Pansit-pansitan: A DOH Approved Medicinal Plant

For many years, Ulasimang-bato or pansit-pansitan (Peperomia pellucida Linn) has been used as a traditional medicine in the Philippines. Also known as Clear weed, Shiny bush, and Silverbush, this fresh shallow-rooted herb possess analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hyperuricemic properties as well as diuretic activity. Peperomia pellucida has also shown antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli.  The entire plant is edible both cooked or raw. (1,2,3)

Pansit-pansitan As A Natural Remedy

This herbal plant is powerful in treating arthritis and gout. Many people in the early ages also believe that it can be a medicine for eye inflammation, high blood pressure, and kidney problems (4). A solution made from the fresh juice of stem and leaves is used against eye inflammation. It is also used in Ayurvedic medicine (5).

Clinical trials involving adults with severe hyperuricemia but were otherwise in good health showed that “ulasimang bato decreases the serum uric acid levels within 2 weeks of oral intake. The average drop in uric acid levels reached 78% by 7 weeks of continuous intake, which was similar to the percentage drop in levels after oral intake of allopurinol for the same duration. Joint pains were a common complaint before starting treatment. After 2 weeks of treatment with Ulasimang bato, >85% had satisfactory pain relief. Also, patients treated with Ulasimang bato did not experience “rebound” hyperuricemia, often seen in patients treated with Allopurinol. Physical examination and blood chemistries were normal during the duration that the patients were being treated with ulasimang bato tablet (6).”

In a controlled study involving rats, extracts from P. pellucida were administered and uric acid levels were monitored. Results of the study shown that rats that were subjected to pansit-pansitan extract have experienced a 44% reduction of uric acid level in blood while those that are given allopurinol drugs have shown 66% reduction in uric acid level. These results show that pansit-pansitan may contain compounds that may be used as an alternative to allopurinol to control uric acid levels in the blood (7).

Pansit-pansitan is approved by the Philippines’ Department of Health for several medicinal uses. One of them is a decoction used to decrease uric acid levels (as a remedy for rheumatism and gout) and to treat renal problems as well as skin disorders such as acne and boils (8). Wash the leaves thoroughly (3 to 4 times) to get rid of all the soil. Including the roots, boil 1 ½ cups of the plant with 2 cups of water for 15-20 minutes.) Drink half a cup, 3x a day (9). It may also be eaten as salad. Wash the leaves well. Prepare one and a half cups of leaves. Divide into 3 parts and take as salad three times a day (10).