Talinum Paniculatum is also known as Philippine spinach. It is a small, short lived annual that can be found growing wild in many places in the country. It’s edible leaves are 90% water, and this plant is also called Waterleaf in some areas.
There has been some research into it’s properties and is has been found to provide some good nutritional benefits.
Vitamin A is important for respiratory health because it is crucial in creating our mucousal surfaces, one half of our body’s first line of defense against bacteria and viruses.
Vitamin C is needed to produce collagen, the building block of our body. It is essential in building healthy skin. Skin is the other half of our body’s physical defenses.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, joining others in Talinum like Flavonoids and Alkoloids which help cells to maintain clear communication pathways. Antioxidants are required to remove free radicals (environmental contaminants that damage and weaken our cells) from our body.
COVID RESISTANCE: Vitamin A is the number one nutrient for protecting our respiratory system, bolstering your first(mucous) line of defense, and also produces antibodies (IgA) that protect your lungs. Vitamin C is essential for adaptive immunity which will protect you from variants of the virus. Recent research has shown that Antioxidants are key in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation which lead to progression to severe COVID symptoms.
Talinum is an extremely hardy plant. Being a succulent, it can tolerate drought quite well. It can spread like a weed, but is also cultivated through seeds. The shoots can be harvested and eaten fresh at around 30-45 days after planting. If you preserve the roots, the plant will remain healthy and produce new shoots.
While it is eaten as a vegetable it is also recognized in the Philippines and around the world for it’s medicinal uses. It is a popular folk remedy for most digestive issues and is considered helpful for circulatory health as well.
Just like some of the other edible “weeds” that we’ve discussed, such as Kulitis and Lupo, Talinum is not normally cultivated using chemicals. However there is always the chance that those grown on conventional farms will contain residue meant for the main crop.
Do your best to source from organic farmers, who would also be willing to let you have an ample amount of this antioxidant rich leaf at a fair cost.