Peperomia pellucida is an annual plant that usually gorw in swampy and dampen area. It can grow to a height of about 15 to 45 cm tall, and is characterized by succulent stems, fleshy, heartshaped leaves with dark-green color. There are several health benefits of peperomia pellucida, which makes it a favorite of herbal practitioners. Peperomia belongs to the familily of Piperacaea.
The plant is known by several names such as pansit pansitan, pepper elder, shining bush plant, and man to man. When crushed, the plant exhibits a mustard-like odor. One of the most active compounds present in peperomia pellucida is Pellucidin A. The compound has a varied range of pharmacological properties, among which is the promotion of antinociceptive activity.
How do you eat Pansit pansitan plant?
Aside being used as a herbal remedy, peperomia pellucida has been used as vegetable. The area part of the plant can be eaten raw of cooked. It can also be cooked along with other vegetables and eaten or used in preparing vegetable soups or yam. The leaves can be boiled in hot water and the extract taken as tea. For skin diseases and wounds, the leaves and stems are plucked, washed and squeezed; then it is applied topically on the affected area. The dried leaves can be infused in a honey and taken to treat ulcer and/or asthma.
What are the health benefits of peperomia pellucida?
Pansit pansitan possesses several health benefits that has been exploited over the centuries for man’s benefit. These biological and medicinal benefits of peperomia pellucida can be attributed to the various bioactive compounds present in the plant.
Peperomia pellucida is beneficial for hypertension
Due to the increased incidence of high blood pressure among the population, and considering the cost of purchasing the right medications with their attendant side effects, most peoole now depend on herbal remedies to manage hypertensive conditions. Luckily, just like Stevia rebaudiana, peperomia pellucida also exhibit strong hypotensive effect on normal and hypertensive.
The hypertensive activity of pansit pansitan is through the regulation of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system. This hypotensive effect of pansit pansitan may be due to the rich flavonoid content. Traditionally, the plant has been used for treating hypertension and kidney disorders.
Pansit pansita is used for treating fractured bone
Another health benefit of peperomia pellucida is the ability to fix bone fractures. The plant has shown in different studies to exhibit bone regeneration at the fractured sites. It also induced significant mineral deposition, improve microarchitecture of the regenerating bone, and improve microarchitecture of the regenerating bone.
May be an excellent remedy for ulcer
Like cabbage juice, pansit pansitan juice may be another strong remedy for treating peptic and gastric ulcers. Accotding to several studies conducted on different ulcerogenic agents, peperomia pellucida showed that it can be an effective agent for treating ulcer. In traditional medicines, the plant juice were already in use for the treatment of ulcers.
The active compound responsible for this property is Dillapiole, an active compound isolated from the plant. This bioactive compound suppresses proton pump into the gastric mucosa wall through the inhibition of leukotrienes synthesis, while increasing prostaglandin synthesis. Leukotrienes have been reported to induce ulcerogenesis, therefore, it could be that the inhibition of cyclooxygenase enzymes decreases the synthesis of prostaglandins while increasing leukotriene synthesis.
May lower your cholesterol level
Hypercholesterolemia been noted as a major cause of cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, cardiac arrest and hypertension. When you have a high cholesterol level, most of the fat is deposited on the arterial walls of your blood vessels, and when oxidized may lead to atherosclerosis.
Studies have shown that peperomia pellucida decreases low density lipoprotein cholesterol but increases the level of high density lipoprotein. This is good and would be of immense benefit to patients suffering hipertension, atherosclerosis and ischemia stroke.
This strong cholesterol lowering effects have been exploited for a long time now by traditional herbal practioners.
Peperomia pellucida is beneficial for diabetes treatment
Diabetes is another disease of global concern, as the number of diabetic patients keep increasing with each passing time. Most drugs for proper treatment of diabetes are usually too high and out of reach of the poor and average income earners. Some of the drugs also leave bitter side effects on the patients.
This has made many patients to refocus their attentions on herbal remedies with minimal side effects, to treat or manage diabetes and its symptoms. Luckily, pansit pansitan possess strong hypocholesterol and hypoglycemic activities, which have been exploited in the treatment of diabetes mellitus.
The plant may also perform its action by inducing insulin production, and also by improving insulin sensitivity.
Peperomia pellucida improves libido
The plant leaves of peperomia pellucida has the potential to increase male sexual libido. It is also suggested to improve male fertility by ameliorating the sperm parameters such as sperm count, sperm motility. Like piper guineense, peperomia pellucida also contain piperine, a bioactive compound believed to effectively increase male sexual drive.
The plant also possesses rich amount of some mineral elements believed to play major roles in reversing male infertility. Some of these elements include Ca, Mg, P, Zn, Fe, and some vitamins like folic acid and other vitamins. The plant is also rich in phenolic compounds such as sterols, flavonoids, phenols and lignans.
Pansit pansitan improves convulsion
Another important benefit of peperomia pellucida is its anticonvulsant effect. This is due to the psychoactive substance which are CNS depressant in nature. Peperomia is being used in traditional medicine for the treatment of excited mental disorder, for convulsion, and as a CNS depressant.
According to a study, an increased sitosterol and campesterol levels reduce cholesterol biosynthesis and stigmasterol by inhibiting sterol Delta-22-reductase, and cholesterol absorption. As a result, campesterol, stigmasterol and β-sitosterol reduce cholesterol levels in animal body.
Since CNS synaptogenesis is promoted by cholesterol, it seems that styrene, campesterol, stigmasterol and β-sitosterol of peperomia pellucida might be responsible for the depressant action of this plant.
May be used to treat diarrhea
Diarrhea is one of the diseases ravaging the developing world. It is usually contacted through contaminated foods and drinks. Diarrhea is characterized by a running stomach and frequent stooling. The use of peperomia pellucida to cure diarrhea is one good benefit of the plant. This may be due to the antimicrobial activity of peperomia pellucida against Salmonella typhi.
May be used to treat glaucoma
Although there are limited research on the antiglaucoma activity of peperomia pellucida, there are speculations that it may be effective for the treatment of eye diseases such as glaucoma.
It is however, advised that you consult your doctor before trying it out at home.
Possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities
Most of the diseases that ravage human are rooted in both inflammation and oxidative stress. Being a herbal plant with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, peperomia may be a better remedy for treating such autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
Pepper elder enhances hair growth
When applied topically, peperomia pellucida can improve health hair growth and prevent hair fall and dandruff. To use the juice for hair growth, squeeze the juice out of the plant and add to a gel or cream. The high the concentration of the plant extract, the better the hair growth improvement.
Alternatively, you may dry the leaves and infuse in a sheer butter or cream. Then use it to massage your hair scalp. You may also infuse the leaves in a watermelon seed oil or perila seed oil for synergistic growth.
Pepper elder for treating infection
The leaf extract also possess strong antimicrobial activities against gram negative and gram positive bacteria. It is also a strong inhibitor against candida and other fungal infection.
Studies also showed that the leaf extract of pepper elder is a strong remedy for treating respiratory tract infections.
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Mazroatul, Chasanah & Deni, Glar & Ahmad Habibi, Nur & Saputri, Gita. (2016). ANTI-HYPERCHOLESTEROLEMIA ACTIVITY OF ETHANOL EXTRACT Peperomia pellucid. ALCHEMY Jurnal Penelitian Kimia. 12. 88. 10.20961/alchemy.12.1.948.88-94.
Kanedi, Mohammad & Sutyarso, Sutyarso & Busman, Hendri & Dania Pratami, Gina & Mandasari, Risky. (2019). Plant extracts of Suruhan (Peperomia pellucida L. Kunth) ameliorate infertility of male mice with alloxan-induced hyperglycemia. 10.7439/ijbr.v10i2.5039.
Khan, Alam & Rahman, Motiur & Islam, Moniul. (2008). Neuropharmacological effects of Peperomia pellucida leaves in mice. Daru. 16.