Pansit-pansitan (Peperomia pellucida Linn) is a common fleshy herb with shallow roots and grow annually, with a height of approximately 15 to 45 cm. It has the leaves with a shape of heart, soft leaves and stems, shiny appearance, dotty seeds attached to a number of fruity spikes.
Actually, pansit-pansitan is the Filipino name of this plant, with the western name being pepper elder, shining bush plant, and also man to man. In addition, pansit-pansitan is also edible whether it is cooked and raw, however not much people are aware of the health benefits that it offers. These are more information about pansit-pansitan, as well as the health benefits of pansit-pansitan.
An Introduction to Pansit-Pansitan
Pansit-pansitan, since it grows year-round, it can be found in damp and swampy regions of the world such as in Asia, Australia and the Americas. As such, it grows in lumps, loose and humid soils of the tropical to subtropical climate.
Uses of Pansit-Pansitan
Just like what is written before, pansit-pansitan has been used both as a food item or a medicinal herb. In terms of being a food item, the whole plant can be cultivated fresh to be used as a salad condiment, or cooked together with other meats and vegetables. In addition, pansit-pansitan can also be used as an ornamental foliage, as well as a useful refrigerant. A refrigerant is a substance or mixture, normally in the form of fluids used in heat pump as well as refrigerant cycles. At most cycles, it undergoes phase transitions back and forth in between the states of a gas and a liquid.
What are its Health Benefits?
- Pansit-pansitan is Both Anti-Inflammatory and Analgesic
In a study that uses aerial parts of pansit-pansitan extract in mice turns out to demonstrate anti-inflammatory as well as anti-analgesic properties. Just like its name suggests, anti-inflammatories reduce the intensity of inflammation whereas analgesics are medicines that reduce physical pain. No wonder why pansit-pansitan is also traditionally used to treat simple everyday diseases such as common cold, symptoms of flu, fever, headache, as well as arthritis, similar to health benefits of fish oil for arthritis.
- Pansit-pansitan is an Anti-Cancer
One French study has isolated compounds within peperomia pellucida to be having inhibitory actions against the growth of several types of cancer cells. This has therefore proven pansit-pansitan as a credible supplement for how to prevent cancers. Besides, cancer treatment using natural herbs are deemed much safer with comparable results to those done using pharmaceutical products.
- Pansit-pansitan is an Antioxidant
Antioxidants are compounds that inhibits the process of oxidation, which are chemical reactions that results in the creation of free radicals. Free radicals may also lead to chain reactions that further result in the destruction of organism cells. In one study done using the extracts of peperomia pellucida, it has exhibited strong yet powerful scavenging activities on free radicals, which therefore creates the idea that pansit-pansitan is indeed a powerful antioxidant.
- Pansit-pansitan is an Antibacterial
One previous study has isolated compounds in pansit-pansitan known as patuloside A, which is discovered to contain a broad spectrum of antibacterial activities.
- Pansit-pansitan is an Anti-Arthritic
Another separate study showed that pansit-pansitan, when combined with ibuprofen is able to treat and improve the symptoms associated with arthritis, such as in knee joint rheumatism.
- Pansit-pansitan is an Antidepressant
In one scientific study conducted in Bangladesh, mice were fed with nikethamide to reduce symptoms of depression and hyperactivity. The mice were then fed with peperomia pellucida as a continuation to determine its depressant activities. The results of the experiment suggests that pansit-pansitan extract has a dose-dependent depressant action that could be useful for hyperactivity or any other excessive excitement disorders.
- Pansit-pansitan Helps the Reduction of Uric Acid
Uric acids are a compilation of compounds consisting of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen as well as nitrogen. It also forms ions such as urates and acid urates, with ammonium acid urate as one of its most well-known examples. Uric acid levels should be kept at balance, and several diseases caused by high uric acid are gout, cardiovascular diseases, type-2 diabetes, and uric acid stone formation as examples. In the meantime, low levels of uric acid leads to multiple sclerosis. Pansit-pansitan helps the reduction of uric acid after a test involving rats, in which it saw a reduction of uric acid by 44% after being treated with peperomia pellucida.
- Pansit-pansitan is a Natural Antipyretic
Additional studies that involve rabbits prove that peperomia pellucida possesses anti-pyretic capabilities. Antipyretics are medicines that are able to cure fever by lowering down body temperature. In addition, antipyretic medicines also treat other symptoms related to fever such as shivers, headaches, myalgia, and others. Two notable examples of antipyretics are ibuprofen as well as health benefits of aspirin for heart disease. While then, since pansit-pansitan is a plant that has antipyretic talents, it should therefore be considered as “febrifuges.”
Advices and Recommendations on Pansit-Pansitan
Overall, pansit-pansitan does not cause any adverse side effects to the general population, with some exceptions.
In pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers, there are no sufficient evidences to determine the side effects of pansit-pansitan or peperomia pellucida on them, including when taken in medicinal amounts for infants as well as babies. However, still it is wise to stay safe than be sorry. Avoid taking pansit-pansitan medicines when one is pregnant or breast-feeding.
Second, in several rare cases pansit-pansitan is also known to trigger side effects as well as allergic reactions.
How to Prepare a Pansit-Pansitan Tea
- Pansit-pansitan plant parts
- Mineral water
- Wash the freshly gathered pansit-pansitan plant parts.
- Chop the pansit-pansitan plant parts.
- Add in 4 cups of water for every 1 part of the leaves.
- Combine everything into the pot, and boil for 10 to 15 minutes with the pot cover removed.
- Once it is done, steep if first before straining.
- Serve it.
- The tea concoction can be stored in a jug or a container for later consumption.
For the best results, drink pansit-pansitan tea three cups per day. Also, dried pansit-pansitan leaves could be used instead of fresh leaves, with more potent results.