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Philippine SPINACH - A Beautiful Edible WEED You Might Not Know About

Philippine SPINACH Talinum, triangulare weed

Most of us can see this weed growing on our lawn or in the forest specially during rainy season. We even pluck them away because we thought it has just a weed. Well, it is edible, known as Philippine Spinach (Talinum, triangulare) - or called "talilong" - just like how purslane is treated nowadays, these free growing weeds can be eaten as the usual chards that we include in our favorite dishes. It is a matter of familiarization and practice, although I don't recommend it to infants and those with gout, arthritis, and kidney problems, due to the presence of oxalates which can be reduced when cooked as vegetable instead of eating it raw.

This perennial succulent plant can grow up to 80 centimeters only, the flowers are pink in color although some varieties have yellow colors, and the leaves are shiny and changing its colors from green to light green, the roots are white in color, and it produces latex when cut raw.

Philippine SPINACH Talinum, triangulare edible weed tropical spinach

Talinum species are small succulent plants that are cultivated as vegetable, as herbal medicine or an ornamental plant in other countries. It is a profitable chards in Nigeria, Brazil, Caribbean, while treated as an alternative medicine or weeds in our own country. It was also introduced to Indonesia and became known as Ginseng Java because of its roots that looks similar to ginseng, only smaller in size. It is also sometiomes called "Tropical Spinach".

This Philippine spinach or Talinum can also be a substitute for kamote tops when cooking sinigang. 

Health Benefits of Philippine Spinach sometimes called "Tropical Spinac"

Lately, it is now eaten and considered to be rich in Vitamins and proteins and its content are comparable with cashew nuts and millets.

1. Good for brain health, it helps the neurons to maximize learning and memory retention and continue this positive effect for a sound mind by inhibiting peroxidation. 

2. It has pharmacological uses since it is antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-hyperglycemic, so it is an immuno-stimulant and increase stamina. 

3. It can boost immune system and help to treat cancer, since it is rich in Vitamins A and C, and minerals such as iron and calcium. Fights off free radicals from other food that we are eating or from the environment.

4. It contains phytochemical investigations on the methanol extract of Talinum triangulare on the liver and blood concludes that leaves of this weed are rich in bioactive compounds which suppress oxidative damage to the liver.

5. It regulates blood sugar level and helps to manage diabetes mellitus, it slows down the digestion and conversion of complex sugar to glucose level. 

Talinum can be propagated by seeds and stem cuttings. 

Next time don't anyhow cut away these plants, you will find out that they are useful in one day or another for you or for your garden.


Article By: Ryan Deuz J. Luzande, PGDE, MAED, LPT

Author Acknowledgement:

Special thanks for the shared insight of Ms. Chloe Abiera Orit regarding the featured plant in this article. I appreciate your endless efforts. 

For more articles, about edible weeds, fruits, trees, wild berries, environment, history, politics, and others, please visit and like Deuz J. Luzande,PGDE page 

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