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Cordoncillo negro (Matico)

Scientific name: Piper aduncum

Family: Piperaceae

Synonyms & Related Species: Artanthe adunca Miq., Piper angustifolium Ruiz & Rav., Piper celtidifolium Kunth., Piper elongatum Vahl.

Common Names: anisillo, aperta-ruão, bamboo piper, cordoncillo, cordoncillo negro, erba disoldato, erva-de-jaboti, erva-de-soldado, false kava, gaa ma da oedoe, guayayo, gusanillo, herbe du soldat, higuillo, higuillo de hoja, hoja santa, jaborandi falso, jawawa, jointwood, kakoro,malembe toto, man-anihs, matico pepper, matico, maticoblätter, matika, matiko, menuda, moco-moco, moho-moho, mucumucu, pimenta de fruto ganxoso, pimenta-de-fruto-ganchoso, pimenta-de-macaco, pimenta-matico, Santa Maria negro, shiatani, soldaten kraut, soldier’s herb, spiked pepper, tapa-curaco, tokondé, tupa burraco, upnpoingpoing, wer-ui-qui-yik, little black string

Cordoncillo negro (Matico)
Cordoncillo negro (Matico)
Habitat: The plant is found in Central America, Europe, South America, Caribbean.

Frequently found in cloud forest, tropical semi-evergreen forest and tropical rainforest. As a shrub it is common in disturbed areas.


The leaves have an aromatic smell when rubbed and a bitter, mildly astringent taste.

Piper angustifolium
Piper angustifolium (Cordoncillo negro, Matico)
It contains many active chemicals including flavonoids, sequiterpenes, monoterpenes, heterocycles, phenylpropanoids, alkaloids, and benzenoids. A group of chemicals called chromenes have been found in the leaves (and its essential oil) which have evidenced toxic effects to cancer cells and bacteria. Other chemicals, including a group of bezenoid chemicals, have also demonstrated antibacterial and cytotoxic actions as well. Matico also contains a chemical called safrol which has been used successfully in powerful insecticides, fragrances, soaps and detergent products (Taylor 2006).


Main Actions (in order): stomachic, carminative, vulnerary, antiseptic, hemostat

Properties/Actions Documented by Research

Antibacterial, anticandidal, antifungal, anti-leishmaniasis, antiyeast, antiviral, cytotoxic, insecticidal, molluscicidal

Properties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use

Anti-hemorrhagic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cicatrizant, chologogue, decongestant, depurative, disinfectant, diuretic, expectorant, hemostat, nervine, panacea, purgative, resolvent, stomachic, stimulant, styptic, tonic, vulnerary

Medicinal Parts

The medicinal part of the plant is the leaf.

Main Uses

  • for digestive problems (vomiting, nausea, stomachaches, dyspepsia, dysentary)
  • as a carminative and stomachic to expel intestinal gas and aid digestion
  • as an antiseptic, used externally for wounds, cuts, scrapes, ulcers, boils, leech bites, mouth wash etc.
  • as a hemostat for internal bleeding (uterine, gastric, pulmonary)
  • for colds, flu, coughs, bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory problems
  • for bacterial infections
  • sexual dysfunction, infections of the gentrourinary tract
  • gonorrhea, sphyllis and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • for kidneys – prevent the development of stones and also protects the liver
Piper aduncum
Piper aduncum (Cordoncillo negro, Matico)


It is cultivated as a medicinal plant in the countries of origin. The leaves are the dried leaves of Piper elongatum, Piper aduncum L etc. The fresh leaves are also used medicinally.


The dosage recorded are as given in herbal literature.

Infusion: 1 cup 2-3 times daily (single dose: 1 g herb per cup; or 10% infusion: taken 3 or 4 times daily) (PDR)

Fluid extract: 2-3 ml twice daily

Capsules: 0.5 to 2 g 3 to 4 times daily (PDR)

Powder: 0.5 to 2 g herb, 3 to 4 times daily

Infusion: single dose: 1 g herb per cup; or 10% infusion: taken 3 or 4 times daily

Tincture [1:5, 50% alcohol]: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon in cup of warm water, to 4 times a day. (Moore 1995)

Precautions and Adverse Reactions

No health hazards are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages.

Caution and Contraindications

Avoid use during pregnancy, when breastfeeding or if you have acidity (gastric).


Herbal Materia Medica fifth edition (1995). Michael Moore
The Red List of Mexican Cloud Forest Trees. Editors: Mario González-Espinosa, Jorge A. Meave, Francisco G. Lorea-Hernández, Guillermo Ibarra-Manríquez and Adrian C. Newton
Technical Data Report for Matico (Piper aduncum, angustifolium) (2006). Leslie Taylor, ND
Let’s Get Ready With Herbs (2007). Debra Rayburn
PDR for Herbal Medicines (2000). Joerg Gruenwald, PhD etal.

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