Family • Piperaceae - Peperomia obtusifolia Linn.
|Peperomia obtusifolia Linn.|
|Green peperomia (Engl.)|
Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1) Phenolic compounds from Peperomia obtusifolia / Tanaka T et al / Phytochemistry, 1998, vol. 49, no1, pp. 229-232
(2) Indoor Air Pollution: An Introduction for Health Professionals / Can plants control indoor air pollution? / Environmental Protection Agency
Fleshy, erect, succulent herb. Leaves are alternate, fleshy, spatulate-obovate, waxy green, up to 6 cm long, with a rounded or slightly notched apex and a tapering base with a short brown petiole. Spikes up to 15 cm long.
A popular ornamental pot plant or hanging plant and ground cover in the Philippines.
Propagated by stem cuttings.
Chemical constituents and properties
• Antiscorbutic, antimalarial, antiarthritic.
• A study isolated firve phenolic compounds with a methyl, isoprenyl and geranyl group on a benzene ring core.
No known folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
In the Guianas, folkloric use for malaria and arthritis. Decoction of stem and leaves applied as febrifuge. Also, used for albuminuria,
The French Guiana Wayapi crush the aerial parts into tampons on hypertrophied lesions caused by malaria.
The Kubeo Indians of Columbia use the crushed leaves over painful arthrtic joints.
Succulent leaves used as antiscorbutic.
In Asian ethnomedicine, used for skin and stomach problems and diarrhea.
• Of the ethnomedicinal plants used in Trinidad and Tobago, Peperomia obtusifolia was found possibly efficacious for stomach problems, pains and internal parasites. The paper evaluated 58 ethnomedicinal plants used in Trinidad and Tobago for skin problems, stomach problems and intestinal parasites.
• Phenolic Compounds: A study isolated firve phenolic compounds with a methyl, isoprenyl and geranyl group on a benzene ring core.
• Air-Cleaning Plant: In a sealed chamber study of potted plants in carbon filters, Peperomia obtusifolia was shown to reduce formaldehyde by 47 percent.
• Trypanocidal: The trypanocidal activity of extracts from leaves and stems were evaluated in vitro against the epigmastigote forms of Trypanosoma cruzi. Study yielded seven known compounds including three chromanes, two furofuran lignans and two flavone C-diglycosides. The chromanes showed no toxicity at the level of IC50 for trypanocidal activity.
• Can plants control indoor air pollution? Recent reports in the media and promotions by the decorative houseplant industry characterize plants as “nature’s clean air machine”, claiming that National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) research shows plants remove indoor air pollutants. While it is true that plants remove carbon dioxide from the air, and the ability of plants to remove certain other pollutants from water is the basis for some pollution control methods, the ability of plants to control indoor air pollution is less well established. Most research to date used small chambers without any air exchange which makes extrapolation to real world environments extremely uncertain. The only available study of the use of plants to control indoor air pollutants in an actual building could not determine any benefit from the use of plants69. As a practical means of pollution control, the plant removal mechanisms appear to be inconsequential compared to common ventilation and air exchange rates. In other words, the ability of plants to actually improve indoor air quality is limited in comparison with provision of adequate ventilation.
While decorative foliage plants may be aesthetically pleasing, it should be noted that over damp planter soil conditions may actually promote growth of unhealthy microorganisms.