Purslane is a creeping plant that grows easily on all types of soil, not requiring much light or water. For these characteristics, it is often mistaken for a weed, but in fact purslane has several medicinal properties, being one of the most important plant sources of omega 3, in addition to having several interesting properties such as being diuretic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. .
In addition, this plant can also be used in food to prepare salads, soups and to be part of stews, being widely used in some countries in Europe. As an important source of omega 3, purslane is considered a great option for fish, in the diet of vegetarian or vegan people.
Purslane benefits and how to use
The following are some of the possible benefits of consuming this plant:
- Helps to control diabetes
According to some studies done with the plant, it was observed that the consumption of the extract made with this plant is able to control blood sugar levels, since it can modulate glucose metabolism, in addition to increasing insulin sensitivity.
- Protects from oxidative stress
Purslane is a plant rich in antioxidant substances, such as galotanins, omega 3, ascorbic acid, quercetin and apigenin, which protect cells against oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
Thus, the purslane benefits may be able to protect the body against premature aging, strengthen the immune system and even reduce the risk of cancer.
- Relieves inflammation of arthritis
Investigations made with purslane extract in the laboratory showed that the plant is able to relieve the common inflammation of arthritis in rats, presenting an effect very similar to that of several corticosteroids that are used to treat this condition.
- Fights bacterial infections
Several studies done with the plant extract have shown antibacterial action against different types of bacteria, including Klebsiella pneumonia, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus aureus, even when the bacteria were resistant to antibiotics such as erythromycin, tetracycline or ampicillin.
- Prevents cardiovascular disease
In addition to being very rich in omega 3, which is a type of healthy fat that helps protect the heart, purslane has also shown action against hyperlipidemia in rats, being able to maintain cholesterol and triglyceride levels within normal parameters.
- Protects the stomach from ulcers
Due to its composition in flavonoids, such as canferol, apigenin and quercetin, purslane seems to be able to create a protection in the stomach that hinders the appearance of gastric ulcers.
- Reduces blood pressure
In studies with an aqueous extract of purslane, the researchers noted that the plant’s potassium amounts appear to be able to lower blood pressure. In addition, purslane also has a diuretic action, which also contributes to lowering blood pressure.
- Helps in wound healing
When applied directly to wounds and burns, crushed purslane leaves appear to accelerate the healing process by reducing the wound surface, in addition to increasing tensile strength.
How to use the plant
Purslane can be used in cooking to compose salads, soups and stews, and can be added to recipes for green juices and vitamins.
In addition, the plant can be used in the form of tea:
- 50 g purslane leaves
- 1 liter of boiling water
- Preparation mode
- Add the ingredients for 5 to 10 minutes and then strain. Finally, let it warm and drink 1 to 2 cups a day.
Natural medicine also uses the purslane benefits stalks and crushed leaves for burns and wounds, as they relieve pain and accelerate healing.
Because it is rich in oxalic acid, purslane should be avoided by people who have or have had kidney stones, and its excessive consumption can cause intestinal problems such as pain and nausea.