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Tropical Garden Grow Guide

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2022 Plant of the Month


Botanic Name
Piper Umbellatum
1-4 meters
Soil Preference
Moist Soil


Propogation: Cow-foot plants can be propagated by seed or by division of suckers. In the wild cow-foot plants are found in damp locations such as river banks or as undergrowth in forests. It can grow up to a height of 4 meters with branches starting close to the base and with alternating leaves.

Medicinal Uses:

The leaves of the Cow-Foot Leaf plant are used mainly used fresh and extensively used to combat pain and inflammation as the plant possesses strong anti-inflammatory and powerful analgesic properties. Showing curative effects in ailments like muscle spasms and stomach pain, cow-foot also reduces the growth of cancer cells, lowers blood cholesterol levels, and works as an antioxidant and is used extensively to relieve headaches. The fresh leaves of this plant are also applied as a topical remedy for abscesses. The leaf juice can be applied to eyes as a remedy for conjunctivitis. Diseases caused by tapeworms are also treated by Cow-Foot Leaf plant. The plant also acts as antiscorbutic and diuretic. A tea can be used to treat coughs.

The juice of the foliage rubbed on the skin, can prevent attacks of redbugs, chiggers, and small ticks.



Young leaves and can be eaten raw, steamed or boiled as a vegetable.  They are also used as a condiment for fish, meat or as a side dish with rice. The leaves can be used in preparation of making medicinal soups combined with assorted vegetables and as a wrap for other foods for cooking and especially for wrapping fish.

Many enjoy the leaves as a refreshing tea. The leaves and stems have a strong aroma reminiscent of sarsaparilla or anise, probably arising from the translucent glands that are apparent when the dry leaves are viewed against a strong light.

The fruit has a sweetish flavor when fully ripe and are eaten raw as a delicacy and the bark can be used as a condiment.