Purslane Leaves, also known as a weed, usually grows on the thin or bare spots in a lawn. Other common names are verdolaga, pigweek, little hogweek, red root, pursley and moss rose. Although the FDA classifies purslane as a broad=leaved weed, in countries such as China, Mexico and Greece it is used a a popular vegetable and herb.
Many people consider Purslane as a common weed and throw it away, while others cultivate it specifically to eat as food. Purslane is an aesthetically attractive weed with fleshy leaves and yellow flowers, and it also has many health benefits.
Purslane Nutritional Facts
- Purslane contains different types of betalain alkaloid pigments with powerful antioxidants and anti-mutagens.
- Purslane is also a rich source of vitamin C, and B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and carotenoids.
- Purslane contains dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese.
- It is an excellent source of Vitamin A, one of the highest among green leafy vegetables. Vitamin A is a known powerful natural antioxidant and is essential for vision.
- Fresh leaves contain surprisingly more omega-3 fatty acids (α-linolenic acid) than other leafy vegetable plants. 100 grams of fresh purslane leaves provide about 350 mg of α-linolenic acid.
- Purslane is very low in calories (just 16 kcal/100g) and fats, and is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Health Benefits of Purslane
- When eaten fresh, Purslane leaves contain high omega-3 fatty acids compared to any other leafy vegetable plant. Research studies have shown that consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and help prevent the development of ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), autism, and other developmental differences in children.
- Researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio have found that Purslane – Natural News has up to twenty times more of the possibly cancer-growth-inhibiting antioxidant melatonin than many other common fruits and vegetables.
- It is also high in another antioxidant, vitamin A, which has significant tumor-fighting potential, especially when it comes to oral and lung cancers.
- Purslane seeds, appear like black tea powder, are often used to make some herbal drinks.
Due to its high nutritional benefits, instead of considering Purslane as a weed, it can be considered as a health-boosting, everyday food, as purslane can be used fresh as a salad, or cooked like spinach, and it is also suitable for soups and stews.
Purslane can also be juiced. It is a powerful cleanser of the body and can really make the body detoxify. Therefore, you do not want large amounts. If you plan on drinking Purslane, then you may also want to consult a Naturopath or Herbalist before doing so. Purslane is bitter so you don’t want to use very much and make sure to combine it with other vegetables.
Purslane is high in oxalic acid and should be avoided by those who suffer from or are at risk for kidney stones, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and those whose stomach is easily irritated.
I found an article where someone has been juicing with Purslane for quite some time and has been very happy with the results. They juiced it with strawberries, oranges, carrots, beets, celery and ginger.