, earning billions of dollars annually for that country.

Because of government incentives, even small and medium enterprises are into pharmaceutical manufacturing in India. They’re ahead of us in this department by about four decades, but we can try catching up.

Being familiar with our own flora, we can have an edge over foreign pharmaceutical companies in R&D. And we may be able to develop cures for tropical illnesses faster.

If dengue afflicted people in the temperate zones, for example, a vaccine might have been developed decades ago. Sanofi-Pasteur has developed a dengue vaccine, but its targeted 2015 rollout is still fraught with complications.

These days the multinationals are rushing to produce a vaccine for Ebola as the killer disease threatens to become a global pandemic.

Our rich biodiversity offers immense possibilities for medicine. One example: a woman who visited her family last month in a typhoon-hit village in the Visayas returned to Manila with a burning itch in her upper arm. She suspected that she got a viral infection from bathing in water drawn from a communal well.

A friend whose mother moonlights as a village herbalist in another province advised the woman to gather a few malunggay leaves, pound them into a paste and apply it on the itchiest part, which was raw from too much scratching. The woman did, and felt instant relief.

She also followed the advice to wash the infected arm regularly with water in which malunggay leaves have been steeped. The itchiness disappeared in a few days.

Malunggay or moringa oleifera, indigenous to northwestern India, is now widely used here, in dried or powdered form, as an ingredient in food products including bread and biscuits. Water infused with malunggay has long been used in rural areas as a substitute for infant milk. Mothers eat the leaves or sip soup with malunggay to increase lactation. Recently, health officials said it could increase sperm production.

But its other uses are still little known. The woman’s friend learned that moringa is effective for itching and healing wounds after seeing another woman use malunggay paste on a pet dog that had also scratched an itchy part raw. The paste must’ve stung because the dog whimpered as it was applied, but the raw area healed rapidly and the fur grew back quickly.

With sufficient state support or endowments from the private sector, malunggay can be developed into an affordable external antiseptic. And we have, for sure, several other plant species that can be used for biopharmaceuticals.

Indians have been using various parts of the neem tree, now widely propagated here, as a mosquito repellent, antiseptic and ingredient in soap and beauty products. They use it against termites and cockroaches. Its leaves, used as tea, are believed to be good for afflictions including hypertension and high blood sugar.

These are still little known here. But Pinoy diabetics swear by the efficacy of ampalaya or bitter gourd – both the fruit and leaves – in maintaining a healthy blood sugar level.

People familiar with folk medicine in their villages have long known about the properties of madre de cacao or kakawate. Local manufacturers at least have tapped this plant – not particularly attractive and regarded as a weed in urban areas – for producing dog soap for use specifically against fleas and skin infections.

Filipino men also know that guava leaves, pounded into a pulp, speed up the healing of the newly circumcised.

The world is just starting to discover the healthful properties of virgin coconut oil.

Local tea and wine makers are now selling products made from banaba (for kidney ailments), duhat (for diabetes), sambong or Blumea camphor (for kidney stones) and lagundi – long used for easing fever, coughs and colds.

During rainy days there is an abundance of pansit-pansitan (Peperomia pellucida), which people with gout gather and steep with pandan leaves to make tea.

These days mangosteen and guyabano are being sold in pureed form or as tea. With sufficient R&D support, their purported anti-cancer properties can be backed by something more than anecdotal evidence.

The Department of Health has endorsed 10 medicinal herbs under its Traditional Health Program. These are ampalaya, guava, lagundi, sambong, pansit-pansitan, akapulko for ringworm and eczema, garlic for its anti-cancer and anti-hypertensive properties, niyog-niyogan or Chinese honeysuckle for eliminating intestinal parasites, tsaang gubat or wild tea for skin afflictions, and yerba buena or peppermint as an analgesic and for insect bites.

There must be over a thousand other Philippine plants out there, just waiting to be developed for public health.

Pictures of Shiny Bush (Pansit-pansitan) - Peperomia pellucida

  • Pictures taken by Frank Maletsky