Capsicum frutescens l. solanaceae
Local Names : Lombo (Pidgin); Ule hekini (Vanapa, Central Province); Kodukarava (Rigo, Central Province). English Names : Chilli pepper, Red pepper, Paprika, Cayenne pepper.
Herbaceous, glabrous, coarse perennial erect herb or small subshrub, 1-2 m tall. Leaves alternate, simple, often –3 together and unequal, ovate-elliptic, and pointed with entire margins. Flowers are usually borne singly in leaf and branch axils, white to violet colour petal, five parted. Fruit erect, always shiny, a dry to fleshy red elongated berry with numerous flattened seeds which are hot tasting. Flowers and fruit available throughout the year.
Gardens, disturbed sites, weedy habitats, clearing secondary sites, sometimes grown in house yards, often cultivated.
Well distributed all over all hot and cold climate from sealevel to lower montane with well drain fertile soil.
1-5. Vitamins A & B, ascorbic acid, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, cinnamic acid, paracoumaric acid, ferulic acid, caproic acid, isohexanoic acid, lauric acid, palmitic acid, acetic acid, butyric acid, isobutyric acid, mevalonic acid, valeric acid, isovaleric acid, capsaicin and capsaicin derivatives, 3-acetamido-2-methyl tetradecane, novivamide, zucapsaicin, vanillylamine, capsicum sapogenin cay-1. Biological Activity6-15. Causes sensitisation of the skin; diuretic, antinematodal, mutagenic, antibacterial, gastric secretory stimulant, antivenin (weak), antioxidant, antihypercholesterolemic, toxic, haemotoxic, clastogenic, spasmolytic, antifungal, molluscidal, insect feeding stimulant.
Traditional Medicinal Uses
The ripe, red fruit is squeezed and rubbed onto body pains, especially chest pain, to act as an analgesic.
The fruit and leaves are made into poultices and used to treat ulcer and aching heads. The juice from pounded fruit is cooked and added to food to treat pneumonia, which develops following an attack of malaria. Mature fruits are soaked into cold water and solution drink to treat asthma.