Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Uses of Siling Labuyo (Capsicum frutescens)

Scientific name: Capsicum frutescens L.

Common names: Pasitis (Tagalog); silit diablo (Ilokano); lada (Bikol); katambal (Bisaya); African chillies, Cayenne., Chile (Sp.); chileng-bundok (Tag.); kasira (Mag.); katumbal (Bis.); kitikot (Bis.); lada (Sul., Bik.); lara (Sul.); paktin (IF.); pasitis (Tag.); rimorimo (Bik.); sili (most dialects); sileng-labuyo (Tag.); siling-palai (Tag.); Spanish pepper, red pepper, cayenne, chile pepper, chillii (Engl.).

Indications and preparations: Liniments from crushed fruits for muscular aches and joint pains.

Sileng-labuyo is ubiquitous in the Philippines. It is a native of tropical America, but is now pantropic.

This pepper plant is erect, branched, half-woody, and 0.8 to 1.5 meters in height. The leaves are oblong-ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 3 to 10 centimeters long, and pointed at the tip. The flowers are solitary or occur several in each axil, and are stalked, pale green or yellowish-green, and 8 to 9 millimeters in diameter. The fruit is commonly red when ripe, oblong-lanceolate, and 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters long. The seeds are numerous and discoid.

The fruit has a very sharp taste and is extensively used as a condiment. It is mixed with or made into pickles, and is a principal ingredient in all curies in India. The leaves are very extensively used as a green vegetable. They have a very pleasant, somewhat piquant flavor. The leaves are excellent sources of calcium, and iron and a good source of phosphorus, vitamin B, and vitamin A.

The fruit contains an active ingredient, capsaicin, 0.14 per cent; and capsaicin, 0.15 - 0.5 per cent; starch, 0.89 - 1.4 per cent; pentosans, 8.57 per cent; and pectin; 2.33 cent. The fruit is official in the Argentine and United States Pharmacopoeias; and also in the British, and Indian Pharmacopoeias.

According to Drury Cayenne, pepper is believed to be wholesome for persons of phlegmatic temperament, being considered stimulating. When eaten fresh, it is an excellent promoter of ligaments in tropical countries. The bruised berries are employed as powerful rubefacients, being preferred to sinapisms in sore throats. They are also given, with the best results, as a gargle. Chilli vinegar (made by pouring hot vinegar upon the fruit) is an excellent stomachic. Chillies are employed, in combination with cinchona, in intermittent and lethargic affections, and also in atonic gout, dyspepsia accompanied with flatulence, tympanitis, and paralysis.

Warm fomentation of both leaves and fruit is applied for rheumatic pains. The leaves of some varieties are used as a dressing for wounds and sores. A strong infusion of the fruit of the hotter kinds is applied as a lotion for ringworm of the scalp.

Chillies are used in native practice in typhus intermittent fevers and dropsy; also in gout, dyspepsia, and cholera. Externally, they are used as a rubefacient and internally, as a stomachic.

Thank natural to make herbals for good life!