- Piper guineense is a Native of West Africa, it is known as Uziza in Igbo, Iyere in Yoruba, Ashanti pepper in Ghana etc.
- The seeds and the leaves have been used over generations of time for spicing food and for medicine
- According toWikipedia,; Like other members of the pepper family, Ashanti pepper contains 5–8% of the chemical piperine which gives them their piquant taste. They contain large amounts of beta-caryophyllene, which is being investigated as an anti-inflammatory agent.
- Piper guineense ‘Uziza’ is a medicinal plant known to provide medicinal, insecticidal, culinary and dietary benefits to human beings.
- The leaves of Piper guineense have been used by traditional medical practitioners for treatment of respiratory diseases and correction of female infertility problems
- The leaves are traditionally used for treating rheumatic pains and for weight control in some cultures.
- P. guineense leaves are aseptic in nature and have the ability to relieve flatulence.
- According to Chinedu Imo, et. al, Calcium is the mineral with highest concentration in the leaves The high calcium content in the leaves show it can aid the reduction of the risk of osteoporosis and diseases associated with calcium deficiency. Consumption of foods rich in calcium such as Piper guineense leaves may aid the prevention of certain conditions such as spasms and muscle twitching mostly in the arms and face.
- The levels of potassium and sodium in the leaves of Piper guineense show that the use of the plant parts in general nutrition could aid in maintaining homeostasis and in regulating the osmotic balance between interstitial fluid and bodily cells of animals.
- The appreciable level of magnesium implies that consumption of Piper guineense leaves and seeds will support biochemical reactions, especially those enzymatic reactions implicated in the metabolism of food components and in regulation of cholesterol. Magnesium is an active enzyme cofactor (kinases, etc.) and also a constituent of teeth and bones
- According to Elizabeth E. Besong, et. al, the leaves of Piper guineense are used as a spice to flavor meat preparation and fresh pepper soup. They are also processed and consumed as vegetables in meals and are considered aperitif, carminative and eupeptic. They are also used to treat respiratory infections, rheumatism, and syphilis; and the leaves have been shown to have antibacterial activity.
- These properties are attributes that have been credited to Piper guineense leaves: Antimicrobial Activity; Antibacterial effect; Antioxidant effect; Antifungal activity; Aphrodisiac property; Effect on Fertility (enhancement of male fertility); Antiparasitic effect; Effect on Hematological parameters; Sedative and anxiolytic effects; Insecticidal effect; Pharmaco-enhancer effect; Anti-tumor effect: Contractile effect; Antihyperlipidemic effect; Anti-atherogenic effect; Hepatoprotective effect; Larvicidal property. (Elizabeth E. Besong, et. al,)
|Proximate composition of Piper guineense seeds and leaves (%)|
Values are mean ± standard deviation of triplicate determination (n = 3). Mean in the same row, with different letters of the alphabet as superscript are statistically significant (p<0.05) (Chinedu Imo, et. al)
|Phyto-chemical constituents of Piper guineense (Uziza) leaves.|
- According to Blessing Okpala, Piper guineense ‘Uziza’ leaves are aseptic in nature, with the ability to relieve flatulence. They are also useful for treating intestinal diseases, cough, bronchitis and rheumatism; Piper guineense ‘Uziza’ is suitable for treating Infertility in women & Low sperm count in men;
- Piper guineense is part of the plants and herbs categories that contain tannins as their primary components thus are known as astringent. Because of its astringent properties, the piper guineense is highly beneficial for treating intestinal disorders such as diarrhea and dysentery, healing of wounds and inflammation of mucous membrane;
- alkaloids which are natural product present in P. guineense ‘Uziza’ are made up of heterocyclic nitrogen that possess antimalarial, pharmacological, antihypertensive, anti-arrhythmic and anticancer effect. Flavonoids on the other hand, are remarkable for their countless health benefits to human beings, especially due to their antiplatelet, antiviral, anti-tumor, anti-allergic, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities.
|Mineral composition of Piper guineense leaves (ppm)|
Values are mean ± standard deviation (n = 3) (Chinedu Imo, et. al)
|Functional properties of Piper guineense leaves|
|Functional properties||Value (%)|
|Water absorption capacity||187.5|
|Oil absorption capacity||106.75|
|Amino acid composition of Piper guineense (g/100g)|
|Amino acid||Composition (g/100g)|
(*) –Essential Amino acid. (Ogungbenle H. N., et. al)