Shining bush plant or pepper elder and man to man is an annual, shallow-rooted herb, usually growing to a height of about 15 to 45 cm (6 to 18 inches), it is characterized by succulent stems, shiny, heart-shaped, fleshy leaves and tiny, dot-like seeds attached to several fruiting spikes. It has a mustard-like odor when crushed. The family Piperaceae comprises about a dozen genera and around 3000 species. The genus Peperomia represents nearly half of the Piperaceae with the genus piper making the rest.
Shiny bush is a common fleshy annual herb, growing by roadside and in wasteland. Stems are translucent pale green, erect or ascending, usually 15-45 cm long, internodes usually 3-8 cm long, hairless. Fleshy leaves are heart shaped, shiny light green, 1.5-4 cm long, 1-3.3 cm wide. It has very small bi-sexual flowers growing in the form of cord-like spikes, 3-6 cm long, arising from the leaf axils. The fruits are also very small, round to oblong, ridged, first green later black. They have one single seed. Shiny bush has a mustard like odor. The plant can be utilized as a vegetable and in salads. Shiny Bush is native to south America, but widely naturalized and cultivated. Flowering year-round, the plant is found in various shaded, damp habitats all over Asia and the Americas. It grows in clumps, thriving in loose, humid soils and a tropical to subtropical climate.
In South America, Shiny Bush is used medicinally. A solution of the fresh juice of stem and leaves is used against eye inflammation. It is also been applied against coughing, fever, common cold, headache, sore throat, diarrhea, against kidney - and prostate problems and against high blood pressure. Shiny bush is also used in Ayurvedic medicine.