Portulaca oleracea plant. Growing common, edible green purslane. How is fresh purslane herb used for health? Purslane powder can be used in place of the fresh herb and is sold here.
What is Purslane?
Purslane is an annual herb whose succulent stems grow to a height of 6 inches. The stems are brittle and lined with juicy teardrop-shaped green leaves. Tiny yellow blooms appear on the stem tips in summer.
Common purslane is a weedy annual native to Europe and Asia. It can be found almost everywhere in the world during the summer months.
How is Purslane Used for Health?
P. oleracea is rich in vitamins A,B,C, and calcium. It has long been used as a pot herb.
It has also been used as a medicinal herb in Europe, India and the Middle East for more than 2,000 years. The ancient Romans used it to treat headaches, stomachaches, and intestinal worms.
The juice in the leaves and stems has diuretic properties making it useful in treating bladder ailments. It can also be used topically on boils.
In Chinese herbal medicine, the purslane plant is used as an antidote for wasp stings. Clinical trials performed in China revealed that purslane herb is a mild natural antibiotic. Another study demonstrated the effectiveness of the juice against hookworms.
As the juice can cause uterine contractions, pregnant women should avoid ingesting purslane.
Green, edible purslane is a cultivated variety of Portulaca oleracea grown for use in the kitchen. The lemon-flavored 2 inch leaves are crowded onto 20 inch tall stems.
Fresh purslane herb is most often used in salads.
Grow it like any other summer annual. It will not tolerate frost.
Purslane powder is a therapeutic herb supplement for people who want to recieve the health benefits of edible purslane without having to grow or eat it.
It is taken primarily as a source of omega-3 fatty acids. P. oleracea is the richest plant source of omega-3s found to date.
The powder is available loose or in easy to swallow capsules.
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