If you see this “weed” growing in your yard, don’t pick it–It’s the richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids in all the leafy greens and has more Vitamin E and Vitamin C than Spinach.
A plain herb or a leafy vegetable that may often look commonplace and inconspicuous in the yard, Purslane can be easily uprooted alongside other useless weeds. However, experts have recently unmasked a few unmistakably helpful properties associated with this plant. While the average gardening enthusiasts may already know one or two benefits of this useful weed, many of these advantages remain largely unknown to most people. As such, this article highlights a couple of rare uses and benefits of this weed.
How to Grow Purslane in Containers
Growing purslane in containers as a leafy green is also possible. You can eat it raw or toss it in salads. It’s super easy to grow that’s why it’s considered as a weed. Either buy purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) seeds online or try to find purslane growing wild somewhere. It can be grown both from seeds and cuttings.
Choose a container or hanging basket that is at least 8 inches deep and 8-10 inches wide. Don’t care about spacing, you can grow a few plants in such a container. Water the plant moderately, this weed is tolerable to underwatering and overwatering both. You don’t need to fertilize it regularly, the addition of compost or well-rotted manure to the soil is fine. In the climate with mild winters, you can grow it year round. In cooler zones, start planting from the spring.
1. A Great Spinach Substitute
To begin, Purslane is a highly nutritious spinach substitute. The weed works particularly well when mixed with salads and sandwiches. Besides safeguarding the eater from heart diseases and related complications such as stroke, this herb is also an awesome source of healthy proteins.
According to the research report published in Scientific World Journal, Purslane has 5 times higher Omega-3 fatty acids than Spinach, 7 times higher alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E) than Spinach, and higher amount of Vitamin C and beta-carotene than Spinach. You can read the full report here!
Recent medical research findings included this little-known edible plant among foods that curb Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) in young children. This means that menus comprising this important weed can improve your concentration. Helpful, if your little one finds it hard to focus on the classwork.
2. Higher Amount of Omega-3 Fatty Acids than any other Leafy Vegetable
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for human growth, development, and prevention of numerous cardiovascular diseases, and maintenance of a healthy immune system. Extremely rare but inestimably necessary that can only be found in very few other edibles like avocados, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and fishes and of course, purslane. In fact, purslane is the richest source of Omega-3 fatty acids when it comes to the vegetables, 5 times higher than the spinach. Learn more about the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids here!
3. Amazing Source of Essential Vitamins & Antioxidants
Antioxidants are one of the few nutritional components that prevent multiple diseases. Purslane is an excellent source of vitamin A. Vitamin A works to improve vision and is also important for the skin growth and development of skin tissues. Aside from this, vitamin A from natural sources such as from plants and fruits help prevent oral cavity and lung cancer. The pigments of the weed are also important in this respect. The pigments are basically two types of betalain. The reddish pigment at the base of the stems is β-cyanins, and the yellow pigment is β –xanthins. Both are antioxidants, which have been shown to have antimutagenic properties that make them essential in protecting our cells.
It is at the top of the list when it comes to plants rich in vitamin E and also has the highest content of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), an essential Omega-3 fatty acid. The weed has a higher amount of beta carotene and 7 times more vitamin E than spinach. Other nutrients that can also be found in the weed include magnesium, vitamin C, potassium, riboflavin, and phosphorus.
4. It Helps in Curing Skin Diseases & Gastrointestinal Complications
Furthermore, this medicinal herb also promises a number healthful benefits that cure and alleviate skin diseases and gastrointestinal complications. It’s rich in vitamin A, which plays a vital role in normal skin development. In a similar vein, it also helps in having proper digestion of food. This is the reason most herbal treatments for stomach disorders often include this plant’s therapeutic extracts.
5. It Contains Bone-Strengthening Minerals
The herbal compounds in Purslane help in nurturing strong bones. The plant features a group of essentially beneficial minerals like calcium and magnesium. This wild plant is also rich in potassium and iron – another highly nourishing pair that we all need for robust bones and sound inter bone tissues. The weed is also a good natural ingredient for mitigating and preventing some of the most incapacitating joint problems such as arthritis and osteoporosis.