Purslane portulaca

Do you know this wonderful herb called purslane

While walking in parks, garden, in your yard or on side walks you might notice a small plant with thick oval shaped leaves with beautiful yellow flowers. People who does not know about this small plant will think it as a weed. This plant called Purslane known as wild spinach or ground spinach grows as a weed. This perennial plant  purslane known as Portulaca voleracea produces beautiful flowers and it’s cultivated ornamental varieties are known for colorful bright flowers. Plant is packed with all goodies that we need for our body.

Purslane used as medicine in both Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. In fact, it is known for its great properties in many countries. Instead of killing these plants like common weeds, consider using it for various health benefits. This beautiful plant has power packed nutrients!

It’s nutrients values are a match for spinach or Amaranthus leaves and stem. Curry made out of purslane tastes delicious.

Let us see what purslane has to offer?

Purslane reduces inflammation, lowers blood cholesterol, supports strong bone, reduces inflammation, helps in blood circulation, good for weight loss.

It is source of following nutrients:

  1. Rich in dietary fiber – Significant amount of fiber helps in clearing system
  2. Vitamin C – Presence of vitamin C gives it slightl sour taste. Fresh leaves can be used in salad
  3. Iron – Rich in iron content like other leafy vegetables.
  4. Magnesium and Calcium – Include purslane in your diet to add magnesium and calcium -both are required for strong bone, muscle and teeth
  5. Potassium – To keep blood pressure in check purslane helps.
  6. Antioxidant – Presence of two antioxidant melatonin and glutathione makes it a valuable herb to protect cells and tissues. Betalain is another antioxidant present in this herb and betalain prevents cholesterol accumulation in blood cells. It means herb controls cholesterol levels.
  7. Beta carotene – Purslane stem is known for its reddish color. It is because of presence of rich source of beta carotene. Adding tender purslane stem in soup gives delicious taste.
  8. Water content – It has good amount of water and promotes weight loss. To eliminate continuous thirst chewing tender stem and leaves helps. It prevents dehydration.

How to use purslane?

  • Pick purslane from garden, field and clean roadside or side walk. Do not use wilted, yellowed leaves or stem. Once you collect the parts, thoroughly examine for any insects, worms and molds. One can grow purslane in garden like other leafy vegetables and use it without any doubts.
  • Chop and use leaf and stem portions in salad. Mix with other greens and cherry tomatoes, baby spinach, olives, chickpea and dry fruits
  • Tender leaves with tomatoes and onions can be ingredients for bread sandwich.
  • Heat oil, add mustard, curry leaves and cumin. Add one chopped onion, tomato and 2 green chillis and fry. Chop purslane leaves, stem and continue frying for another couple of minutes. Add salt, turmeric and grated coconut. Purslane curry is ready ! Have this with rice, roti, pita bread or bread.

Learn how to make purslane sambar in today’s vegetarian recipe here!

Image credit: https://gardenerspath.com/ & https://in.pinterest.com/pin/663577326341190002/

Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: June 1, 2021

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