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Piri-piri also has a long history of use in herbal medicine systems in South America.* It is a very common remedy to treat nausea, vomiting, stomachaches, and intestinal gas throughout the continent.* For more information about piri-piri (Cyperus articulatus), please refer to the Database File for Piri-Piri in the Tropical Plant Database. To see pictures of piri-piri, click here.
Traditional Uses:* for vomiting and nausea; for digestive and intestinal disorders; for stress, anxiety, and nervousness; for intestinal worms; for epilepsy and convulsions
Suggested Use:* Piri-piri is traditionally prepared in a cold maceration. Simply stir 1 teaspoon of the powder into a cup of water or juice and drink twice daily. It can also be stuffed into capsules or prepared as a tea (1 tsp of powder to a cup of hot water). For more complete instrutions on preparing herbal remedies see the Methods for Preparing Herbal Remedies Page.
Contraindications: This plant has been traditionally used as a contraceptive aid. While no clinical studies exist to support this traditional use, women seeking to get pregnant should probably avoid the use of this plant.
Drug Interactions: None known.
Third-Party Published Research*
All available third-party research on piri-piri can be found at PubMed.
A partial listing of the published research on piri-piri is shown below:
Anticonvulsant & Anti-epileptic Actions:
Bum, E. N., et al. “Ions and amino acid analysis of Cyperus articulatus L. (Cyperaceae) extracts and the effects of the latter on oocytes expressing some receptors.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Dec; 95(2-3): 303-9.
Bum, E. N., et al. “Extracts from rhizomes of Cyperus articulatus (Cyperaceae) displace [3H]CGP39653 and [3H]glycine binding from cortical membranes and selectively inhibit NMDA receptor-mediated neurotransmission.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1996 Nov; 54(2-3): 103-11.
Bum, E. N., et al. “Effects of Cyperus articulatus compared to effects of anticonvulsant compounds on the cortical wedge.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Jul; 87(1): 27-34.
Bum, E. N., et al. “Anticonvulsant properties of the methanolic extract of Cyperus articulatus (Cyperaceae).” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2001 Jul; 76(2): 145-50.
Bum, E. N., et al. “Effect of the decoction of rhizomes of Cyperus articulatus on bicuculline-, n-methyl-d-aspartate- and strychnine-induced behavioural excitation and convulsions in mice.” J. Cameroon Acad. Sci. 2002; 2: 91-95.
Bum, E. N., et al. “Organic and water extracts of Cyperus articulatus (Cyperaceae)inhibited chemically and electrically-induced convulsions in mice.” J. Cameroon Acad. Sci. 2002; 2: 96-106.
Rakotonirina, V. S., et al. “Sedative properties of the decoction of the rhizome of Cyperus articulatus.” Fitoterapia. 2001; 72(1): 22-9.
Kiuchi, F., et al. “Inhibition of prostaglandin biosynthesis by the constituents of medicinal plants.” Chem. Pharm. Bull. 1983; 31: 3391-3396.
Desmarchelier, C., et al. “Total reactive antioxidant potential (TRAP) and total antioxidant reactivity (TAR) of medicinal plants used in southwest Amazona (Bolivia and Peru). Int. J. Pharmacog. 1997; 35(4): 288-296.
Duarte, M., et al. "Anti-Candida activity of Brazilian medicinal plants." J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Feb 28;97(2):305-11.
Desmarchelier, C., et al. “Studies on the cytotoxicity, antimicrobial and DNA-binding activities of plants used by the Ese'ejas.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1996; 50(2): 91-96.
Mongelli, E., et al. “Antimicrobial activity and interaction with DNA of medicinal plants from the Peruvian Amazon region.” Rev. Argent. Microbiol. 1995 Oct-Dec; 27(4): 199-203.
Duarte, M. C., et al. “Anti-candida activity of Brazilian medicinal plants.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2005; 97(2): 305-11.
Rukunga, G., et al. "Anti-plasmodial activity of the extracts of some Kenyan medicinal plants." J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jan 21;121(2):282-5.
Rukunga, G., et al. "Anti-plasmodial activity of the extracts and two sesquiterpenes from Cyperus articulatus."
Fitoterapia. 2008 Apr;79(3):188-90.
Weenen, H., et al. Antimalarial compounds containing an alpha,beta-unsaturated carbonyl
moiety from Tanzanian medicinal plants. Planta Med. 1990 Aug; 56(4): 371-3
Neville, G. A., et al. “Identification of ketones in Cyperus. NMR and mass spectral examination of the 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazones.” Tetrahedron. 1968: 24 pp. 3891.
Ikino, H., et al. “Sesquiterpenoids. XI. Identification of Ketones in Cyperus.” Tetrahedron 1967; 23 2169-2172.
Nyasse, B., et al. “Mandassindione and other sesquiterpenic ketones from Cyperus
articulatus.” Phytochemistry. 1988; 27: 3319-3321.
* The statements contained herein have not been evaluated
by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is
not intended to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.
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Last updated 12-20-2012