Impatiens balsamina (garden balsam): Introduction, Classification, Characteristics, Chemical Constituents, and Pharmacological activities

Impatiens balsamina (garden balsam): Introduction, Classification, Characteristics, Chemical Constituents, and Pharmacological activities


Balsam is a member of the Balsaminaceae family and is a decorative plant (Gardeners, 2017). It has gardenia-like blossoms and grows quickly as an annual flower in the summer (Tooke and Battey, 2000). A bushy plant with leaves bears continuous blossoms on top of it. Numerous annual and perennial variations of the balsam, which has their origins in Asia, North America, and South Africa (Christopher, 2013). The flowers bloom after 60 to 70 days, and their hues include red, white, pink, rose, and violet (Park et al., 2003; Wang et al., 2009). As traditional treatments for illnesses and skin conditions, the plant’s various parts are employed. The flower is applied to burns, and the leaf juice is used to treat snakebites and warts (Wang et al., 2009). In Asia, this species has been utilized as indigenous traditional medicine for rheumatism, fractures, and other illnesses (Park et al., 2003). Changes in temperature and day length cause physiological and seasonal plant development processes that let ornamental plants resist harsh climatic conditions (Adams et al. 2005). While the naturally diminishing photoperiod is unaffected, climate change is predicted to raise summertime air temperatures (Kim et al., 2009). According to Kim et al. (2009), flowering behavior in the plant cycle demonstrates how easily plants can adjust to seasonal changes and how a longer photoperiod shortens the time it takes for the first visible bud. The length of the day and the temperature are related in that when the day length naturally lengthens or shortens, the temperature warms or cools, correspondingly (Ha, 2014).

Balsam Flowers


Kingdom: Plantae

Order: Ericales

Family: Balsaminaceae

Genus: Impatiens

Species: I. balsamina

Scientific Name: Impatiens balsamina

Common Name(s): Balsam, Garden balsam, Rose balsam, Spotted snapweed,


1. It is a member of the Balsaminaceae family. More than 1,000 species make up the family, but only two genera have been identified.

2. It is an annual plant with a thick but soft stem that can reach heights of 20 to 75 cm.

3. The leaves have a strongly serrated border, are spirally arranged, and are 2.5–9 cm long by 1–2.5 cm wide. Simple, alternating, ovate-lanceolate, and serrated leaves make up the plant.

4. The 2.5–5 cm in diameter pink, crimson, mauve, lilac, or white flowers are pollinated by bees and other insects as well as nectar-eating birds.

5. The ripe seed capsules explode when they dehisce. Impatiens coccinea, Impatiens corneta, and Balsamina hortensis are all synonyms for Impatiens balsamina.

6. The balsams have enormous flowers, a short life cycle, and fairly distinct color classifications.

7. It belongs to a family of herbaceous plants renowned for its leucoanthocyanins and flavonols.

Chemical Constituents

The Impatiens genus of plants has a wide range of secondary metabolites, such as terpenoids, steroids, flavonoids, napthoquinones, and many others. Isolated substances from I. balsamina include phenolics, flavonols, anthocyanin pigments, and saponins. Impatiens is a genus that is abundant in anthraquinones, flavonoids, and organic acids. the separation of three monoglucosides from the stem of I. balsamina, including kaempferol, quercetin, and pelargonidin. Salicylic acid, sinnapic acid, cafeic acid, scopletin, 2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone, and 2-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone had also been extracted and purified from the stem of I. balsamin. A novel biscoumarin, 4, 40-biisofraxidin, has also been obtained from the roots of I. balsamin.

Pharmacological activities

Antibacterial activity

By using the disc diffusion method, the antibacterial properties of plant extracts from Impatiens balsamina were examined against several human pathogens, including Shigella boydii, Salmonella paratyphii, Proteus vulgaris, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, and Cryptococcus neoformans. The bacterial pathogens Shigella boydii, Candida albicans, and Cryptrococcus neoformans demonstrated good positive results (Susceptibility) to the plant extract of “Impatiens balsamina,” that the zone of inhibition of bacterial pathogens was high in the millimetre scale ranging from 16 mm to 38 mm. The bacterial pathogens Proteus vulgaris and Staphylococcus aureus exhibit somewhat favorable findings (susceptibility) to the plant extract of “Impatiens balsamina,” which has a zone of inhibition ranging from 1 mm to 29 mm.

Antimicrobial activity

 This plant’s seeds can be eaten. When the plant’s seed extract was tested for antimicrobial potential, it was discovered to have impressive antibacterial and antifungal properties. Impatiens balsamina leaf and root extracts were tested for their in vitro antibacterial efficacy against a variety of microbiological infections. For bacterial isolates, ethanol extracts revealed MIC ranges of 1.0–4.0 mg/ml and 2.0–4.0 mg/ml for fungal isolates. A little antibacterial activity was also demonstrated by the chloroform extract against bacterial and fungi infections. In terms of antibacterial activity, leaf extracts outperformed stem extracts in terms of their ability to suppress microorganisms. Traditional Chinese medicine has been using preparations made from the aerial portions of I. balsamina L. for centuries as an antibiotic. The three primary naphthoquinones found in Impatiens balsamina L. leaf extracts are lawsone, lawsone methyl ether, and methylene-3,3′-bilawsone (Balsaminaceae). By determining minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and minimal bactericidal or fungicidal concentrations (MBCs or MFCs) using a modified agar dilution method, antimicrobial activities of these three naphthoquinones against dermatophyte fungi, yeast, aerobic bacteria, and facultative anaerobic and anaerobic bacteria were evaluated. The highest antibacterial activity was displayed by the compound.

Antifungal activity

Impatiens balsamina contains the antimicrobial peptide Ib-AMP4 (Balsaminaceae). the antibacterial activity of the recombinant peptide Ib-AMP4 against human bacterial infections was examined. With MIC values ranging from 0.49 to 3.5 M in sensitive species, Ib-AMP4 proved bactericidal against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. When IB-AMP4 was used in combination with the plant monoterpene thymol to treat drug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (KPC) ATCC700603 or with the antibiotics vancomycin or oxacillin to treat enterococcus faecalis (VRE) ATCC51299, a true synergistic effect was produced.

Analgesic activity

Using an aqueous extract of Impatiens balsamina leaves, analgesic properties were examined in relevant animal models. The tail flick method was used to test the Impatiens balsamina extract for analgesic efficacy. The results of the current investigation demonstrate that the aqueous extract of Impatiens balsamina L. leaves has strong analgesic properties without any negative side effects.

 Antioxidant activity

the antioxidant activity of the entire Impatiens balsamina (Balsaminaceae) plant on oxidative stress caused by chromium in male albino rats. By force-feeding albino rats potassium dichromate for 30 days at a dose comparable to 30 mg/kg body weight of chromium(1v), oxidative stress was generated. Chromium administration considerably reduced the bodyweight ratio. The serum levels of reduced glutathione (gsh), malondialdehyde (MDA), catalase (cat), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were all dramatically lowered after chromium therapy, whereas SOD levels were unaffected. The effectiveness of plant ethanolic extract as a defense against oxidative stress caused by chromium was assessed. The outcome demonstrates that oxidative stress caused by chromium is protected by extracts at a dose of 200 mg/kg BW.

Anticancer activity

Impatiens balsamina’s ethanol extract was used in a study that revealed the plant’s anticancer properties and in-vitro cytotoxicity against transplantable malignancies and human cell lines. By using the MTT assay, the in vitro cytotoxicity of Hela and NIH3T3 cells was assessed. Dalton’s ascites lymphoma (DLA)-bearing mice were used to test the in vivo anticancer activity. The number of cancer cells, packed cell volume, and increase in life duration were tracked as indicators of activity. The extract was determined to be safe when used with normal cells despite showing high in vitro cytotoxicity against the Hela cell line.

Antitumor activity

 Impatiens balsamina (LIB) leaf extracts in ethanol or chloroform exhibit anti-tumor action against the human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cell line. Another investigation using Impatiens balsamina’s ethanol extract revealed anticancer efficacy against transplantable malignancies and human cell lines. By using the MTT assay, the in vitro cytotoxicity of Hela and NIH3T3 cells was assessed. Dalton’s ascites lymphoma (DLA)-bearing mice were used to test the in vivo anticancer activity. The decorative plant Impatiens balsamina Linn. has a diverse spectrum of biological functions. I. balsamina crude leaf extract and isolate 2-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone (MeONQ) exhibit histoprotective effects on the pancreas, stomach, duodenum, and spleen of tumor-induced mice, indicating antitumor activity, according to results of a study that demonstrated the anti-tumor promoting activity of their flower crude ethanol extract and MeONQ isolate.

Antiinflammatory activity

Using an aqueous extract from the leaves of Impatiens balsamina, anti-inflammatory properties were examined in relevant animal models. The Impatiens balsamina extract was tested for anti-inflammatory efficacy in albino rats using the carrageenan-induced paw oedema method.

Antipruritic activity

Balsaminones A (1) and B (2) were also recovered from the pericarp of Impatiens balsamina L., along with the well-known substance 2-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone. Using spectral methods, their structures were clarified. Significant antipruritic efficacy is present in these drugs.

Antiallergic activity

The injection of Impatiens balsamina L. flower extract, which contains flavonoids including kaempferol 3-rutinoside and 2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone as active ingredients, has since been demonstrated to decrease dermatitis and scratching behavior.

Antianaphylactic activity

The mouse acute hypersensitivity reaction system, which is generated by hen egg-white lysozyme, was used to test the anti-anaphylactic activity of a 35% EtOH extract (IB) from Impatiens balsamina L.’s white petals (HEL). IB possesses strong anti-anaphylactic effects.

Impatiens balsamina toxicology studies

 Garden balsam (Impatiens balsamina Linn.) is a plant that has been used to treat stomach cancer, joint pain, and bug bites, and encourage regular menstruation. Garden balsam leaves have historically been thought to have a toxin that can harm the digestive tract. Garden balsam stem and leaf Methanol extract were fractionated into an n-hexane fraction using a liquid extraction technique. Triterpenoid steroid molecule was found in the fraction, according to phytochemical analysis. The n-hexane fraction LD50 was larger than 5000 mg/kg BW, according to a limit test. Up to a dose of 5000 mg/kg BW, there were no overt signs of toxicity in the eye, respiratory system, behavior, autonomic, or somatomotor systems. At that dosage, the fraction had no harmful effects on the rats’ survival, and it did not affect their body weight, food intake, or water consumption. Additionally, neither the liver nor the kidneys’ histology was altered by the fraction. Our finding indicates that the portion is safe to eat at less than 5000mg/kg BW. Garden balsam steam and leaf n-hexane fraction have low toxicity according to Loomis categorization.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the common name for Impatiens balsamina?

Ans: Balsam, Garden balsam, Rose balsam, Spotted snapweed,

Question: How do you use Impatiens balsamina?

Ans: The Flower is applied to burns, and the leaf juice is used to treat snakebites and warts (Wang et al., 2009). In Asia, this species has been utilized as indigenous traditional medicine for rheumatism, fractures, and other illnesses (Park et al., 2003).

Question: Is Impatiens balsamina a Herb?

Ans: Yes

Question: Is Garden balsam invasive?

Ans: No

Question: Is Balsam a hardy annual?

Ans: Yes

Question: Do Balsam plants have a life cycle?

Ans: Annual. 

Question: What family are impatiens Balsamina?

Ans: Balsaminaceae

Question: How do you grow Impatiens balsamina?

Ans: Impatiens balsamina is an annual flower that grows well in the heat. When the seed pods are fully developed, they burst open with just a light press. They are now relegated to the group of plants known as “Touch-Me-Not,” which, on the other hand, typically results in people trying their hardest to touch them even more.

Size & Growth

Balsam thrives in both full sun and some shade. The annual plant can effectively develop to a height of 12′′–24′′ inches under ideal growing circumstances.

As long as the plant receives organic and rich soil, it is a simple plant to grow. Additionally, the soil must always be moist because it is necessary for the plant’s wholesome and nourishing growth.


Balsam grows best at temperatures around room temperature in general. However, the plant requires 75 degrees Fahrenheit, or 24 degrees C, to develop properly in environments with high humidity levels. Bear in mind that balsams cannot withstand temperatures below 12 degrees Celsius or 54 degrees Fahrenheit.

Soil Moisture &  Water

The plant has to be watered once or twice a week when the weather is dry. After watering, the roots should continue to be wet.

Soil & Transplanting

Balsam grows best in partial shade and demands rich, moist soil. Compost must be incorporated into the soil and clods broken up before transplanting.


For best development, apply a general-purpose liquid fertilizer once a week.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *