Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Piper sarmentosum Roxb.

Species:P. sarmentosum
Common Names:Wild Pepper, Kadok, Sirih Tanah, Chabei


Climbing herb (up to 10 m) long with long runners. The plant has a typical pungent smell.

It has simple, alternate, heart-shaped leaves (7–14 cm by 6–13 cm). Young leaves possess a waxy surface.

It bears small, white flowers in the form of spikes. The fruits are small, black, dry, and with rounded bulges.

Read more about the Piperales order.
Read more about the Piperaceae family.


India, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

General Biology

Grows commonly in villages in the past and in shady places as a weed.

Human Uses

The plant serves to aid digestion and treat fever. Functioning as an expectorant, the fruits help in bringing up mucus and other material from the respiratory tract. The roots have multiple uses, ranging from treating toothache, coughing, and asthma to treating pleurisy and fungal dermatitis on the feet.


Chong, K. Y., H. T. W. Tan & R. T. Corlett, 2009. A Checklist of the Total Vascular Plant Flora of Singapore: Native, Naturalised and Cultivated Species. Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, National University of Singapore, Singapore. 273 pp.

Keng, H., 1990. The Concise Flora of Singapore: Gymnosperms and Dicotyledons. Singapore University Press, Singapore. 222 pp.

Koh, H. L., T. K. Chua & C. H. Tan, 2009. A Guide to Medicinal Plants: An Illustrated, Scientific and Medicinal Approach. World Scientific Publishing, Singapore. 292 pp.

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