Peperomia obtusifolia is a fleshy, erect, succulent
herb. Leaves are alternate, fleshy, spatulate-obovate, waxy green, up
to 6 centimeters long, with a rounded or slightly notched apex and a tapering
base with a short brown petiole. Spikes up to 15 centimeters long.
- A popular ornamental pot
plant or hanging plant and ground cover in the Philippines.
- Propagated by stem cuttings.
• A study isolated
five phenolic compounds with a methyl,
isoprenyl and geranyl group on a benzene ring core.
• Study of leaves and stems yielded a new flavone C-diglycoside isoswertisin-4-methyl-ether-2?-L-rhmanoside along with four known compounds: isoswertisin-2?-L-rhamnoside (2), (+)-diayangambin (3), 2-episesalatin (4) and corchoionoside C (5). (see study below) (8)
• Studies suggest antifungal, trypanocidal and air-cleaning properties.
- 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 and malaria.
- 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 arthritic joints.
- Succulent leaves used as antiscorbutic.
- Kubeo Indians of Columbia use crushed leaves as a rub to reduce arthritic pains.
- 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. (5)
• Phenolic Compounds: A study isolated
fire phenolic compounds with a methyl,
isoprenyl and geranyl group on a benzene ring core. (2)
• Air-Cleaning Plant: In a sealed chamber study of potted plants in carbon filters, Peperomia obtusifolia was shown to reduce formaldehyde by 47 percent. (3)
• 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. (1)
• Isoswertisin Flavones / Weak Antifungal Activity: Study of leaves and stems yielded a new flavone along with four known compounds. On bioautographic assay against Cladosporium cladosporioides and C. sphaerospermum, the flavones showed weak antifungal activity. (see constituents above) (8)
• 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. (4)