Coccobryon capense (L.f.) Miq.
Piper bequaertii De Wild.
Piper emirnense Baker
Piper odoratum auct.
Piper sacleuxii C.DC.
Piper trichopodum C.DC.
Piper volkensii C.DC..
Piper capense is a rather variable plant in habit, ranging from a weakly erect, aromatic, evergreen shrub or subshrub, to a more or less herbaceous perennial and sometimes a straggling plant that scrambles into other plants for support[
]. The stems can be 1 - 5 metres long, with one or sometimes several stems arising from a tuberous rootstock[
The plant is sometimes gathered from the wild for local medicinal use.
Africa - Sierra Leone to Ethiopia and Sudan, south to Angola, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.
Forest undergrowth in wet places, swampy forest edges, mixed bamboo-forest, scrub and thicket near streams, grassland and tree clumps, etc.; at elevations from 650 - 2,500 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
This species is closely related to black pepper (Piper nigrum)[
Fruits - used as a spice[
]. A clove-like pungent-spicy flavour[
]. The fruit is a globose-ovoid drupe 2 - 4mm long, containing 1 seed[
Piper capense is closely related to the black pepper of commerce (Piper nigrum) and, like that species, is commonly used to treat a range of conditions.
The aerial parts of the plant contain mainly monoterpene and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons[
From the roots the sesquiterpene capentin and several neo-lignans have been isolated[
A crude root extract showed significant antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes and Corynebacterium xerosis in vitro[
The fruit is considered to be carminative, diuretic, stimulant and stomachic and vermifuge[
]. An infusion in water or brandy is taken to treat stomach problems, including indigestion, flatulence and colic; heart and kidney problems; and as a cough medicine[
]. It can cause sweating and sleepiness[
Leaf preparations are widely used to treat a range of conditions including abdominal disorders; bilious fever; kwashiorkor; haematuria; bacterial skin infections; epileptic attacks; and polio[
A water extract of the leaves and stems is given as an enema to women a few days after delivery to remove the afterbirth[
The root is said to be anthelmintic[
]. A sweetened root infusion or seed extract is taken against cough. The raw or cooked root is eaten as an aphrodisiac tonic[
An ointment made from the root is applied to the soles of the feet to treat paralysis of patients suffering from cerebral bleeding[
A maceration of the bark is drunk to treat sore mouth and throat; chest complaints; and venereal diseases[
]. The bark is an ingredient of infusions given to treat sterility[
The pulverized bark, mixed with Vaseline, is applied on wounds and against vaginal discharge[
In trials, the antifungal properties of the essential oils have been shown to be weak[
The fresh leaves contain about 0.2% essential oil, whilst the seeds contain 1.4%[
]. Both essential oils are rich in monoterpene hydrocarbons and contain mainly α-pinene, β-pinene, camphene and sabinene. [
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.