Talinum as we know it from the local dialect is the same name of the genera. It is widely available in the tropics and is also commonly known as Surinam purslane, Philippine spinach, Ceylon spinach, Florida spinach, and Lagos bologi.
Apparently, we have a number of so-called spinach as this name also applies to amaranth. What is remarkable about this plant is that it has a rich amount of protein in almost the same as amaranth. Therefore we view this plant mainly as a potentially good support to under nutrition.
The Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) has included talinum as an ethnic food with high nutritional value and BAR is actually promoting its consumption. It is easy to propagate and very economical since we can plant it almost in any soil. In Nigeria, the University of Ilorin, has done experimental work on the value of this ethnic vegetable as protecting the liver, able to reduce fatty liver and â€œbadâ€ cholesterol in experimental animals. We also caution everyone interested in propagating this vegetable because it adsorbs all types of metals where it is planted, apparently without exception, including arsenic. Although it true that most plants will absorb soil contaminants, talinum could absorb heavy metals more than other plants. So the lesson here is that we should be careful that we use good soil in propagating talinum.
Talinum can be prepared just like spinach; so we can have stir-fry, spinach calzone, and of course just boiled spinach.