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Impatiens balsamina

Impatiens balsamina, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Magnoliopsida
Ordo: Ericales
Familia: Balsaminaceae
Genus: Impatiens
Species: Impatiens balsamina


Impatiens balsamina L.


Species Plantarum 2:938. 1753

Vernacular names
English: Garden Balsam, Rose Balsam
Español: Alegría
lea faka-Tonga: polosomo
日本語: ホウセンカ
Polski: Niecierpek Balsamina
Svenska: Balsamin
Türkçe: Kına Çiçeği

Impatiens balsamina (Garden Balsam or Rose Balsam) is a species of Impatiens native to southern Asia in India and Myanmar.It is called kamantigue in the Philippines. This species of Kalamantigue are used in teas. Boil the seeds after drying and you will get a tea. [1]

In many English speaking countries they are known as "Touch me Not", possibly due to the ripe seed pods explosively bursting when touched.[2]

It is an annual plant growing to 20–75 cm tall, with a thick, but soft stem. The leaves are spirally-arranged, 2.5–9 cm long and 1–2.5 cm broad, with a deeply toothed margin. The flowers are red, pink, purple, or white, and 2.5–5 cm diameter; they are pollinated by bees and other insects, and also by nectar-feeding birds.[3]

Different parts of the plant are used to treat disease and skin afflctions; the leaves, seeds, and stems are also edible if cooked. Juice from balsam leaves treats warts and also snakebite, while the flower can be applied to burns to cool the skin.[4]Impatiens balsamina L. has been used as indigenous medicine in Asia for the treatment of rheumatism, fractures, and fingernail inflammation. In Korean folk medicine Impatiens ('Bong Seon Wha Dae') has been used to cure constipation and acute gastritis by meat.[5] One in vitro study found Impatiens, especially the seed pod to have antibacterial activity against Multiple Antibiotic-Resistant Helicobacter pylori.[6]

It is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant, and has become naturalised and invasive on several Pacific Ocean islands.[7]


Naphthoquinones; lawsone , lawsone methyl ether and methylene-3,3'-bilawsone are the main active compounds of Impatiens balsamina leaves.[8] Balsam also contains kaempferol [9] and Baccharane glycosides were found in the seeds.[10]


1. ^ Germplasm Resources Information Network: Impatiens balsamina
2. ^ http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/156/
3. ^ Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
4. ^ Plants for a Future: Impatiens balsamina
5. ^ Park J.H., Kim J.M., Do W.I. "Pharmacognostical studies on the folk medicine 'Bong Seon Wha Dae'" Korean Journal of Pharmacognosy 2003 34:3 (193-196)
6. ^ "In vitro Activity of Impatiens balsamina L. Against Multiple Antibiotic-Resistant Helicobacter pylori." Wang YC, Wu DC, Liao JJ, Wu CH, Li WY, Weng BC Am J Chin Med. 2009;37(4):713-22
7. ^ Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk: Impatiens balsamina
8. ^ Sakunphueak A, Panichayupakaranant P "Simultaneous determination of three naphthoquinones in the leaves of Impatiens balsamina L. by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography." Phytochem Anal. 2010 Sep-Oct;21(5):444-50
9. ^ Hua L., Peng Z., Chia L.S., Goh N.K., Tan S.N. "Separation of kaempferols in Impatiens balsamina flowers by capillary electrophoresis with electrochemical detection" Journal of Chromatography A 2001 909:2 (297-303)
10. ^ Li HJ, Yu JJ, Li P "Simultaneous qualification and quantification of baccharane glycosides in Impatientis Semen by HPLC-ESI-MSD and HPLC-ELSD." J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2010 Oct 27

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