Purslane is scientifically known as Portulaca oleracea. Many know it as a weed, but it is also listed as an edible vegetable with high nutritional quality.
In Ancient Greece and Chinese medicine, it was already consumed for its properties. You still don’t know her? Learn more about this wild plant in this article.
Purslane nutritional properties
Purslane was previously popularly known as a weed, which grew everywhere. A purslane shoot can even appear in a gap in the soil cement. Not even farmers appreciate it among their crops, as it can harm their crops.
However, this plant with yellow or pink flowers stands out for its great resistance and its interesting nutritional values. It is still recommended today as an affordable and economical source of nutrients. We can consume it like any other vegetable, included in a balanced and healthy eating plan.
With regard to nutritional properties, we found that purslane concentrates a significant amount of natural components and beneficial properties. According to a publication by BioMed Research International , it is a source of:
- Fatty acids
Furthermore, according to that same publication, it also has pharmacological properties such as neuroprotective, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiulcerogenic activities.
Purslane properties for health
It is very important to note that purslane has been shown to have positive health-enhancing effects. However, it is not a curative food or with miraculous properties. In fact, there are no “super powerful” foods for health.
They are simply nutritious ingredients that can complement the diet to help promote well-being. Having made that clear, let’s see the main properties that this vegetable offers.
Recent research published in the Journal of Pharmacopuncture examines purslane’s anti-inflammatory effects. According to this publication, the plant contains several substances with these properties. Among them, we find substances called oleracon and oleracimin, which are two isolated alkaloids.
Some aqueous and ethanol extracts of the plant were also identified with this effect. Among other things, this effect is also attributed to its omega 3 and mineral content.
Antioxidants help us fight free radicals and prevent aging. Few plants are as rich in antioxidants as purslane. According to a publication in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition , its antioxidants include:
- Vitamins A and C
- Vitamin E
- beta carotene
3. Provides omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acids are not produced in the body. However, its proper assimilation contributes to the proper functioning of various systems of organisms. In fact, it has been suggested that they contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory diseases.
According to research published in The Scientific World Journal , purslane is a plant that provides significant amounts of omega 3. Specifically, it contains two types of omega 3 fatty acids, ALA and EPA. However, it has exceptional amounts of ALA.
4. Helps to take care of cardiovascular health
In addition to the beneficial effects purslane omega 3 provides, there are other reasons why purslane contributes to heart health. A study published in the International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences indicates that its content of polyphenols and antioxidant substances may contribute to the prevention of problems such as atherosclerosis.
In addition, research published in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine concluded that extracts from this plant have a protective effect on cardiac dysfunction.
The mucilages of this plant also protect the walls of the organs. According to information published in the American Journal of Translational Research , the plant’s ethanol extract has shown beneficial effects against inflammation and ulcerative colitis.
Purslane helps to lower blood sugar levels naturally. In this way, it can help prevent disorders such as diabetes, obesity or insulin resistance.
Research published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine determined that purslane extracts improve glucose metabolism and may be a new therapeutic strategy for the prevention of diabetes.
The antimicrobial properties of this plant have been the focus of studies. In an investigation published in the International Journal of Infection, it was determined that extracts obtained from purslane leaves and seeds have a remarkable antimicrobial effect.
Although more studies are needed, it is believed that it may be useful against drug-resistant bacteria.
8. It has neuroprotective effects
Studies are still limited. However, there is evidence of the neuroprotective effects that purslane provides. For example, a study released by CNS & Neurological Disorders-Drug Targets found neuroprotective and antioxidant benefits from administering purslane juice.
9. Beneficial for the skin
Due to its high nutritional quality, purslane also benefits the skin’s health. In fact, it is attributed healing, anti-aging and regenerative properties, as it provides antioxidants, fatty acids and vitamins.
Specifically, a review published in the International Journal of Science and Research determined that this plant has potential benefits in skin care, as it promotes wound healing, lightens the skin and even prevents future signs of aging.
10. Fights oxidative stress
Due to its concentration of antioxidant compounds, purslane can combat oxidative stress. The latter is responsible for cell deterioration and the appearance of some of the most frequent chronic diseases.
In a research published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, it is highlighted that purslane juice is a promising natural product that could contribute to the prevention of diseases related to oxidative stress.
Purslane is not a treatment
Despite the many benefits of this plant, its consumption as a treatment against diseases is still not accepted. Despite this, it can be included in the regular diet as a supplement. However, it should be avoided if you have a tendency to get kidney stones as it is a plant rich in oxalates.