Sunday, September 4, 2011

Local Ginseng (Talinum Patens)

I would like to thank Khadijah and Yeong for providing me the fact sheet that enabled me to write this post.

Botanical Name: Talinum Patens
Synonym: Talinum paniculatum/Portulaca Patens L
Common Name
English: Jewels of Opar, Panicled Fameflower
Chinese: Tu Ren Shen
Malay/Indonesian: Ginseng Halus/ Som Jawa
Thai: Som Kon

Habitat: Found in South America to Continental America, widely naturalized in China and Indo-China.

Parts Used: Roots, leaves and stems.

Medicine Usage
Encyclopedia of Herbs by The Royal Horticultural Society
  • Root is used in folk medicine in parts of SE Asia as a subsititute for ginseng
  • Culinary usage - young leaves and stems are eaten fresh in salads, added to soups, or cooked briefly as vegetable.

Chinese Medicinal Herbs of Hong Kong - Vol 1, pg 30/31
  • Preparation - Roots washed, steamed and then dried
  • Characteristic - Sweet, calming, strengthens the lungs
  • Indications
    • Deliberation, weakness, excess sweating
    • Cough
    • Diarrhea inadequate lactation
    • Enuresis (bed wetting), irregular menses
    • Dosage - boil 30 - 60gms
Long Life Magazine Special Edition No. 2
  • Plant can be used as a vegetable and for soup. It helps to boost energy and clear the lungs
  • The roots can boost energy after sickness, coughs, regulate menses and urine flow (Boil roots with red dates, Tong Sam and Pak kei)
  • Leaves can be used to reduce swelling (Must remove skin of roots before use)
Malaysian Herbs by Goh Kong Ling, Vol 1 pg 157
  • As a tonic to strengthen the lungs, detox and used to reduce swelling
  • For weakness, lethargy, incontinence, coughs, irregular mensuration and diarrhea - boil 60gms to drink
  • For boils and skin disease - pound leaves into poultice and apply
CyberMed - CBN
  • Roots - Sweet/neutral, strengthens lungs, tonic, aphrodisiac
  • Leaves - Stomatic-improves appetite, contains saponin, flavonoids, tanin
  • Roots used for weak body system, excessive sweating, dizziness, low libido, coughs, lung TB, weak lungs, diarrhea, enuresis, irregular periods, low breast milk production
  • Leaves used for - breast milk production, boils and poor appetite
  • Usage - Roots, dry 30-60gms, boil and drink
  • For Low Libido - Slice 50gms very thinly - steep 3/4 mug of hot water and drink it warm
  • Poor Appetite - Stir fry fresh leaves and eat as a vegetable
  • Boils - Grind with brown sugar - paste on boils
  • NB: Fresh roots for medicinal or storage (drying) purposes must be steamed before hand. Using fresh roots may cause diarrhea.

This plant is very easy to grow and can be found in the wild and even on road sides.

I have some of the documentation in Mandarin and Malay/Indonesian. For those of you who would like to read in Mandarin or Malay/Indonesian, please email me.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing. Have been following your journey for a while now and always look for your daily entry to your blog. And also once again thank you for the info on the ginseng plant.

    1. Good sharing. Ginseng is used in traditional and herbal medicine to improve energy levels and concentration. Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer is one of the most well-studied species of ginseng with more than 70 published papers citing its various health promoting benefits. Read more at:

  2. Dear CT,i have not commented for quite sOmetime now due to the Raya holidays,anyway noted about you leg pain,anyway i think hot and cold towel treatment always works for me and its safe. Rubbing hot oil after makes the muscle relaxes and sleep will be of more quality.Sometimes instead of using hot or cold towel,soaking in hot water with medicated oil also gives reliefs,no side effects.Just have to be consistent with it. Keep doing it regularly besides your other therapies.Kind regards and my prayers always for you,fr AL MAL.

  3. 沙参具有滋阴生津、清热凉血之功,配合放 化疗用于肿瘤患者,尤其是对晚期肿瘤病人血枯阴亏、肺阴虚之肺癌、消化道肿瘤术后气阴两虚或因放疗而伤阴引起的津枯液燥者,具有较好的疗效。

  4. I will suggest you go for radiation on the tumor that effect your leg. This will help u to live without pain. I use to take painn killer and cannot sleep well at night. Now I can sleep through out the whole night.

  5. Thank you for your suggestion but I will NEVER do radiation. You just did not realised how much irreversible damage that radiation has done to you. In my case, it has not been established that it has to do with the tumor.

    Currently, even with a simple self massage, the pain goes away and I can sleep. Also, I have been on acupuncture therapy and my legs are responding. My left leg has more or less recovered and now I am treating my right leg. I am already walking with less pain with my right leg.

  6. -Thank you for this very informative wrote-up on the LOCAL GINSENG. Would like to read more about it through your said documentation in both the Mandarin and Bahasa versions.
    felin tan (

  7. Thank you so much CT Chang for sharing this knowledge. ^_^ (y)

  8. I have been trying to conform if this plant is in fact "KOREAN GINSENG". What LOCAL GINSENG actually is? Does it available commercially? Would like to read more about it in Mandarin and Bahasa versions. Thanks.
    Albert JK,