Ginseng jawa – nutrition, proven benefits, uses

ginseng jawa

The  scientific name of the jewels of opar is Talinum paniculatum (Jacq.) Gaertn.

Scientific names Common names
Talinum paniculatum (Jacq.) Gaertn. Talinum (Tag.)
Talinum chrysanthum Rose & Standl. Ginseng jawa (Engl.)
Talinum paniculatum (Jacq.) Gaertn. var. paniculatum. Jewels of Opar (Engl.)
Talinum reflexum Cav. Fame flower (Engl.)
Talinum spathulatum Englm. ex  A. Gray, nom. inq. Pink’s baby breath (Engl.)
Talinum patens
Portulaca paniculata Jacq.
Portulaca patens L.
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.

General information

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.


Ginseng jawa 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.


– 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 (1); the mixture of long chain hiodrocarbons 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).

– Methanolic leaf and root extracts yielded various phytosterols: campesterol, ß-sitosterol, stigmasterol, stigmastan-3-ol, stimast-22-en-3-ol and stigmastanol.

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.

Folkloric  traditional medicine remedies, benefits and uses of Ginseng jawa

– 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. (see study)

– 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. (see study)

Scientific studies about Ginseng jawa benefits and uses

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.

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.

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.



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