Purslane: 10 Properties Of This Medicinal Plant

Purslane is a plant rich in nutrients that promotes well-being. Do you know your properties? In this article, we’ll share the most important ones so you don’t miss adding it to your diet.
Purslane: 10 properties of this medicinal plant

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.

purslane harvest
Purslane for many is a weed. However, today it is also known as a supplement that improves the quality of the diet from a nutritional point of view.

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:

  • Flavonoids
  • alkaloids
  • Polysaccharides
  • Fatty acids
  • Terpenoids
  • sterols
  • Proteins
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

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.

1. Anti-inflammatory

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.

Purslane’s anti-inflammatory properties can be used as adjuvants to mitigate the effects of some inflammatory conditions.

2. Antioxidant

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
  • Flavonoids
  • alkaloids
  • beta carotene
  • glutathione

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.

Purslane is not a medicine to cure heart disease. However, as part of a healthy and balanced diet, it can be beneficial.

5. Anti-ulcer

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.

6. Hypoglycemic

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.

7. Antimicrobial

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.

Due to its content of fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, purslane can also be useful for skin care.

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.

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