Purslane, the die-hard plant that has more Omega-3 than fish

Imagine a plant that doesn’t need to be taken care of. A plant that needs very little water, grows on almost any soil and is incredibly nutritious. Imagine a plant that grows super fast and can be harvested many times throughout the year. Well, that plant exists. After doing some research I’m convinced this plant is a true gift, proof of how much the Earth loves us. Hated by traditional production-based farmers, it’s a rebellious “weed” that even if cut, will grow roots right back into the ground and form a new plant. ![lrlb4k.jpg]() *There is so much purslane in the garden but no phone or camera to take pictures (read [here](https://goldvoice.club/steem/@fenngen/killed-my-phone-got-back-my-soul) to know why I have no phone).* [Source](https://pixabay.com/es/photos/portulaca-oleracea-verdolaga-855543/) Portulaca oleracea, commonly known as purslane, is a succulent that tolerates drought and poor soil. It’s so good at surviving that it has naturalized itself in most of the world. Purslane is a highly concentrated nutrient bomb. It is filled with nutritional and medicinal properties, boasting more omega 3 fatty-acids than fish (100 grams of fresh leaves contain 350 mg. of this compound) [Source](https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/purslane.html). This plant holds one of the highest amounts of vitamin A among the green leaf vegetables. It’s rich in complex B vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium and manganese. Take a look at these percentages provided by the USDA: - Vitamin A (from beta-carotene): 26% of the daily value. - Vitamin C: 35% of the daily value. - Magnesium: 17% of the daily value. - Manganese: 15% of the daily value. - Potassium: 14% of the daily value. - Iron: 11% of the daily value. - Calcium: 7% of the reference daily intake. You can eat it raw, put it in smoothies, steam it or cook it into a soup. All manner of preparations work fine! For me, raw is the way to go. This plant is considered a super-food, and like many of it’s kind it is super-ignored by the masses. I wonder what it is about super-foods that just drive people away, specially when they are free and abundant in nature. Almost everyone I present these nutrient dense - gifted from nature - plants to, will try it only once and never again. Maybe they think because it didn’t cost money it lacks value? If they don’t sell it at the supermarket there must be something wrong with it, right? I understand this behaviour when a plant has a challenging taste but purslane is delicious! Perhaps not as tasty as a tomato but it has a very nice, non-invasive taste. Slightly acid and very crunchy, it works perfect in salads. ![hgm4gz.jpg]() [Source](https://pixabay.com/es/photos/verdolaga-la-verdolaga-bot%C3%A1nica-3768771/) #### Here are some ideas for preparing purslane: - Blend up with cucumber and apple for a nice refreshing smoothie. - Chop finely and mix with tomato, garlic and green beans. - Steam cook it along with some pumpkin. - Use it as ingredient for fajitas or tacos. - Make pickled purslane! - Australian aborigines would ground the seeds and use it as some sort of flour. #### Medicinal uses Purslane has a long history of usage in traditional folk medicine to treat affections such as sore eyes, dermatitis, inflammation, headache, abdominal pain, dysentery and intestinal worms. The sap is extracted and applied over the skin to reduce inflammation, burns, heal wounds and insect bites. [Source](https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/purslane-herb-benefits.html#Traditional_and_Historical_Uses_of_Purslane) >“Purslane has been considered valuable in the treatment of urinary and digestive problems. The diuretic effect of the juice makes it useful in the alleviation of bladder ailments-for example, difficulty in passing urine. The plant’s mucilaginous properties also make it a soothing remedy for gastrointestinal problems such as dysentery and diarrhea. In Europe it’s been turned into a cough syrup for sore throats". [Source](https://www.herbalpedia.com/blog/?p=240) According to Peterson’s Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs “science confirms (purslane’s) antibiotic and antioxidant activity. One of the few plants reported to contain L-dopa and noradrenaline (norepinephrine). This hormone reduces bleeding at the tissue level, suggesting a rational scientific basis for the plant’s use in traditional Chinese medicine to stop postpartum bleeding.” It is also rich in glutathione, a powerful antioxidant and immune system booster, says James Duke in “The Green Pharmacy”. He also adds that: >“Foods containing the minerals magnesium and potassium have been shown to have antidepressant effects. Purslane, which is very rich in these minerals, is also high in other constituents with antidepressant value, including calcium, folate (the naturally occurring form of folic acid) and lithium. In fact, purslane contains up to a whopping 16% andidepressant compounds, figured on a dry-weight basis”. #### Benefits for ecosystems Not only is this an incredibly nutritious plant, but also an awesome water desalinator. It is also believed to help to lighten up the heavy mineral load on soil, though this has not been extensively researched. P. oleracea appears to be an excellent candidate for inclusion in saline drainage water reuse systems (Grieve and Suarez, 1997). It is highly tolerant of both chloride- and sulphate-dominated salinities, is a moderate selenium accumulator and a valuable vegetable crop for human consumption (Bianco et al., 1998) [Source](https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/43609) ![xjxsn6.jpg]() [Source](https://pixabay.com/es/photos/portulaca-oleracea-verdolaga-839500/) If the apocalypse is to hit us eventually you’ll want to be acquainted with this poorly understood “weed” as it will be for sure one of the few plants hardy enough to resist everything and stay to witness the recovery of Earth. There is so much to write about purslane so I will be making another post for sure. My intention is to try making pickled purslane, as well as fermenting it so I’ll be posting on that to further the information on this nutritious and tasty plant.

Comments 23

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20.01.2020 00:28

Purslane pesto! I love this plant, yet so many see it as a weed!

20.01.2020 04:01

That sounds goooood, will give it a try 👌

20.01.2020 18:43

Nice article! Awesome infos for everyone interested in some "forgotten" veggies... Definitely a C²!

20.01.2020 09:12


20.01.2020 18:43

Purslane and pumpkin is great pairing!! YUM.

I'm super looking forward to your pickling-fermenting posts. :)

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20.01.2020 12:57

Almost anything pairs well with pumpkin lol. Thanks for the support!

20.01.2020 18:44

very interesting. I had no idea. What is the name in Spanish? Do you know how far south it goes?

20.01.2020 13:15

The spanish name is verdolaga, I have only seen it in central Chile (Maule Region). I think you'll find it in any place that has little rain in summer.

20.01.2020 18:46


20.01.2020 20:03

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20.01.2020 21:08

Great post Fen, thanks.

When i was living in Mexico i noticed purslane growing abundantly as at the beginning of the beach, so would sometimes bring some back for the green smoothies we would drink every morning after yoga class at The Sanctuary.

I look forward to the next installment, and will be re-posting this internally and externally. Folks need to know!


21.01.2020 00:58

bring some back for the green smoothies we would drink every morning after yoga class at The Sanctuary.

Man that's healthy, must feel nice! Will try to start doing that!

21.01.2020 18:58

Had those plants invade my backyard last summer. This coming summer I'm going to have to try some. There's another plant that looks almost identical but it's poisonous.
Poisonous Spurges: Euphorbia varieties
Note: the leaves are in pairs - don't eat
I've got both growing in the summer

21.01.2020 02:08

Those leaves are also considerably smaller, are they not? Just checking because it might be the same plant that also grows here near purslane...

21.01.2020 18:50

I had both growing together in my yard. The leaves... size will depend somewhat on the age.
All I know is that a couple of times I had to really look close and focus because they look so much alike.

Here, the stems were the same color, both plants growing close to the ground. Just remember paired leaves are the poisonous one.

21.01.2020 20:28

Great, thanks for the awesome info!

21.01.2020 21:50

yeah mon :)

21.01.2020 22:04

I have purslane all over my garden by mid summer. It really is hard to get rid of. LOL

I need to try it cooked, I don't eat much raw greens due to a lack of chewing teeth.

21.01.2020 06:51

Yeah, you can also blend it into smoothies with fruits or other veggies ;)

21.01.2020 18:51

I think I'm going to start cultivating this from the wild ones that spring up in my garden!
In Mexico they're called verdolagas.

23.01.2020 04:59