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Family Piperaceae
Piper abbreviatum Opiz

Scientific names Common names
Piper abbreviatum Opiz Alapapan (Mbo.)
  Bagaybajon (Mbo.)
  Buyo-buyo (Bik.)
  Buyo-halo (P. Bis.)
  Guti-guti (Bik.)
  Halopai (Mbo.)
  Kaligu-uan (Lan.)
  Laiñgan (Sub.)
  Lauigang (Tag.)
  Lingolingo-daytoi (Bis.)
  Manikatapai (Bag.)
  Samaina (Mbo.)
  Tandauon (Mbo.)
  False kava (Engl.)
Quisumbing's compilation lists many synonyms for Piper abbreviatum: Piper chaba, P rhombophyllum, P. miquelinum, P. rubripunctulatum, P. parvispica, P. mearnsii, Chavica chaba, and C. popuulifolia. Some compilations lists some of Quisumbing's synonyms (Piper chaba Blume) as separate species.
Piper abbreviatum Opiz is an accepted name The Plant List
The Plant List provides no synonyms for Piper abbreviatum Opiz.
The common English name "False kava" is applied to several species as well as to some as yet unidentified. The main idea behind that name is to distinguish it from the 118 odd cultivars of the true kava (Piper methysticum). Usually false kavas are world renowned noxious weeds. False kava is known in Tonga as "Kava Hawaii" and in Samoa as "Ava Fiti". Both names reflect the source of the invasion. Sorting Piper Names

Piper info
There is an estimated total of 1200 species of Piper in the pantropical and neotropical regions. Works on Philippine wild Piperaceae have been extensive. Candole (1910) reported 133 species of Piper and 26 of Peperomia; Merill (1923) reported 115 Piper, 25 Peperomia, and Quisumbing (1930) documented 87 Piper and 21 Peperomia. (2)

Buyo-buyo is a dioecious vine, the branches smooth, terete and 1.5 to 3 millimeters in diameter. Leaves are membranous to chartaceoous, ovate, ovate-lanceolate, elliptic-oblong or rounded-elliptic, 4 to 14 centimeters long, 1.5 to 6.7 centimeters wide, usually 5-plinerved, rarely 3-plinerved or 7-plinerved. Pistillate spikes are abbreviated, oblong to globose-ovoid, 7 to 20 millimeters long, 7.5 to 11 millimeters in diameter, with the smooth peduncles 0.8 to 2 centimeters long. Rachis is hirsute. Bracts are sessile, peltate, with the disc smooth, transversely subelliptic to obovate, 0.5 to 0.8 millimeters wide. Fruits are crowded, coalescing fully embedded in and concrescent with the rachis, oblanceolate to obovoid, about 3 millimeters long, angled, smooth and umbonate apex. Stigmas number 3 or 4, ovoid, sessile and apical. Seeds are obovoid, oblong-obovoid or oblanceolate, 2 to 2.5 millimeters long. Staminate spikes are slender, 2.2 to 5.7 centimeters long, 1.5 to 3 millimeters in diameter; the bracts subsessile, peltate, 0.5 to 0.6 millimeter long, disk transversely subelliptic, smooth, 0.5 to 0.6 millimeter wide. Stamens are 2, pedicellate, 0.6 to 1 millimeter long; the anthers reniform to subglobose, 2-valved; the filaments slightly longer than the anthers, somewhat exserted.

- In forests at low and medium altitudes throughout the Philippines.
- Also occurs in Borneo and Java.

- Phytochemical study of air-dried leaves yielded tannins, terpenoids, and alkaloids. (6)
- GC-MS analysis of aerial parts for essential oil yielded 33 components, representing 70.5%. The major components were spathulenol 11.2%, (E)-nerolidol 8.5%, and ß-caryophyllene 7.8%. (see study below) (4)

- Fruits considered aromatic, stimulant and carminative.
- Essential oil considered antimicrobial.

Parts used
Leaves, fruits.


- Fruits are aromatic, stimulant and carminative.
- In the Philippines, paste of leaves used externally to treat splenomegaly. (3)
- Fruits used for coughs and colds.
- Used for flatulence.

Essential Oil / Antimicrobial:
Study evaluated the chemical composition and antimicrobial activities of essential oils from aerial parts of three Piper species: P abbreviatum, P. erecticaula, and P. lanatum. The major components of P. abbreviatum oil were spathulenol (11.2%), (E)-nerolidol (8.5%) and ß-caryophyllene (7.8%). All the essential oils showed moderate antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacterial. (4) (7)
• Butyrylcholinesterase Activity:
Study evaluated ten Piper species for the acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and antityrosinase activities. A n-hexane extract of P. abbreviatum showed 42.5% BChE inhibitory activity compared to standard with 95.9% inhibition.


© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Updated June 2018 / April 2016

IMAGE SOURCE: Piper Chaba / File:Piper chaba BotGardBln1105Z.JPG / Berlin Botanical Gardens Berlin-Dahlem / Nov 2005 /GNU Free DocumnetaionLicense / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Piper (Piperaceae) in the Solomon Islands: the climbing species / R O Gardner / Blumea 55, 2010: 4–13 / doi:10.3767/000651910X499114
A BRIEF ACCOUNT ON THE WILD PIPER (PIPERACEAE) OF THE CROCKER RANGE, SABAH / C.S. Tawan, I.B. Ipor, B.A. Fashihuddin and H. Sani / ASEAN Review of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation (ARBEC) July-September 2002
Medicinal Plants of Asia and the Pacific / Drugswell
Essential Oil Compositions and Antimicrobial Activity of Three Piper Species (Piperaceae) / WAN MOHD NUZUL HAKIMI WAN SALLEH / 13th Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Seminar 2012
Sorting Piper names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The Univers ity of Melbourne. Australia.
Evaluation of the phytochemical constituents of the leaves of Ficus minahassae Tesym & De Vr., Casuarina equisetifolia Linn., Leucosyke capitellata (Pior) Wedd., Cassia sophera Linn., Derris elliptica Benth., Cyperus brevifolius (Rottb.) Hassk., Piper abbreviatum Opiz., Ixora chinensis Lam., Leea aculeata Blume, and Drymoglossum piloselloides Linn. / Rachel A. E. Lagunay, Mylene M. Uy / Advances in Agriculture & Botanics- International Journal of the Bioflux Society / AAB Bioflux, 2015, Volume 7, Issue 1.
Chemical compositions and antimicrobial activity of the essential oils of Piper abbreviatum, P. erecticaule and P. lanatum (Piperaceae) / Wan Salleh WM, Ahmad F, Yen KH/ Nat Prod Commun. Dec 2014 Dec; 9(12):1 pp 795-8.

Anticholinesterase and Antityrosinase Activities of Ten Piper Species from Malaysia
/ Wan Mohd Nuzul Hakimi Wan Salleh, Nur Athirah Hashim, Farediah Ahmad*, Khong Heng Yen / Adv Pharm Bull, 2014, 4(Suppl 2): pp 527-531 / doi: 10.5681/apb.2014.078

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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