‘Choijwal’ (Piper wallichii (Miq.) Hand.-Mazz.): a wild pepper used as spice and medicine in Andaman Islands of India
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Piper wallichii, a wild Piper vine growing in Andaman Islands, is extracted from the wild for its woody stem with bark used for flavouring curries, although its distribution in this group of Islands is not reported in the floristic records. Karen tribe of North Andaman Island uses its leaf and stem for curing various ailments. Restrictions imposed by Forest Department on extraction and sale of wild plants have led to cultivation attempts in Little Andaman Island. Its botany, chemical profile, ecology, ethnic uses, potential economic importance, propagation and adaptability under cultivation are discussed.
KeywordsAndaman Islands Ethnic uses New distribution record Piper wallichii Underutilized spice Wood pepper
The authors are grateful to the Head, Division of Germplasm Evaluation and Director, ICAR-NBPGR, New Delhi for encouragement and facilities provided. Thanks are also due to the Department of Forest and Wildlife, Andaman and Nicobar administration for granting permission to collect germplasm and Mr. Paritosh Saha, DFO, Mr. Unnikrishnan, Forester and Mr. Parimal Sha, Forest Guard for arranging trekking in the forest. Dr. Sam P. Mathew, Scientist, TBGRI provided useful literature and Dr P. Gajurel examined the collections and gave some useful morphological clues for taxonomic identification, for which we are grateful to them.
This work was carried out under the institutional funds of the ICAR-National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi, India.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or with animals performed by any of the authors.
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