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Family Portulacaceae

Talinum paniculatum (Jacq.) Gaertn.

Tu ren shen

Scientific names Common names
Calandrinia andrewskii H.Vilm. Talinum (Tag.)
Claytonia patens (L.) Kuntze Talinung (Pamp.)
Helianthemoides patens (L.) Medik. Coral flower (Engl.)
Portulaca paniculata Jacq. Fame flower (Engl.)
Portulaca patens L. Ginseng java (Engl.)
Portulaca reflexa (Cav.) Haw. Javan ginseng (Engl.)
Ruelingia patens (L.) Ehrh. Jewels of Opar (Engl.)
Talinum chrysanthum Rose & Standl. Panicled fame flower (Engl.)
Talinum dichotomum Ruiz & Pav. Pink's baby breath (Engl.)
Talinum moritziana Kl. ex Rohrb. in Mart.  
Talinum paniculatum (Jacq.) Gaertn.  
Talinum patens (L.) Juss.  
Talinum patens (L.) Willd.  
Talinum purpureum hort. ex A.Gray  
Talinum reflexum Cav.  
Talinum reflexum f. saramentosum (Engelm.) Small  
Talinum roseum Kl. ex Rohrb.  
Talinum sarmentosum Engelm..  
Talinum spathulatum Englm. ex  A. Gray  
Talinum paniculatum (Jacq.) Gaertn. is an accepted name The Plant List

Vernacular names
BRAZIL: Maria gorda; Bencao de deus, Beldroega.
CHINESE: Tu ren shen.
FRENCH: Herbe onze heures, Gros pourpier.
MALAY: Ginseng halus, Som jawa.
PORTUGUESE: Lingua de vaca, Beldroega miuda, Maria gombi.
SPANISH: Rama del sapo.
THAI: Som, Som khon, Wan phak pang.
OTHERS: Tharai pasalai, Maria-mole, Ora-pro-nobis-miudo.

English common name might have been taken from the title of a novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar. (5)   Another makes a reference to the ancient African city from which frankincense and gold were hauled by caravan to Solomon's treasure.

Talinum is a fleshy, erect herb, growing up to 100 to 120 centimeters tall. Roots are swollen and fleshy. Stems are succulent, slightly woody at the base. Leaves are in whorls, obovate-lanceolate, flat, glossy and bright green. Flowers are in terminal panicles, small and pink colored. Fruit is a globose, glossy, dark red capsule, 3 to 5 millimeters in diameter, many-seeded.

- A garden plant or ornamental hedge.
- In some places, has escaped the gardens to become weeds.

- Native to tropical America.
- Now pantropic

- Root has saponin, steroid and essential oil.
- Phytochemical screening of hexane and ethyl acetate extracts yielded potassium nitrate (1); a mixture of long chain hydrodrocarbons [hentriacontane (2), dotriacontane (3), tritriacontane (4) and pentatriacontane (5)]; heneicosanoic acid (6); the ester nonacosyl nonacosanoate (7); urea (8); 3-O-β-D- glucosyl-β-sitosterol (9); the mixture of β-sitosterol (10) and stigmasterol (11), and a pentaciclyc triterpene 3-O-acethyl-aleuritolic acid (12). (See study below)
- Methanolic leaf and root extracts yielded various phytosterols: campesterol, ß-sitosterol, stigmasterol, stigmastan-3-ol, stimast-22-en-3-ol and stigmastanol. (See study below)

- Study of root identified a mixed compound of 1-hexacosanol, 1-octacosanol and 1-triacontanol, its acetate, and a mixed compound of campesterol, stigmasterol, and ß-sitosterol together with ß-sitosteryl-ß-D-glucoside. (15)

- Leaves considered cooling, emollient, antiscorbutic, saponin, alterative, vulnerary, and resolvent.
- Studies have suggested antinociceptive, anti-edematogenic, phytoremediative, anti-fertility, estrogenic, tocolytic, anti-aging, antioxidative properties.

Parts used
Leaves and roots.

Edibility / Culinary
- Young leaves and stems are used as vegetable.
- Leaves used as salad ingredient.
- Shoots and leaves added to stews and soup.
- Author's mother told of a time during WWII when the leaves were used as food in times of scarcity.
- In some parts of Asia, used as a spice.


- In Asian traditional medicine, use extensively as a reproductive tonic.
- Roots used as substitute for ginseng.
- Used to regulate menses; also, for cough, general debility, diarrhea.
- In China, it is cultivated as a medicinal herb. In traditional Chinese medicine, the herb is used as a substitute for Ginseng.
- In Indonesia, used for liver and kidney problems.
- In Brazil, plant used to treat inflammatory conditions.
- Used to treat bad smelling urine, enuresis, irregular menses, gastrointestinal disorders, general debility. Leaves used topically in the treatment of edemas, skin inflammation, minor scratches, cuts, and scrapes. Decoction of roots used to treat scurvy, arthritis, stomach inflammation, and pneumonia.
- Popular in Thai herbal recipes for enhancing vitality, treating diabetes, inflammatory skin problems, GI troubles, and general weakness. Used to induce lactation and restore uterine functions postpartum.
- Swollen root used as aphrodisiac.

Octacosanol :
Octacosanol has been isolated from the roots of Talinum paniculatum. Octacosanol is being investigated in humans for use as an antiviral for herpes and for the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases. It may be helpful with Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, heart disease and cholesterol reduction. (1)
From the roots, study yielded a mixed compound of 1-hexacosanol, 1-octacosanol and 1-triacontanol, its acetate, and a mixed compound of campesterol, stigmasterol, and B-sitosteryl-B-D-glucoside. (2)
Estrogenic Activity / Roots and Leaves:
Study explored the estrogenic activity of T. paniculatum root and leaf extracts compared with 17ß-estradiol (E2) in an experimental model of menopause in adult bilaterally ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Results showed T. paniculatum possess estrogenic activity in the OVX rats, which can be helpful in naturally managing reproductive tissues regression during menopause via an herbal option without any toxicity. (7)
Antinociceptive / Anti-Edematogenic:
Study evaluated crude extracts for anti-edematogenic and antinociceptive activities in a formalin-induced paw edema model. Hexane and ethyl acetate extracts showed higher anti-edematogenic and antinociceptive activity. (See constituents above) (8)
Anti-Fertility / Anti-Implantation / Abortifacient / Roots and Leaves:
Study of methanolic root and leaf extracts in female Wistar rats showed significant estrogenic activity, with anti-implantation activity and early abortifacient activity in a dose dependent manner. (9)
Tocolytic / Effects on Uterine Contractility:
Study investigated the effects of T. paniculatum leaf extracts on uterine contractility on adult female virgin rats. Results showed that spontaneous uterine contractile activity were dose-dependently inhibited by the leaf extracts. Results suggest T. paniculatum produces tocolytic effects on both spontaneous and agonist-induced contractions, possibly due to blockade of Ca2+ influx via L-type Ca2_ channel and Ca2+ efflux from internal store. (10)
Phytoremediation / Iron:
Study investigated the effectiveness of T. paniculatum as a phytoremediator for Fe in lateritic soil. Results showed higher amounts of Fe in the leaves grown in 75% and 100% lateritic soil and suggests potential use as phytoremediator and guide with regards its edibility. (11)
Ginseng Jawa / Effect on Hippocampus Pyramidal Lamina Thickness:
Study evaluated the effect of Ginseng Jawa (T. paniculatum) root on the thickness of CA1 pyramidal lamina of the hippocampus. Ginseng Jawa (Talinum paniculatum Gaertn.) with similar component to Panax ginseng, is assumed to have the same effect to the memory processing in the brain especially in the hippocampus neuron. Results showed GJ root administered orally increases the thickness of pyramidal lamina CA1 of the hippocampus. (12)
Antioxidative / Anti-Aging:
Study investigated the antioxidative and anti-aging effects of extracts from Talinum paniculatum. Leaf and stem extracts showed free radical scavenging effects and superoxide radical scavenging effects. Photoprotective potential of LSE was tested in HDF (human dermal fibroblast) exposed to ultraviolet irradiation. Results showed the LSE have anti-aging effects and the plant can be used as a source of new functional materials against oxidative stress-mediated skin damages. (13)
Effect of Java Ginseng in Fitness of Male White Rat:
Study investigated the process of improving fitness and its correlation with Java ginseng dose. The root of the plant is widely used as a substitute for Korean ginseng root. Results showed Java ginseng extract can increase the maximum ability to swim longer and reduce the oxidative stress evidenced by a decrease in malondialdehyde (MDA) levels. (17)
Extraction of Flavonoids / Antioxidant Activity:
Study reports on the microwave assisted extraction of flavonoids from T. paniculatum and its oxidation resistance, reporting on ethanol concentration, material liquid ration, extraction temperature and time, microwave power and time. Flavonoid yield could be 11.42%, more than 0.62% higher than conventional extraction. (18)
• Antibacterial / Antifungal / Leaves:
Study evaluated various extracts and fractions of T. paniculatum leaves for antimicrobial and antimycobacterial activity. The LE showed activity against Serratia marcescens and Staphylococcus aureus with MICs of 250 and 500 µg/mL, respectively. A hexane extract showed good activity against Micrococcus luteus and Candida albicans. Although the crude leaf extract showed low MIC against S. aureus, further studies are suggested to investigated the possible synergism between T. paniculatum and antibiotics used to treat resistant strains (MRSA). (19)
• Antibacterial / Leaves:
Study evaluated the in vitro antibacterial activity and MICs of various leaf extracts of Talinum paniculatum against E. coli (ATCC 25922) and S. aureus (ATCC 25923). A crude leaf extract exhibited against both E. coli and S. aureus. Study concludes the antibacterial potential of leaves of TP is mediated primarily by its phytoconstituents (alkaloids, phenols, saponins, tannins, steroids, triterpenes and flavonoids) which hinder peptidoglycan synthesis in bacterial cell wall, destroy bacterial membrane, alter surface hydrophobicity, alter cell signaling pathways and modulate quorum sensing.   (20)
• Synergistic Antimicrobial Activity with Antibiotics / Root:
Study evaluated the effects of T. paniculatum in combination with tetracycline, erythromycin, and streptomycin against S. aureus and E. coli. The root extract statistically enhanced the activity of all the antibiotics against S. aureus. However, it showed no synergistic activity against E. coli. (21)
• Antioxidant / Polysaccharides / Stem:
Study reported on the ultrasonic extraction of polysaccharides from Talinum paniculatum and evaluated the antioxidant activity using DPPH, hydroxyl radical, and superoxide radical assays. The stem polysaccharides exhibited powerful antioxidant. (22)

- Wild-crafted.
- Seeds in the cybermarket.

© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D. / StuartXchange

Updated July 2018 / November 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Uses of Octacosanol / Consumer Information / Drugs.com
Constituents of Shukkonhazeran (Part 1) [in Japanese] Studies on the Constituents of Talinum paniculatum GAERTNER. I [in Japanese] / Komatsu Manki, Yokoe Itirou et al / Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan 102 (5), 499-502, 1982-05-25
Talinum paniculatum / Medicinal Plant Database / One Garden
Talinum paniculatum (Jacq.) Gaertn. / The Plant List
Talinum paniculatum / Wikipedia
Sorting Talinum names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia.
TALINUM PANICULATUM (JACQ.) GERTN: A MEDICINAL PLANT WITH POTENTIAL ESTROGENIC ACTIVITY IN OVARIECTOMIZED RATS / Catthareeya Thanamool / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2013; 5(2)
Antinociceptive and edematogenic activity and chemical constituents of Talinum paniculatum Willd
/ Maria Perpétua Oliveira Ramos, Grácia Divina de Fátima Silva, Lucienir Pains Duarte, Valdir Peres, Roqueline Rodrigues Silva Miranda, Gustavo Henrique Bianco de Souza, Valdenir José Belinelo and Sidney Augusto Vieira Filho / J. Chem. Pharm. Res., 2010, 2(6):265-274
Evaluating the anti-fertility activity of Talinum paniculatum (Jacq.) Gaertn in female wistar rats
/ Catthareeya Thanamool*, Atcharaporn Thaeomor, Suthida Chanlun, Pittaya Papirom, Sajeera Kupittayanant / African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Vol 7(26), pp 1802-1807, 15 July 2013 / DOI 10.5897/AJPP2013.2974
Tocolytic Effects of Talinum Paniculatum Leaf Extract in Female Virgin Rats
/ C. Thanamool, S. Kupittayanant / Poster Communications / 37th Congress of IUPS (Birmingham, UK) (2013) Proc 37th IUPS, PCB366
Determining the efficiency Talinum paniculatum (Jacq) Wild as a phytoremediator and its morpho-anatomical responses to iron in lateritic soils / Tolentino, Vivian S., Bautista, Jill Mary J. / Transactions of the National Academy of Science and Technology
The effect of Ginseng Jawa (Talinum paniculatum Gaertn.) root on the thickness of CA1 pyramidal lamina of rat hippocampus / Dwi Cahyani Ratna Sari, Soedjono Aswin, Sri Suharmi, Untung Tranggono, Mansyur Romi / Kamis, 09 Mei 2013
Antioxidative and Anti-aging Effects of Extract from Talinum paniculatum / Jung Young Oh†, Jin Hwa Kim, Geun Soo Lee, Yong He Zhang*, and Hyeong Bae Pyo / Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists of Korea
Talinum paniculatum: Vegetables and Fruits: Nutritional and Therapeutic Values
/ Thomas S. C. Li / CRC / Google Books
Studies on the Constituents of Talinum paniculatum GAERTNER. I / Manki Komatsu, Ichiro Yokoe, Yoshiaki Shirataki, and Tsuyoshi Tomimori / Yakugaku Zasshi, Vol.102(5), pp 499-502 (1982)
Talinum paniculatum / Pl@ntUse
Effect of Java Ginseng Extract {Talinum Paniculatum (Jacq.) Gaertn.} In Fitness of Male White Rat (Rattus norvegicus) / Asami Rietta Kumala / ADLN Perpustakaan Universitas Airlangga
Extraction of flavonoids from talinum paniculatum and it' s antioxidant activity / Topics in Research
CHEMICAL CHARACTERIZATION AND EVALUATION OF ANTIBACTERIAL, ANTIFUNGAL, ANTIMYCOBACTERIAL, AND CYTOTOXIC ACTIVITIES OF Talinum paniculatum / Luis F C Dos Reis, Claudio D Cerdeira, Bruno F de Paula, Jeferson J da Silva, et al / Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo, 2015 Sep-Oct; 57(5): pp 397–405 / doi:  10.1590/S0036-46652015000500005
A Comparative Study on In Vitro Antibacterial Activity of Different Leaf Extracts of Medicinal Plant Talinum paniculatum / K D K P Kumari et al / Human Journals: International Journay of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Research, October 2017; Vol 10, Issue 3
Talinum paniculatum root exhibits synergistic antimicrobial activity with Tetracycline, Erythromycin, and Streptomycin against S. aureus but has no observed effect on antibiotic efficacy against E. coli
/ Jahnvi Patel, Keroline Santos, Kathleen Mungai, Veronica Arseneault, Yaa Konama Pokuaa, Katelyn St. Louis, Kruti Patel, Liam Gilligan, Kathryn Mansour, Pooja Patel, Kimberly A. Gonzalez / Journal of Emerging Investigators, 9 January 2018
Study on the Antioxidation Activities of Polysaccharides from the Talinum Paniculatum / PAN Ting-qi; WEN Quan-tai; HUANG Li-de; YAN Zu-di; ZHANG Zhao-ping; LAN Cui-xiao; HUANG Suo-yi / Lishizhen Medicine and Materia Medica Research, 2014-01

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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