It’s the annoying little “weed” that may invade your lawn or garden bed this year, but you likely have no idea that it is a medicinal powerhouse. It’s called “purslane,” and it can benefit your skin, urinary and digestive systems. It is also a source of omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, potassium and other important nutrients.
Most people think of purslane solely as a weed that overtakes your turf grass. You typically find it in bare spots of your lawn. Purslane is easy to identify because of its reddish-brown stem that can grow up to 12 inches long. The leaves are thick and oval-shaped, with a smooth feel. There is more to know about purslane than its looks. Here are some of its noted medicinal purposes.
Purslane is a fantastic source of omega 3 fatty acids. Believe it or not, some plants have levels higher than fish oils. Consider adding purslane to your soups and salads. Doing so helps to reduce cardiovascular disease.
You can create purslane infused oil to create ointments and salves, perfect for skin conditions. Purslane is a source of vitamin A, ideal for improving the condition of your skin. Purslane lotion can be used to create a healthy appearance, reduce wrinkles and help to remove scars and blemishes.
On top of skin conditions, you can use purslane to reduce the inflammation from bee stings and snake bites. Remember to seek a medical professional if you experience a snake bite! After seeking help, purslane can reduce the swelling around the bite.
Traditional Chinese medicine used purslane to treat gastrointestinal diseases. Herbalists use it to treat diarrhea, intestinal bleeding, hemorrhoids and dysentery. It might seem like a strange choice, especially if you mention it to your conventional doctor. However, many people swear by its uses.
How could you use it for gastrointestinal issues? You might create an herbal tea from its leaves, fresh or dried. You could try adding fresh leaves to chicken broth. If you have hemorrhoids, creating a salve from purslane can reduce the swelling and discomfort.
Purslane is rich in vitamin K, essential for blood clotting. By consuming purslane or taking tinctures, you increase the amount of vitamin K in your body. Increasing the amount of this vitamin in your system may also reduce the risk of colon, prostate, stomach and oral cancers!
Improve Circulation throughout Body
The iron and copper in purslane stimulate the production of red blood cells. The more red blood cells in your body, the better the blood circulates in your body. Improved circulation helps to ensure all parts of your body receives adequate oxygen levels.
You might notice that your hair grows faster with improved circulation. It also improves your overall metabolism.
Side Note to Remember
It is important to note that purslane contains oxalic acid, which is associated with the formation of kidney stones. If you have a history of kidney stones, it might be a good idea to avoid consuming purslane on a regular basis.
If these warnings don’t apply to you, purslane is more than just a weed in your yard. It is an edible that increases your heart health and blood circulation. Don’t just pull it out or use weed killer on purslane. Add it to your soups, salads and create herbal remedies with it to tap into its many benefits.
How do you eat purslane? Share your tips in the section below: