August 2, 2010
Pansit-Pansitan (Peperomia pellucida Linn.) a.k.a. Ulasiman-Bato
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.Pansit-pansitan is a small fleshy herb up to 30 cm tall. Stem initially erect, rooting at nodes, glabrous. Leaves spirally arranged, simple and membranous when dry. Flowers bisexual, without a stalk, floral bracts rounded. Fruit fleshy, one-seeded.In disturbed habitats, in gardens and cultivated areas that are damp and lightly shaded, on damp hard surfaces such as walls, roofs, steep gullies, and in flower pots. Native to South America, common in South-East Asia, naturalized widely in the Old World tropics.Traditional uses Whole plant as warm poultice to treat abscesses, boils and pimples, rheumatism and fatigue. The bruised leaf is used for headache, convulsions, infusion or decoction-against gout, kidney troubles, rheumatic pain, externally as rinse for complexion problems. Leaf juice is known to sooth colic and abdominal pains.Can also be Eaten as fresh salad.
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.