If you take a step outside your front door, how many plants in your garden are you be able to name? Although your grandparents or even great-grandparents could probably name nearly every inch of their land, this skill has been lost for recent generations.
Along with this comes the loss of medicinal plant knowledge. It’s really quite a shame: no matter where you live in the world, you’ll always be surrounded by medicinal plants, even in the concrete jungle. One of these “lost plants” is purslane, a nutritious succulent that’s now regarded as a useless weed.
Why You Should Give it a Try
Purslane can do lot of good for a wide variety of patients.
In traditional medicine, the herb is well appreciated by new mothers for its ability to treat mastitis, lack of milk flow, and postpartum bleeding. It also relaxes skeletal muscles and acts as a diuretic. However, nursing mothers should consult a naturopath before taking purslane (1).
It also has the ability to cure:
- Painful urination
- Insect stings
- Skin sores
- Abscesses treat
- Acute appendicitis
Purslane contains a neurohormone called l-norepinephrine that acts as a vasopressor and antihypotensive agent to promptly treats hemorrhages. The herb even has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effects (2).
In terms of nutritional value, the herb is said to have more beta-carotene than spinach and carrots, as well as high levels of vitamins B, C and E, magnesium, calcium, potassium, folate, lithium, and protein (3,4,5).
More interestingly, the herb contains omega-3 fatty acids, particularly alpha linolenic acid. It’s believed to be the best plant source of the nutrient, containing 8.5 mg of omega 3 for every gram of weight. This substance, as well as others found in the plant, keeps blood pressure and cholesterol in check and prevents blood clots.
Another interesting component of the plant is melatonin, an antioxidant that acts as a hormone and is also produced by your pineal gland (6,7). Melatonin regulates your body’s natural sleep and wake cycles to help you get a good night’s sleep. A study conducted by the University of Texas at San Antonio found that purslane contained 10 to 1000 times more melatonin than other edible plants tested (8). The plant is also currently being tested for its ability to fight tumors (9).
Where To Find It
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) grows in gardens and yards all over the world. They’re easy to spot thanks to their thick, reddish stems and spoon-shaped succulent leaves. It kind of looks like a small jade plant that lays flat on the ground and produces small yellow flowers.
A similar plant, the “hairy-stemmed spurge” (Euphorbia vermiculata), can be mistaken for purslane, but it’s poisonous and should not be consumed.
The main difference between the two is that the spurge is hairy and has a milky sap while purslane is smooth and produces clear sap (10).
Purslane is best harvested is late summer and early autumn when its leaves are full and juicy. While it can be harvested year-round in warmer regions, the flavor of your harvest can vary depending on when it’s picked. You can plant purslane in your garden, but it can quickly become invasive (11).
How To Use Purslane
One of the biggest advantages of eating purslane is that it’s non-GMO since it’s not widely regarded as a food and isn’t widely cultivated. However, because it’s a weed, it’s important to thoroughly wash it before eating, since it’s most likely come into contact with pesticides.
The leaves and stems can be eaten raw, dried, steamed, stir-fried, or even pureed, but beware, the herb gets a little slimy when overcooked. Think of the herb as an alternative to spinach or watercress. The flowers make a great addition to salads while the stems are delightful when pickled: They’re known for having a delicious, slightly sour and salty lemony taste. Learn how to cook with it here.
- The 4 Worst Weight Loss Advice You Should Ignore
Weight loss is a tricky subject to discuss. There are plenty of tips and tricks out there that are supposedly …
- How To Cure a Minor Stiff Neck In Just 10 Seconds Using Nothing But a Towel!
How To Get Rid Of A Stiff Neck Sitting all day in front of the computer is one of the …
- 5 Anti-Aging Herbs To Keep Your Liver Young And Happy (Just Drink Them As Tea!)
Did you know that your liver is the second largest organ in your body? In fact, it’s one of the …
- 9 Plants To Attract Positive Energy In Your Home And Office
Your home is your sanctuary, so why not attract more positive energy in your home? Being surrounded by nature can …
- DIY Warming Rub For Sore Muscles
(originally written by Heather) Have You Been Lifting Cars . . . To save trapped kittens again? Bench pressing two year-olds …
- 13 Detox Foods To Flush Out Toxins, Fight Cancer Cells And Relentlessly Hunt Free Radicals
You body is constantly filtering your food and your blood to remove toxins and waste. This automated self-cleaning process helps keep your body healthy and …
- THIS Oil Relieves Pain FASTER Than Both Pain Meds and ALL Other Natural Remedies
What do you do when you experience muscle pain? If you’re like most Americans, you probably open up your bathroom …
- Vitamin E Plays a Key Role in The Production of Compounds Needed For Carrying DHA to The Brain
Easy to get if you’re eating the right foods, one simple nutrient could be the key to better brain health …
- Brutally Honest Coca-Cola Commercial Shows You Exactly Why Drinking This Beverage Is a Bad Idea
Coca-cola is probably the worst drink you can have for your body. In fact, it doesn’t even have any nutritional …
- Terminal Hospice Patient Exposes Truth About Ensure Nutrition Drinks
Carrol Krause was a former Herald-Times reporter from Indiana. Following her 2014 ovarian cancer diagnosis, Carrol turned to the Internet …
- The Germiest Places In Your Kitchen
You probably do a pretty decent job of keeping your kitchen clean – you scrub down the counters, rinse out …
- Best Supplements for Omega-3s in Your Diet
Your doctor may have already told you that incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into your diet is important. Those miraculous omega-3s …
- 5 DIY Homemade Shampoo Recipes
We are exposed to many toxic chemicals whether we like it or not – through our water supply, and even …
- The Shrimp You Eat May Not be What You Think It Is
We can spend hours in the grocery store reading labels. We want to make the best choices for our families. …
- 5 Frightening Diseases You Can Save Yourself From By Sleeping Better
Everyone’s pulled an all-nighter at some point in their lives, and experienced the side effects of not getting enough sleep …