Family • Balsaminaceae - Impatiens balsamina Linn. - TOUCH-ME-NOT - Ji xing zi

Scientific names

Impatiens balsamina Linn.
Impatiens triflora Blanco
Balsamina hortensis Deer.

Common names

Balsam (Engl.)
Rose balsam (Engl.)
Kamantigi (Ilk., Tag., Pamp.)
Salonga (Bis.)
Solonga (Bis.)
Saungga (Sul.)
Suranga (Bik., Bis.)
Garden balsam (Engl.)
Jewelweed (Engl.)
Rose balsam (Engl.)
Touch-me-not (Engl.)
Ji xing zi (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

BENGALI: Dopati.
CHINESE: Feng xian hua, Zhi jia hua, Feng xian tou gu cao.
DUTCH: Balsamine.
GUJARATI: Gulmehendi.
MALAYALAM: Thilam Oonappuu, Thottachinungi, Mechingam.
MARATHI:: Terada, Gulmendi.
SANSKRIT: Dushparijati.
SPANISH: Miramelindo.
TAMIL: Kaci-t-tumpai.
THAI: Thian-ban.
URDU: Gul mehendi.

Gen info
Impatiens is a genus of about 850-1,000 species of flowering plants, and together with the puzzling Hydrocera triflora, the genus makes up the family Balsaminaceae. Some of the species are closer to Hydrocera than the presumed congeners. Phylogenetic studies might suggest a need to split up Impatiens.


Kamantigi is an annual, erect, succulent, branched herb, 1 meter high or less. Leaves are smooth, somewhat glabrous or pubescent, 3 to 5 centimeters long, narrowly lanceolate or oblanceolate, pointed at both ends, deeply serrate, alternate, the petioles with basal glands as seen under a magnifying glass. Flowers are axillary, showy, 2 to 3 centimeters long, usually pink, but forms with white, red, purple, or variegated petals are also found in cultivation. The sepal spur is long and slender. The stamens are 5, filaments short, broad, anthers uniting. The ovary is 5-celled, the stigma, 5-toothed, the ovules many. Fruits are loculicidal capsules, pubescent and explosive when ripe. (Insert below) The seeds are small, tubercled, and rounded.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Antifungal activity of synthetic peptides derived from Impatiens balsamina antimicrobial peptides Ib-AMP1 and Ib-AMP4 / K Thevissen et al / Peptides, Vol 26, Issue 7, July 2005, Pages 1113-1119 / doi:10.1016/j.peptides.2005.01.008

(2) Antianaphylactic effects of the ethanolic extract from the petals of Impatiens balsamina L. in mice 

(3) Impatiens balsamina – L. / Rose Balsam / Plants For A Future

(4) Antipruritic Dinaphthofuran-7,12-dione Derivatives from the Pericarp of Impatiens balsamina / Kyoko Ishiguro et al / J. Nat. Prod., 1998, 61 (9), pp 1126–1129 / DOI: 10.1021/np9704718

(5) Isolation and Identification of an Anti-tumor Component from the Leaves of Impatiens balsamina / Zhi-Shan Ding et al / Molecules 2008, 13, 220-229

(6) Antipruritic effect of flavonol and 1,4-naphthoquinone derivatives from Impatiens balsamina L. / Kyoko Ishiguro and Hisae Oki / Phytotherapy Research • Volume 11 Issue 5, Pages 343 – 347

(7) Medical Attributes of Impatiens sp. – Jewelweed, Touch-me-not / Sarah Becker / Wilkes University

(8) Isolation of an antimicrobial compound from Impatiens balsamina L. using bioassay-guided fractionation / Xiaolong Yang et al / Phytotherapy Research, Vol 15 Issue 8, Pages 676 – 680, Publ Online: 23 Oct 2001

(9) In vitro activity of Impatiens balsamina L. against multiple antibiotic-resistant Helicobacter pylori / Wang Y C et al / Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(4):713-22.

(10) Naphthoquinones and coumarins from Impatiens balsamina root cultures / Pharkphoom Panjchayupakaranant et al / Phytochemistry, Volume 40, Issue 4, November 1995, Pages 1141-1143 doi:10.1016/0031-9422(95)00418-7

(11) In vitro anthelmintic property of various seed oils against Pheritima posthuma / S s Jalapure et al / Indian Journ of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Year : 2007 | Volume : 69 | Issue : 1 | Page : 158-160 / DOI: 10.4103/0250-474X.32138

(12) Impatiens / Wikipedia

(13) Balsam weed / Impatiens balsamina / Common names / India Biodiversity Portal

(14) Anticancer Studies on Ethanol Extract of Impatiens balsamina / N Baskar, B Parimala Devi, B. Jayakar / IJRAP 3(4), Jul-Aug 2012

· Widely cultivated for ornamental purposes, throughout the Philippines.
· Seed propagation.
· Native of India, now cultivated in all warm countries.

Constituents and properties
• Leaves, sulfur and pectin; roots, peroxidase; seeds, oil and phenol.
Napththoquinone, coumarin derivatives, flavonoid and steroid have been reported.
• Alcoholic extract of flowers possess antibiotic activity against some fungi and bacteria.
• Study isolated four rare baccharane glycosides from the seeds of IB. (Link)
• Study showed the pericarp contains three dinaphthofuran-7,12-dione derivatives, all with significant anti-itching activity.
• Study isolated a natural bisnaphthoquinone, methylene-3,3′-bilawsone from the root cultures, along with lawsone, 2-methoxy-1,4-naphthquinone, scopoletin, isofraxidin and a sterol, spinasterol.

• Considered emetic, cathartic, anti-infectious, diuretic, expectorant, tonic.
• Flowers are mucilaginous and cooling.

Parts utilized
· Roots, stems, flowers, and seeds.

Edibility / Culinary
· Leaves and seeds are edible: leaves and young shoots are cooked; the seeds raw or cooked.
· In Bali, leaves are eaten.

· In the Philippines, pounded leaves used as poultice to dissolve whitlow.
· In Malaya, leaves used for poulticing broken and torn nails.
· In China, powdered seeds are prescribed for difficult labor.
· Flowers used for snake bites, lumbago, and intercostal neuralgia.
· For contusion, painful inflammation, joint pains, carbuncles, dysmenorrhea, lumbago, and snake bites: use dried flowers, 3 to 6 gms or seed preparation, 3 to 7 gms or the entire plant, 9 to 15 gms, boil to decoction and drink.
· Seed is expectorant; used for cancer treatments.
· For external use on any bruise or painful area; crush fresh plant and poultice the affected parts of the body.
· Leaf juice used for treatment of warts.
· Root and leaves used for various foreign bodies – coins or other metals inadvertently swallowed, as well as thorns or fish splinters.
· In the U.S. the most common use of jewelweed is to treat poison ivy rashes.

• Dye: Dyes is obtained from flowers and leaves. In parts of Asia, flowers are used as a substitute for Henna for dyeing finger-nails.

Study Findings
• Antifungal / Antimicrobial: Antifungal activity of synthetic peptides derived from Impatiens balsamina antimicrobial peptides Ib-AMP1 and Ib-AMP4: Study showed potential of Impatiens balsamina antimicrobial peptides in combating fungal infections.
• Antimicrobial: Study isolated a single bioactive compound, 2-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone (MNQ) which showed activity against 8 of 12 bacteria and all 8 fungi tested.
• Antianaphylactic: Antianaphylactic effects of the ethanolic extract from the petals of Impatiens balsamina L. in mice: Study of extracts from the white flowers of IB showed IB had significant antianaphylactic activity.
• Kaempferol / Lawsone /Antianaphylactic: In a study on the anti-anaphylactic effects of an ethanol extract of IB, kaempferol 3-rutinoside and lawsone from Impatiens balsamina significantly inhibited the decrease of blood flow.
• Anti-inflammatory: Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitory 1,4-Naphthoquinones from Impatiens balsamina L.: Study showed evidence supporting traditional use ofImpatiens balsamina for rheumatism, pain and swelling.
• Antipruritic / Antidermatitic: Extract studies in atopic dermatitis model NC mice showed IB to be effective for the prevention and treatment of atopic dermatitis.
• Antipruritic / Pericarp / Balsaminones: Dinaphthofuran-7,12-dione derivatives, balsaminones A and B were isolated from the pericarp of Impatiens balsamina L. together with the known compound 2-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone. The compounds exhibited significant antipruritic activity.
• Antipruritic: In an animal study using Dextran T40 and compound 48;80 to cause histamine release and induce itching, the ethanol extract of Ib significantly inhibited the scratching behavior. Kaempferol, quercetin and 1,4-naphthoquinone derivatives in Ib were demonstrated to show antipruritic effects.
• Anti-Tumor: Study isolated a final and active component, 2-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone, which showed an intensive in vitro anti-tumor activity against HepG2 cells.
• Antibacterial / Kaempferol / Acne Treatment: Study investigated the antibacterial activity of kaempferol isolated from Impatiens balsamina, alone or in combination with erythromycin or clindamycin, against antibiotic resistant Propionibacterium acnes. Results showed the combination of clindamycin with kaempferol or quercetin showed greater synergistic effect than erythromycin with kaempferol or quercitin. The combination suggested a potential for acne treatment.
• Anti-H Pylori Activity: The acetone and ethyl acetate pod extracts of I. balsamina exhibited very strong anti-H. pyloric activity.
• Antihelmintic: Study of five seed oils, including I. balsamina, all exhibited moderate to significant anthelmintic activity against Pheritima posthuma.
• Antihelmintic: An ethanol extract was investigated for anticancer and in-vitro cytotoxic activities against transplantable tumors and human cell line. Results showed significant antitumor and cytotoxic effects against DLA and human Cancer Cell line.
• Antioxidative / Flower Extract: Study on antioxidant activity of flower extracts showed the different extracts all have different activity, and the water extract showing the strongest.

· Because of high mineral content, concerns have been raised on regular ingestion of large quantities of the plant, especially those with gout, urolithiasis, and arthritis.

Cultivated for ornamental use.