Pinten ( Dicliptera chinensis ) is the Indonesian forgotten vegetable plant. There are many native vegetable plants in Indonesia. But, many of them, nowadays is forgotten as vegetables. It seems that there are missing links among generations to maintain the information. Another factor could be the limited study of these plants.
Dicliptera chinensis is one of the vegetable plants in the Indische Groenten book. For your information, Indische Groenten actually is an old book that contains information about vegetable plants in Indonesia. The book was written by Osche and Bankhuizen in 1930. The content is very useful. Especially, for everyone who wants to know about the cuisine culture of Indonesian peoples during the ’30s. There are many vegetable plants at that time which represent Indonesian culture. Unfortunately, today there are many forgotten vegetable plants in Indonesia.
According to Osche, Pinten is a Javanese local name for (Dicliptera chinensis), while for Sundanese people they called it Jukut Jampang. For West Kalimantan people, they called it Muje. People using the young shoot and stem as vegetables. Peoples also recognize that Pinten also has medicinal benefits. The knowledge was not only in Java island but also for peoples in the eastern part of Indonesia.
The Description of Pinten as Indonesian Forgotten Vegetable Plant
Pinten is an erect seasonal herbaceous plant. Their height is between 50 – 100 cm. The position of the leaves is opposite, with straight cystoliths. The length of the petiole is 1-4 cm. The leaves are oval, elliptical to oval. The length of the leaves is between 5-12 cm. The flowers are white and sometimes there are also pink ones. Additionally, In their natural habitat, they grow optimally in shady and humid areas.
This plant can grow optimal from the sea coast to high lands up to 1000 meters above sea level. In addition, Osche also reported that this plant is also found in eastern Indonesia. It is easy to find, especially in the undergrowth along the sides of roads and ditches. Often also grows under trees in the yard.
Medicinal benefit from some scientific reports
Mostly, the chemical content of Dicliptera chinensis is polysaccharides. Then, followed by organic acids, amino acids and other substances. In fact, its compounds have functions that can reduce fever, detoxify, cleanse the liver, and improve eyesight. Last but not least, the ingredients of this species are commonly called DCP (Dicliptera chinensis polysaccharide). DCP has been widely studied for its function as a useful herb for treatment.
Several studies also mention that DCP has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. The results of another study also stated that this DCP can significantly relieve the symptoms of liver injury caused by carbon tetrachloride or D-galactosamine.
Current Utilization of Pinten
However, today people are more familiar with Pinten just as ordinary grass. No longer as a vegetable. It seems, that Pinten becomes an Indonesian forgotten vegetable plant. Especially in Java Island. But there is Pinten publication in one book, written by two lectures from Tanjungpura University. They make the report about Pinten as traditional herbal candy. Actually, for West Kalimantan people, Pinten is also popular as herbal tea.
- Dewi and Lestari. 2017. Perspektif Baru: Permen Jelly Kaya Nutrisi Dari Alam Borneo; Kajian Aspek Nutrisi, Sensori, Dan Kesehatan. Untan Press
- Ochse and Bakhuizen van den Brink. 1930. Indiche Groenten. Departement Landbouw, Nijverheid en Handel, Buitenzorg
- Xu et. al., 2021. Study on the protective effect and mechanism of Dicliptera chinensis (L.) Juss (Acanthaceae) polysaccharide on immune liver injury induced by LPS. Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy 134 (2021)
- Zhang et. al., 2016. Hepatoprotective effects of Dicliptera chinensis polysaccharides on dimethylnitrosamine-induced hepatic fibrosis rats and its underlying mechanism. J Ethnopharmacol. 2016 Feb 17;179:38-44
always love to learn from nature. Passionate on studying plants in some aspects: the DNA, Identification, propagation, and their uses