Talinum is a native leafy green that grows wild in the Philippines, and in many peoples back yards. For years, those in the provinces have known about its benefits, and its only recently city folk have been adding them to their meals! It is hailed for its antioxidants, flavonoids, and vitamins stored in its crunchy leaves. Its common names include Ceylon spinach, waterleaf, cariru, Gbure, Surinam purslane, Philippine spinach, Florida spinach, potherb fameflower, Lagos bologi, and sweetheart.
Its leaves are juicy and crunchy, its leaves taste a little sweet and a little bit sour, making it delicious as a salad or in sandwiches. However, they should not be eaten raw in large amounts as they contain oxalic acid, which cause kidney stones. Check out our recipe for a small side salad . Cooking it by blanching, boiling, or turning it into soup decreases the amount of oxalic acid.
Talinum has been used for its medicinal properties in the tropics for a long time. It has been found to be antidiarrhoeal, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and an immuno-stimulant. Interestingly the Mayan word for Talinum dzum yahil, which means “shrinks swellings.” It is used to help external tumors and sores. Talinum’s healing properties are due to its flavonoids, saponins, high fire, manganese, zinc, vitamins A and C, riboflavin, and niacin. It is also a high protein vegetable, containing more proteins than cashew nuts. It is also full of pectin, which is a softening agent—it helps soften other vegetables that it is cooked with—rendering them easier to digest. It’s important to note that Talinum, like many leafy greens, absorbs heavy metals from the soils and surroundings they grow in. Therefore its important to eat organically grown Talinum. Get it fresh from Kai Farms.