Family • Portulacaceae - Talinum paniculatum (Jacq.) Gaertn. - JEWELS OF OPAR - Tu ren shen

Scientific names

Talinum paniculatum (Jacq.) Gaertn.
Talinum chrysanthum Rose & Standl.
Talinum paniculatum (Jacq.) Gaertn. var. paniculatum.
Talinum reflexum Cav.
Talinum spathulatum Englm. ex  A. Gray, nom. inq.
Talinum patens
Portulaca paniculata Jacq.
Portulaca patens L.

Common names

Talinum (Tag.)
Ginseng jawa (Engl.)
Jewels of Opar (Engl.)
Fame flower (Engl.)
Pink’s baby breath (Engl.)

Vernacular names

BRAZIL: Maria gorda; Bencao de deus, Beldroega.
CHINESE: Tu ren shen.
FRENCH: Onze heures (Haiti).
SPANISH: Rama del sapo.
THAI: Som, Som khon, Wan phak pang.

Gen info 
Common name might have been taken from the title of a novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar. 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 to 50 centimeters. Leaves are in whorls, obovate-lanceolate, flat, glossy and bright green. Flowers are in terminal panicles, small and pink colored.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Uses of Octacosanol / Consumer Information / Drugs.com

(2) Talinum paniculatum (Jacq.) Gaertn. / The Plant List

(3) Talinum paniculatum / Wikipedia

(4) 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.

(5) TALINUM PANICULATUM (JACQ.) GERTN: A MEDICINAL PLANT WITH POTENTIAL ESTROGENIC ACTIVITY IN OVARIECTOMIZED RATS / Catthareeya Thanamool / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 03/2013

(6) 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

(7) 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

(8) 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

(9) 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

(10) 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

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


– Root has saponin, steroid and essential oil.
– Phytochemical screening of hexane and ethyl acetate extracts yielded potassium nitrate; the mixture of long chain hiodrocarbons hentriacontane, dotriacontane, tritriacontane and pentatriacontane; heneicosanoic acid; the ester nonacosyl nonacosanoate; urea (8); 3-O-β-D- glucosyl-β-sitosterol; the mixture of β-sitosterol and stigmasterol, 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)

Parts used
Leaves and roots.

Edibility / Culinary
– Leaves are edible.
– 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.
– Used to regulate menses; also, for cough, general debility, diarrhea.
– In China, it is cultivated as a medicinal herb.
– In Indonesia, used for liver and kidney problems.
– In Brazil, plant used to treat inflammatory conditions.
– Used to treat bad smelling urine, 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.

Study Findings
• 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.
• Constituents: 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.
• 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.
• Antinociceptive / 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)
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.