Pansit pansitan (Pansit pansitan in English is ‘Pepper Elder’ ) also called ‘ulasimag-bato’ is the name of a herbal plant like weed that you might confuse with the popular pancit dish (noodle dish) from the Filipino restaurant Manam. The Pansit pansitan plant is a shallow rooted medicinal plant that grows in slightly shaded areas eaten for its anti-gout, analgesic, diuretic, and arthritic properties. It looks like a regular weed but is eaten as regular food, medicine, or some even use it as an ornamental foliage.
A short Introduction
The Pansit pansitan or ‘Ulasimang bato’ in Tagalog, ‘sinaw sinaw’ in Bikolano, ‘olasiman ihalas’ in Bisaya, or ‘lin-linnaaw’ in Ilocano’ with the scientific name “Peperomia pellucida” and the English name “Pepper Elder” or “Shining bush plant”. Is a plant, while having a specific seed (peperomia pellucida seeds) to grow, are mostly found to be like common weeds that just pop out of other plants all of a sudden. These are a common albeit not that popular garden weed in the Philippines, with many not knowing that these are edible and are actually a herbal plant. It grows abundantly in the wild and does not really look similar to the usual greens we find in the market or try to grow in the garden. These are part of the grass family and can be eaten like a vegetable but some do say that it can be eaten raw.
Pansit pansitan is a halamang gamot (medicinal plant) that grows all year round and seen as a shallow-rooted herb that grows into a vine-y looking bush, it grows to a length of 6 to 18 inches, with succulent stems and fleshy leaves that has a almost sharp heart-like shape, dotted seeds at the ends, and has a mustard aroma that is especially prevalent when crushed. Caring for a peperomia pellucida is easy, just make sure that the soil is almost always moist but not too wet and soggy. Do note that these should be harvested before or once you see a yellowish tinge on the leaves, meaning that they are maturing and won’t taste as fresh.
It has a mildly refreshing peppery taste, some compare it to a non-bitter subtle radish flavor, with a nice crunch. It still needs to be rinsed and strained before eating or cooking. Add these into salads, sautéed meats or vegetables, soups, and other dishes as you would a typical leafy vegetable. Eat Pansit-pansitan for kidney stones, are helpful for those with arthritis, or eat peperomia pellucida for high blood pressure, gout, to lower cholesterol, inflammation and many more great benefits. Some even say grounded up leaves once in paste form can be applied topically to pimples or boils to help it get better.
Pansit pansitan Benefits ( Peperomia pellucida Benefits )
Pansit pansitan herbal properties are anti-inflammatory, analgesic (relieves pain), and is chemotherapeutic. This shunned plant due to not being as popular to its other grass family compatriots is a tasty, easy, and affordable way to get nutrients into your body. Here are more health benefits of pansit pansitan:
- Helps with inflammation.
- Treats gout and urinary tract infections.
- Relieves rheumatism.
- Addresses hypertension.
- Is said to help topically with pimples, boils, or affected areas.
* Pansit-pansitan side effects: Are said not to be best for pregnant or lactating mothers.
Peperomia pellucida nutritional information
Rich in protein, carbohydrates and ash which has a high mineral content being, iron, calcium, and potassium. This plant can also be a great source of protein and micronutrients similar to most leafy vegetables.
How to cook peperomia pellucida?
Peperomia pellucida recipes? Most of the time the leaves are cooked like one would cook spinach. Once rinsed, these can be sauteed with a bit of oil, garlic and onions, cooking till it wilts. Some have eaten it raw, steamed, added into soups, others blanch these in boiling water to eat then drink as peperomia pellucida tea.
How to use peperomia pellucida for acne?
For the traditional way, boil the leaves in water, let it cool down and get into room temperature before rinsing your skin with the water. For those with boils, it’s said that crushing the branches and leaves with a mortar and pestle till it looks like a paste, applying it topically over the boils can help.