Purslane: Pesky Weed or Healing Superfood?

Purslane Superfood

Do you have this plant growing in your yard?

Do you weed it out every chance you get, cursing it for taking over your lettuce bed or your garden in general? Why does it get so darn big you wonder? Look at this plant? It is everywhere!

Well, actually a purslane invasion is a good thing! This year I planted purslane seeds so I could enjoy an entire bed of it instead of just random patches. I love this plant! I rejoice when it pokes its head through the soil in the summer and winds its way through every pathway in the garden.

I can’t wait until it is big enough to start picking every day. Yes, I said every day. Once you get to know this tasty plant and all of its healthful benefits you will find yourself in your garden searching for new purslane shoots sprouting from the ground.

When I visit people’s gardens I always do a little jig when we find a patch of purslane and then I go on and on about it. People just like at me with a blank stare, are you for real? They are flabbergasted at my love for the plant that they have spent so much time trying to get rid of.

 

purslane nutritional facts

Purslane Power

Purslane is a weed. It grows where you didn’t plant it and if you are lucky it shows up in your garden or yard. This weed is a powerhouse of nutrition and contains as many nutrients as any vegetable you have stocked up in your refrigerator.

Purslane is full of beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids. This invasive weed is also very high in vitamin A. You will find vitamin C, B complex as well as nutrients including iron, calcium magnesium and potassium.

Check out the vitamin A content in the nutrient profile chart at the bottom of the page! Not very many vegetables have this much vitamin A. It is truly a weed that supports healthy eyes and your overall wellness.

This lemony flavored green is high in Omega 3’s putting it in the category of healing foods that help to prevent inflammation, support a healthy brain and keep the cardiovascular system healthy. Think of this plant as brain food and eat it!

 

Medicinal Plant

Purslane has many healing benefits for your body. It has a cooling, anti-inflammatory affect along with soothing and healing mucilaginous constituents. It can be used topically on the skin to soothe, cool and heal bug bites, inflamed skin, stings and skin sores.

Internally it helps to reduce inflammation and speed the healing of the gastrointestinal tract. Adding it to your diet helps to reduce ulcers, colitis and any inflamed area of the intestines.
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purslane on cutting board
What do I do with it?
Ok, you probably get by now that I am nothing short of in love with this plant, but how do you actually USE it?

The question really is, if you have it growing, when don’t you eat it. Eat it raw, munch on it as a snack, put a handful in your next green smoothie, layer it into a sandwich, throw it in a soup, toss it in a salad, mince it into rice or lentils, sauté it with eggs…..

Purslane has a delicious tart like flavor that pairs well with egg dishes. Sauté it into your scrambled eggs, omelet and quiche. I love to sauté up a bunch of chard and kale and then add fresh purslane leaves to the mix just before serving.

I like to garnish soups and rice dishes with chopped purslane. Use it in any dish that you would put parsley into. It makes a great sautéed taco filling and we like to eat it as a garnish to just about any vegetable dish.

How do I pick it?
If you have purslane in your yard, you know that it comes in all sizes. It can be a small plant or with enough sun, water and fertile soil it can catapult into a gigantuous green octopus shape with tendrils reaching everywhere.

I pick the leaves at all stages, big and small on all parts of the plant. The leaves are delicious whether they are on the edge of the stem or picked from the very base of the plant near the roots.

I also use the upper 3 or 4 inches of the stem and the flowering buds. You can just pick off the top 3 inches of the plant and use the stem and leaf together. Sometimes you can use more of the stem; it just depends on the plant. I like the upper portion of the stem that is thin and flexible.

Break the stem off at the point where it starts to get stiffer and thick. I don’t use the lower parts of the stem. The entire stem is edible; it is just a little tougher.

I really like to pick purslane just before eating it, but sometimes it gets tucked away in the fridge for up to a week. Store it like you would any other vegetable. Pick off individual leaves for salads and to eat raw with greens. Eat the smaller leaves whole and chop up the larger leaves.

Avoid eating purslane if you are pregnant. Purslane contains oxalic acid. If you are a person that is prone to urinary stones then you know to steer clear of oxalic acid containing foods.

Go out into your yard right now, if it is end of summer you might just be surprised to find some purslane growing. Are you inspired to get some purslane into your next meal?

Where to Get Purslane Seeds

www.rareseeds.com
www.territorialseed.com

Purslane

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Hello I’m Kami, Welcome to Living Awareness!

I believe every family needs to have someone on board with a working knowledge of natural remedies if you want to take care of your family’s health for real.

When I was growing up, natural remedies was not a mainstream concept like it is now, in fact, you are going to be surprised that I never even heard the word natural remedy until I moved out of the house!

In my early 20’s I met someone by chance that told me about holistic health and herbal medicine. I wondered why nobody had talked to me about it before and had a voracious appetite to learn everything I could.

Now, 30 years later I've helped thousands of people demystify the world of herbal medicine and become empowered in using herbal self-care in their home to prevent illness, take care of common ailments and protect their health naturally.

For 20 years I've had a clinical herbal practice connecting people with plants and their wellness. I've developed and taught herbal curriculum for UCSF School of Nursing and the Integral Health Master’s Degree Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Stick with me! You’ll learn awesome herbal self-care, get inspired to be more self-sufficient in your health care and nourish a deep love for the herbs and how to use them, knowing you are doing the very best you can to care for your wellness.

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12 Comments on "Purslane: Pesky Weed or Healing Superfood?"

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Lilith
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Thanks for all the info about purslane, K. I didn’t know.

I’m a big fan of weeds myself–esp. dandelion and chickweed. Always trying to get folks to grow them and eat them but…..

Aloha, Lilith

Elaine
Guest

Hi Kami! Thank you for this valuable information. Will this aid in healing Gastritis? My young adult daughter is currently taking Zantac per her doctors instruction through out the day for Gastritis and us slowly improving; just over 3 weeks.

Enjoy. 🙂

Elliott E
Guest

I’d never heard of purslane. Thank you! I’ll be looking out for it, too now.

April
Guest

Hi Kami,
I have this growing in all my veggie beds, I used to pull it up and throw it in the compost pile. Thank you for writing this article about its beneficial properties. I will be eating now instead of throwing it away. Can you dry it and store it like any other herb??

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Faith
Guest

I have not had that made for quite some time and all the sudden this hear much of it I was not happy but now I am I will go see if there still is some growing since we have a late fall. Can you tell me is it possible to freeze it and put it in soups I know you said drying it is not a good idea but freezing after cutting it up fresh would be great for soup later if you think that is a good idea

e Brummel
Guest

I came across your website here because I started using Purslane (cultivating it in an area of my garden) and it has increased my focus drastically! Amazing. So I”ve been looking for more information on it.
I’m also planning to find it in liquid form, to use for my son and grandson who are both mildly on the Autism spectrum, which was recommended.
My husband saw it sold fresh, in our local food co-op!

SanDiegoCathy
Guest

I have a nice little bunch of this growing in my veggie garden. I just tasted it (raw) and it is very bland-not lemony at all. Does it vary in flavor? Guess I’m wondering if I have the right weed-looks exactly like your picture reddish stems and all.

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