This species is included in Piper adunca by some authorities, but we have followed the treatment by the Missouri Botanical Gardens who hold it to be distinct[
Artanthe angustifolia (Lam.) Miq.
Steffensia angustifolia (Lam.) Kunth
Common Name: Matico
Piper angustifolium is an evergreen shrub growing around 3 metres tall.
The plant was used by the local peoples as a wound healing herb and urinary antiseptic before the Europeans came to S. America[
]. The Europeans adopted its use and it has become an official drug in some of the Pharmacopoeias of S. America where it is harvested from the wild and also commonly cultivated[
S. America - Bolivia and Peru.
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Matico leaves contain an essential oil (which includes camphor, borneol and azulene), tannins, mucilage and resins[
]. It is an aromatic stimulant, diuretic and astringent herb[
The leaves are used internally in the treatment of gastric and intestinal problems, including peptic ulcers, diarrhoea and dysentery[
]. It is commonly used in S. America to treat internal bleeding, especially in the digestive tract in cases such as rectal bleeding and haemorrhoids[
]. It is also used in cases of bleeding in the urinary tract[
Applied externally as a decoction, it is a valuable remedy for minor wounds, insect stings and inflamed skin[
]. It is also used as a mouthwash and douche[
The leaves can be harvested as required through the year[
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