Purslane: 10 Properties of This Medicinal Plant

30 December, 2019
Many consider purslane a superfood thanks to its excellent nutritional values. Find out about the amazing medicinal properties of this wild plant in this article!

Have you heard about purslane?

In Ancient Greece and in Chinese medicine it has already been consumed because of its diuretic and laxative properties, as well as to purify the body.

Learn more about it in this article!

Purslane is supposedly a weed

Until a few years ago, purslane (Portulaca oleracea) was popularly known as a weed that could grow anywhere. Purslane may even appear in a crack in th sidewalk. Farmers don’t like to see it appear among their crops, as it can harm them.

However, this plant with yellow or pink flowers stands out for its great resistance and excellent nutritional values. Nowadays, we finally recognize it as acheap and accessible super food that we can eat like any other vegetable which helps with many health conditions.


The components of purslane

Purslane is rich in vitamins A, group B, and C, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and selenium, among many others. In addition, it’s one of the plants that’s most rich in essential omega 3 acids, which are found in its seeds.

This plant also contains good amounts of mucilage (fiber), flavonoid antioxidants, phytoestrogens and organic acids such as citrus or malic acid. A special feature of purslane is that its components include melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep and the waking cycle.

Health benefits

Health benefits

Below, we’ll highlight 10 very beneficial properties of purslane for your health:

  1. It’s anti-inflammatory. Purslane has powerful anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its mucilages, omega 3 acids and minerals. Purslane can treat different types of pain and discomfort, especially those that affect your urinary and digestive system.
  2. It’s an antioxidant. Few plants are as rich in antioxidants as purslane. Its vitamins C and E, flavonoids, alkaloids, beta-carotenes and glutathione all help fight free radicals and prevent aging.
  3. Purslane is very nutritious. Its nutrients, as well as its high omega 3 content, make it a plant that nourishes us deeply from the inside. This way, it improves the health of the skin, hair, nails, joints, etc.
  4. It’s antiseptic: It has very effective antimicrobial properties.
  5. Purslane benefits your cardiovascular health. Its essential omega 3 acids can also improve cardiovascular health. These nutrients improve circulation, regulate blood pressure, prevent arrhythmias, etc.
  6. It helps with your digestion. Thanks to its mucilage content, purslane produces an emollient effect in the body. This means it calms and softens your digestive system and urinary tract to avoid the most frequent illnesses. In addition, it fights constipation thanks to its high fiber content and prevents intestinal parasites.
  7. It’s diuretic. Purslane acts as an excellent natural remedy to eliminate excess fluid that we retain in our body. This means that it can help reduce swelling and fight against obesity.
  8. It has anti-ulcer properties. The mucilage found in purslane also protect the walls of your organs and prevent gastritis and ulcers that appear in the digestive tract.
  9. Purslane lowers fevers. This incredible plant even reduces fevers naturally.
  10. It’s hypoglycemic. Purslane helps to naturally reduce blood sugar levels. This means that it can prevent illnesses such as diabetes, obesity or insulin resistance.

How can it be eaten?

How can purslane be eaten?

Although purslane is a super food, today it’s still not classified as a go-to remedy for all these disorders. This means that although more and more research is being done, it is difficult to find it in different forms.

We recommend that you grow it or pick it up from places that are free of contamination so that you can consume it like a vegetable.

You can cook purslane in sauteed foods, salads, soups, creams or stews in the same way that you would consume watercress or spinach.

 Purslane can add creaminess to dishes thanks to its mucilage. Using purslane for creaminess means that you can even avoid adding other less healthy ingredients such as cream or cheese.

  • D’Andrea, R. M., Andreo, C. S., & Lara, M. V. (2014). Deciphering the mechanisms involved in Portulaca oleracea (C4) response to drought: Metabolic changes including crassulacean acid-like metabolism induction and reversal upon re-watering. Physiologia Plantarum, 152(3), 414–430. https://doi.org/10.1111/ppl.12194
  • Zhou, Y. X., Xin, H. L., Rahman, K., Wang, S. J., Peng, C., & Zhang, H. (2015). Portulaca oleracea L.: A review of phytochemistry and pharmacological effects. BioMed Research International. Hindawi Limited. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/925631
  • Rahimi VB, Ajam F, Rakhshandeh H, Askari VR. A Pharmacological Review on Portulaca oleracea L.: Focusing on Anti-Inflammatory, Anti- Oxidant, Immuno-Modulatory and Antitumor Activities. J Pharmacopuncture. 2019;22(1):7–15. doi:10.3831/KPI.2019.22.001
  • Uddin MK, Juraimi AS, Hossain MS, Nahar MA, Ali ME, Rahman MM. Purslane weed (Portulaca oleracea): a prospective plant source of nutrition, omega-3 fatty acid, and antioxidant attributes. ScientificWorldJournal. 2014;2014:951019. Published 2014 Feb 10. doi:10.1155/2014/951019
  • Sedighi M, Bahmani M, Asgary S, Beyranvand F, Rafieian-Kopaei M. A review of plant-based compounds and medicinal plants effective on atherosclerosis. J Res Med Sci. 2017;22:30. Published 2017 Mar 15. doi:10.4103/1735-1995.202151
  • Khodadadi H, Pakdel R, Khazaei M, Niazmand S, Bavarsad K, Hadjzadeh MA. A comparison of the effects of Portulaca oleracea seeds hydro-alcoholic extract and Vitamin C on biochemical, hemodynamic and functional parameters in cardiac tissue of rats with subclinical hyperthyroidism. Avicenna J Phytomed. 2018;8(2):161–169.
  • Yang X, Yan Y, Li J, et al. Protective effects of ethanol extract from Portulaca oleracea L on dextran sulphate sodium-induced mice ulcerative colitis involving anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Am J Transl Res. 2016;8(5):2138–2148. Published 2016 May 15.
  • Ramadan BK, Schaalan MF, Tolba AM. Hypoglycemic and pancreatic protective effects of Portulaca oleracea extract in alloxan induced diabetic rats. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017;17(1):37. Published 2017 Jan 11. doi:10.1186/s12906-016-1530-1
  • Mousavi S M, Bagheri G, Saeidi S. Antibacterial Activities of the Hydroalcoholic Extract of Portulaca oleracea Leaves and Seeds in Sistan Region, Southeastern Iran, Int J Infect. 2015 ; 2(2):e23214. doi: 10.17795/iji-23214.
  • Jaiswal, G. (2018). Purslane in Cosmetics: A Review. International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)7(11), 1341–1344. Retrieved from https://www.ijsr.net/archive/v7i11/ART20193014.pdf
  • Dkhil, M. A., Moniem, A. E. A., Al-Quraishy, S., & Saleh, R. A. (2011). Antioxidant effect of purslane (Portulaca oleracea) and its mechanism of action. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research5(9), 1589–1593.