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Medicinal, culinary and unusual botanicals from Australia and around the world

Macropiper latifolium – False Kava (seed)

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Macropiper latifolium is a small shrub in the Piperaceae (Pepper) family native to the islands of Polynesia. Once thought to be an ancestor of the modern Kava (Piper methysticum) cultivars.

The €œfalse kava€ of Vanuatu, Macropiper latifolium has been used as a medicine, such as its usage for ethno-gynecological purposes (BOURDY & WALKER 1992) and it is known to be rich in the essential oil beta-asarone in its root (LEBOT & LEVESQUE 1989). Beta-asarone may be a potential candidate for development as a therapeutic agent to manage cognitive impairment associated with conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease (Wikipedia). Beta-asarone also occurs in Acorus calamus. The leaves, fruit and the roots produce a numbing effect when chewed.

Care and Cultivation of Macropiper latifolium

Sow Macropiper latifolium seeds just under the surface of a good quality seed raising mix, keep moist until germination. Likes rich, deep and moist soil in part shade. Drainage should be sharp. Thrives in tropical and sub-tropical situations, unsure of how they will fare in cooler areas and would most likely need protection from cold. Fertilise moderately over the growing season.

30+ seeds per packet


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