5 Surprising Health Benefits of Pepper Elder (Pansit-pansitan)

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Pepper elder or pansit-pansitan is a delicious herb packed with a lot of health benefits, including treatment for gout and high-blood pressure.

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Pepper elder (Peperomia pellucida) or more commonly known among Filipinos as pansit-pansitan or ulasimang bato (Tagalog), olasiman ihalas (Bisaya), sinaw-sinaw (Bikol), and lin-linnaaw (Ilocano) just to mention a few is an herb that grows wild and abundant in most gardens and practically anywhere else. 

Health benefits of pepper elder or pansit-pansitan

5 Surprising Health Benefits of Pepper Elder (Pansit-pansitan)




    While it is known by its various names around the Philippines, I will refer to it as pansit-pansitan throughout this article.

    Pansit pansitan is thought by many people as a weed or a type of grass which makes them feel uneasy or apprehensive in consuming it. However, it is not grass but an herb and may be eaten as a vegetable. Not only that, it does taste good!

    Pansit-pansitan’s texture and flavor 


    Pansit-pansitan has a pleasing mild peppery taste, similar to radish but really subtle. It does not taste bitter at all so it just needs to be washed thoroughly to remove dirt and can be eaten as is with a light dressing or mixed with other green leafy vegetables as a salad. Pansit pansitan has a satisfying crunch that is why it is popularly prepared as a salad dish in many parts of Southeast Asia. 

    Pansit-pansitan plant at our garden
    Pansit-pansitan

    Anyway, I recently thought of preparing pansit-pansitan at home for my in-laws because I see a lot of it growing in our garden and I wanted a healthy dish on our table that can address high-blood pressure, arthritis and gout, and general inflammation in the body. 

    I know pansit-pansitan because it is a common vegetable in our town in Nueva Ecija but is most often prepared as tea or decoction, meaning the plant is boiled in water to extract its healthy components. It is then drank as a health drink for overall physical wellness. The root, most especially, is regarded as the most potent part of the plant.

    Introducing pansit-pansitan to my companions at home 


    While my in-laws love vegetables (we have a vegetable garden at home), they are not familiar with pansit-pansitan and initially thought that it was odd to consume “grass” but I explained that it was really an herb and that it tasted good as a salad or even in soups.

    To be honest, it was also my first time to eat pansit-pansitan but I was perfectly fine with it because I knew of it as an edible and quite delicious plant. 

    So I prepared a salad for my in-laws, the usual way that we prepare our salads at home in order for them to feel comfortable with eating it. Honestly, it took us a bit of convincing for them to try it and after the initial apprehension, they actually thought that it tasted good and wanted me to regularly prepare it as a side salad. 

    If you are like my in-laws who are not familiar with pansit-pansitan, I do hope that you would reconsider it for its health benefits as well as its wonderful flavor. 

    Health benefits 


    Because pansit-pansitan is an analgesic, anti-arthritic, and a diuretic Here are some of pansit-pansitan’s health advantages, which I hope will convince you to enjoy it:

    1. It can help treat gout 
    2. It can help relieve rheumatism 
    3. It may help address hypertension 
    4. It is also used to treat renal disorders such as urinary tract infection 
    5. It can help cure pimples when mashed and applied topically to affected areas

    These are just some of the health benefits of pansit-pansitan that struck me. However, it has countless other benefits that range from treating eye inflammation, to burns and wounds, to headache. 

    Pansit-pansitan salad 


    In some Southeast Asian countries, particularly in Vietnam, pansit-pansitan is prepared in a variety of ways. most notably as a vegetable side dish, a salad, and in soups. In the Philippines,

    Pansit-pansitan salad recipe

    Here is a simple salad recipe on how I prepare pansit-pansitan at home: 

    Ingredients: 

    • A good bunch of pansit-pansitan (you can just pick the stems and leaves and leave the root in the soil) 
    • 3 medium ripe tomatoes 
    • 1 medium white onion (you may use 2 medium red onions if unavailable) 

    Dressing: 


    For the dressing, I decided to make it all-Filipino with a bagoong-calamansi sauce but you can also use vinaigrette, olive oil, or Gochujang (Korean chili paste). 

    Here’s what you will need for the bagoong-calamansi dressing: 
    • Juice from 5 pieces calamansi or half of medium-sized lemon 
    • 2 pieces chili, chopped 
    • 2 cloves garlic, grated 
    • Half a piece of ginger, grated 
    • Fish bagoong (Balayan or Pangasinan) 

    Procedure:

    1. Wash the pansit-pansitan at least twice in clean water and cut it into smaller pieces. 
    2. Chop the tomatoes and the onions. 
    3. For the sauce, combine the calamansi juice, grated garlic and ginger, chopped chili, and gradually add the bagoong until you get the desired flavour. 
    4. Toss all the ingredients together until all the vegetables are coated with the dressing. You may serve this immediately or chill before serving it.


    Rated 5/5 based on 2 customer review(s).
    simple and delicious pansit-pansitan salad
    Simple, fast, and delicious pansit-pansitan salad.

    Ingredients:
    • A bunch of pansit-pansitan (leaves and stems)
    • 3 medium ripe tomatoes
    • 1 medium white onion or 3 medium red onions
    • Juice from 5 pieces calamansi
    • 2 pieces chili
    • 2 cloves garlic, grated
    • half a piece of ginger, grated
    • fish bagoong (Balayan or Pangasinan)

    Instructions:

    1. Wash the pansit-pansitan at least twice in clean water and cut it into smaller pieces.
    2. Chop the tomatoes and the onions.
    3. For the sauce, combine the calamansi juice, grated garlic and ginger, chopped chili, and gradually add the bagoong until you get the desired flavor.
    4. Toss all the ingredients together until all the vegetables are coated with the dressing. You may serve this immediately or chill it before serving.
    5. RATE THIS RECIPE
    Yum

    Epilogue


    Pansit-pansitan is an easily-accessible herb that is packed with a lot of health benefits. It is delicious and quick to prepare.

    Fresh pansit-pansitan salad
    Fresh pansit-pansitan

    Are you familiar with pansit-pansitan? Have you tried this before? If you have recipes that use pansit-pansitan, share them in the comment section below.

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