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Family Portulacaceae

Talinum paniculatum (Jacq.) Gaertn.

Tu ren shen

Other scientific names Common names
Portulaca paniculata Jacq. Jewels of Opar (Engl.)
Portulaca patens L. Fame flower (Engl.)
Talinum chrysanthum Rose & Standl. Tu ren shen (Chin.)
Talinum paniculatum (Jacq.) Gaertn. var. paniculatum.  
Talinum paniculatum (Jacq.) Gaertn. var. sarmentosum (Engelm.) Poelin  
Talinum reflexum Cav.  
Talinum spathulatum Englm. ex A. Gray, nom. inq.  
Talinum patens  

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. source Another makes a reference to the ancient African city from which frankincense and gold were hauled by caravan to Solomon's treasure. source

Fleshy, erect herb, growing to 50 cm. Leaves are in whorls, obovate-lanceolate, flat, glossy and bright green. Flowers are in terminal panicles, small and pink colored.

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

Root has saponin, steroid and essential oil.

Parts used and preparation
Leaves and roots.

Search has failed to show any folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
Elsewhere, used as tonic, to regulate menses, for cough, general debility, diarrhea.
In China, it is cultivated as a medicinal herb.
In Indonesia, used for liver and kidney problems.
Leaves are edible.
In some parts of Asia, used as a spice.

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.
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.


Last Update Sept 2010

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

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