Petiveria is a genus of flowering plants in the pigeonberry family, Petiveriaceae. The sole species it contains, Petiveria alliacea, is native to Florida and the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the United States, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and tropical South America. Introduced populations occur in Benin and Nigeria. It is a deeply rooted herbaceous perennial shrub growing up to 1 m (3.3 ft) in height and has small greenish piccate flowers. The roots and leaves have a strong acrid, garlic-like odor which taints the milk and meat of animals that graze on it.
It is known by a wide number of common names including: guinea henweed, anamu in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Brazil (where it is also known as tipi), apacin in Guatemala, mucura in Peru, and guine in many other parts of Latin America, feuilles ave, herbe aux poules, petevere a odeur ail, and, in Trinidad, as mapurite (pronounced Ma-po-reete) and gully root, and in Jamaica as guinea hen weed  and many others.
Petiveria alliacea is a herbaceous shrub. Leaves are simple, alternate, pinnate in the first order and netted the second order. It has determinate inflorescences. Although the plant is capable of reproducing throughout the year, reproductive activity peaks during a portion of the year that is dependent on geography. For example, in Mexico this period is from September to October, while in Central America it is from July to January.
Range and habitat
This plant is native to southernmost Florida and Texas in the United States, the West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America. In southern Florida it has been reported in disturbed areas, maritime, mesic, prairie and tropical hardwood hammocks and shell mound. In Mexico, P. alliacea is wildly present in corn, coffee and apple plantations.
Guinea hen weed is used in teas, extracts, capsules. The leaves and also the roots are used with medicinal purposes. This plant has been used to reduce inflammation and pain. It has been reported to be used to eliminate bacteria, fungi, candida, and viruses. It is also used to enhance the immune system and increase urination. Recent studies report beneficial results in the use of this plant to lower the blood sugar levels and in the elimination of cancer cells. The plant is also used for arthritis, allergies, as therapy for fever, malaria. In addition, the plant is reportedly an abortifacient.
Petiveria alliacea has been found to contain a large number of biologically active chemicals including benzaldehyde, benzoic acid, benzyl 2-hydroxyethyl trisulphide, coumarin, isoarborinol, isoarborinol acetate, isoarborinol cinnamate, isothiocyanates, polyphenols, senfol, tannins, and trithiolaniacine.
The plant's roots have also been shown to contain cysteine sulfoxide derivatives that are analogous to, but different from, those found in such plants as garlic and onion. For example, P. alliacea contains S-phenylmethyl-L-cysteine sulfoxides (petiveriins A and B) and S-(2-hydroxyethyl)-L-cysteines (6-hydroxyethiins A and B). These compounds serve as the precursors of several thiosulfinates such as S-(2-hydroxyethyl) 2-hydroxyethane)thiosulfinate, S-(2-hydroxylethyl) phenylmethanethiosulfinate, S-benzyl 2-hydroxyethane)thiosulfinate and S-benzyl phenylmethanethiosulfinate (petivericin). All four of these thiosulfinates have been found to exhibit antimicrobial activity. Petiveriin also serves as percursor to phenylmethanethial S-oxide, a lachrymatory agent structurally similar to syn-propanethial-S-oxide from onion,  but whose formation requires novel cysteine sulfoxide lyase and lachrymatory factor synthase enzymes differing from those found in onion.
- "Petiveria alliacea". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2010-04-05.
- Carlquist, Sherwin (1998). "Wood and Stem Anatomy of Petiveria and Rivina (Caryophyllales); Systematic Implications". IAWA Journal. 19 (4): 383–391. doi:10.1163/22941932-90000659.
- Mild, C (2004-06-26). "Smelly Weed Is Strong Medicine" (PDF). Rio Delta Wild. Retrieved 2010-04-05.
- Schmelzer, GH; Gurib-Fakim, A (2008). Medicinal Plants. Plant Resources of Tropical Africa. pp. 412–415. ISBN 978-90-5782-204-9.
- Johnson, L. 1999. Anamu: Petiveria Alliacea. 14 pages (paperback). Woodland Publishing. ISBN 1-58054-038-4 (In Spanish).
- Mendes J. 1986. Cote ce Cote la: Trinidad & Tobago Dictionary, Arima, Trinidad, p. 95.
- "New anti-cancer discovery from Guinea Hen Weed". Jamaica Observer. 2014-03-09.
- "Petiveria alliacea L. Guinea hen weed". Floristic Inventory of South Florida Database Online. The Institute for Regional Conservation. Retrieved 2017-01-06.
- "Petiveria alliacea (guinea hen weed)". Invasive Species Compendium. CABI. Retrieved 2017-01-06.
- Pérez-Leal, R.; García-Mateos, M. R.; Martínez-Vásquez, M.; Soto-Hernández, M. (2006). "Cytotoxic and antioxidant activity of Petiveria alliacea L.". Revista Chapingo. Serie Horticultura. 12 (1): 51–56.
- "ANAMU (Petiveria alliacea)". Tropical Plant Database. Raintree. 2013-02-11. Retrieved 2017-01-06.
- Hernández, John Fredy; Urueña, Claudia Patricia; Cifuentes, Maria Claudia; Sandoval, Tito Alejandro; Pombo, Luis Miguel; Castañeda, Diana; Asea, Alexzander; Fiorentino, Susana (2014-05-14). "A Petiveria alliacea standardized fraction induces breast adenocarcinoma cell death by modulating glycolytic metabolism". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 153 (3): 641–649. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2014.03.013.
- "Petiveria alliacea". Medicinal Plants for Livestock. Cornell University Department of Animal Science. Retrieved 2010-04-04.
- Kubec, R; Musah, RA (2001). "Cysteine sulfoxide derivatives in Petiveria alliacea" (PDF). Phytochemistry. 58: 981985. doi:10.1016/s0031-9422(01)00304-1.
- Kubec, R; Kim, S; Musah, RA (2002). "S-Substituted cysteine derivatives and thiosulfinate formation in Petiveria alliacea--Part II" (PDF). Phytochemistry. 61: 675–680. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(02)00328-X.
- Kim, S; Kubec, R; Musah, RA (2006). "Antibacterial and antifungal activity of sulfur-containing compounds from Petiveria alliacea" (PDF). Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 104: 188–192. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.08.072. PMID 16229980.
- Kubec R, Kim S, Musah RA (2003). "The lachrymatory principle of Petiveria alliacea". Phytochemistry. 63 (1): 37–40. doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(02)00759-8. PMID 12657295.
- Kubec R, Cody RB, Dane AJ, Musah RA, Schraml J, Vattekkatte A, Block E (2010). "Applications of DART Mass Spectrometry in Allium Chemistry. (Z)-Butanethial S-Oxide and 1-Butenyl Thiosulfinates and their S-(E)-1-Butenylcysteine S-Oxide Precursor from Allium siculum". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 58 (2): 1121–1128. doi:10.1021/jf903733e. PMID 20047275.
- Musah RA, He Q, Kubec R (2009). "Discovery and characterization of a novel lachrymatory factor synthase in Petiveria alliacea and its influence on alliinase-mediated formation of biologically active organosulfur compounds". Plant Physiology. 151 (3): 1294–1303. doi:10.1104/pp.109.142539. PMC 2773066. PMID 19692535.
- Musah RA, He Q, Kubec R, Jadhav A (2009). "Studies of a novel cysteine sulfoxide lyase from Petiveria alliacea: the first heteromeric alliinase". Plant Physiology. 151 (3): 1304–1316. doi:10.1104/pp.109.142430. PMC 2773092. PMID 19789290.
- He Q, Kubec R, Jadhav AP, Musah RA (2011). "First insights into the mode of action of a "lachrymatory factor synthase"--implications for the mechanism of lachrymator formation in Petiveria alliacea, Allium cepa and Nectaroscordum species". Phytochemistry. 72 (16): 1939–1946. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2011.07.013. PMID 21840558.