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Peperomia pellucida
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Magnoliids
Order: Piperales
Family: Piperaceae
Genus: Peperomia
Species: P. pellucida
Binomial name
Peperomia pellucida

Peperomia exigua, peperomia translucens, piper pellicudum L.

The family Piperaceae comprises about 5 genera and 1,400 species. The genus Peperomia represents nearly half of the Piperaceae. 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.



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


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


The analgesic properties of the plant seem to be related to its effect on prostaglandin synthesis.[1]

Anti-inflammatory, chemotherapeutic, and analgesic properties have been found in crude extracts of P. pellucida. It may have potential as a broad spectrum antibiotic, as demonstrated in tests against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa , and Escherichia coli (A. C. Bojo et al. 1994).[2] Chloroform extracts from dried leaves of P. pellucida have been shown to exhibit antifungal activity against Trichophyton mentagrophytes.[3]

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

Local medicine

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.[4][5]

In Bolivia, Alteños Indians use the whole plant to stop hemorrhages. The roots are used to treat fevers and the aerial parts are used as dressing for wounds.[6]

In northeastern Brazil, the plant has been used to lower cholesterol.[7]

In Guyana and the Amazon region, it is a popular cough suppressant, emollient, and diuretic. It is also used to treat proteinuria.[8][9]

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

Common names

Throughout the Americas, it is known as pepper elder, silverbush, rat-ear, man-to-man, clearweed (North America); konsaka wiwiri (Guianas); coraçãozinho or "little heart" (Brazil); lingua de sapo, herva-de-vidro, herva-de-jaboti or herva-de-jabuti (South America).

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

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

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).


  1. ^ Aziba PI , Adedeji A , Ekor M , Adeyemi O . Analgesic activity of Peperomia pellucida aerial parts in mice . Fitoterapia . 2001;72:57-58.
  2. ^ Bojo AC , Albano-Garcia E , Pocsidio GN . The antibacterial activity of Peperomia pellucida (L.) HBK (Piperaceae) . Asia Life Sci . 1994;3:35-44.
  3. ^ Ragasa CY , Dumato M , Rideout JA . Antifungal compounds from Peperomia pellucida . ACGC Chem Res Commun . 1998;7:54-61.
  4. ^ Khan MR , Omoloso AD . Antibacterial activity of Hygrophila stricta and Peperomia pellucida . Fitoterapia . 2002;73:251-254.
  5. ^ Aziba PI , Adedeji A , Ekor M , Adeyemi O . Analgesic activity of Peperomia pellucida aerial parts in mice . Fitoterapia . 2001;72:57-58.
  6. ^ Muñoz V , Sauvain M , Bourdy G , et al. A search for natural bioactive compounds in Bolivia through a multidisciplinary approach: Part III. Evaluation of the antimalarial activity of plants used by Alteños Indians . J Ethnopharmacol . 2000;71:123-131.
  7. ^ Bayma JD , Arruda MS , Müller AH , Arruda AC , Canto WC . A dimeric ArC 2 compound from Peperomia pellucida . Phytochemistry . 2000;55:779-782.
  8. ^ Arrigoni-Blank Mde F , Oliveira RL , Mendes SS , et al. Seed germination, phenology, and antiedematogenic activity of Peperomia pellucida (L.) H. B. K. BMC Pharmacol . 2002;2:12-19.
  9. ^ de Fatima Arrigoni-Blank M , Dmitrieva EG , Franzotti EM , Antoniolli AR , Andrade MR , Marchioro M . Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of Peperomia pellucida (L.) HBK (Piperaceae) . J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;91:215-218.

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