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Purslane

SCIENTIFIC NAME(S): Portulaca oleracea L. Family: Portulacaceae

COMMON NAME(S): Purslane, garden (common) purslane, pigweed, ma chi xian (Chinese), munyeroo, portulaca, "pusley"

Purslane (Portulaca oleraceae), is a potherb, an annual succulent, a green, and to many, a weed. But it's been found to be a source of Vitamin A, C and E, plus contains an omega-3 fatty acid.

Purslane (Portulaca Oleracea) has been used for thousands of years throughout the world for everything from salads to medicines. Our Purslane is grown in Saskatchewan, but it can be found growing wild or cultivated in gardens, in almost any sunny spot. This plant is hardy like a weed. Among some 13,000 known plants, this underutilized leafy green vegetable offers more nourishment than our major crops

History

In ancient times, purslane was considered one of the antimagic herbs used to protect against evil spirits. Purslane's use as a medicinal herb dates back at least 2000 years, but it was used as food well before this period. Ancient Romans used purslane to treat dysentery, intestinal worms, headache, and stomachache.The Zulu used the plant as an emetic. Purslane was part of the Australian aborigines' diet as a salad green.The Chinese, French, Italians, and English also used purslane in salads. A folk use of purslane includes reducing fever.

Botany :- The purslane family includes several fleshy plants. P. oleracea is a herbaceous, succulent annual, cosmopolitan weed. Some consider it a weed because of its growth patterns. Purslane grows 10 to 30 cm tall and has reddish­brown stems, alternate wedge-shaped leaves, and clusters of yellow flowers containing 4 to 6 petals that bloom in summer. Its numerous seeds are black, shiny, and rough. The plant prefers sandy soil. The herb, juice, and seeds are mainly used. Golden purslane (P. sativa) is a similar, related species to purslane, with yellow leaves, but is a larger plant and is not weedy.

Uses of Purslane

Purslane is beneficial in urinary and digestive problems, has antifungal and antimicrobial effects, is high in vitamins and minerals, and has been used as a food source. It possesses marked antioxidant activity. These potential uses have not been verified by clinical studies.

Side Effects of Purslane

Avoid use during pregnancy. Purslane is said to be safe, even in high dosages; however, individuals with a history of kidney stones should use purslane with caution.

Dosage

As directed by doctor.

Toxicology

Purslane is said to be safe, even in high dosages, as it is eaten as a vegetable. Individuals with a history of kidney stones should use purslane with caution as it may increase kidney filtration, urine production, and possibly cause a stone to move. Purslane injection induces powerful contractions of the uterus, but oral purslane is said to weaken uterine contractions. Avoid use during pregnancy.

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