What is Purslane herb?
This is scientifically referred to as Portulaca oleracea. It was originally found in the Indian sub-continent but currently it has been widely spread across the world. There are a diverse variety of Purslane plant. These species vary in terms of leaf thickness, size, arrangement as well as pigment distribution. It is said to be a hard herb since it requires very little soil nutrients and water. This herb grows to a height of 12 to 15 cm. In most Asian and European countries, Purslane herb has been grown as a staple food. It has tender leaves and succulent stems. A mature plant has yellow flower buds that can also be eaten. Pursley seeds, mostly used to prepare herbal drinks, occur in form of black powder.
Health Benefits of Purslane Herb
Some countries such as the United States of America consider this plant a weed. However it is important to note that Pursley is a safe plant that is widely consumed for a number of health benefits to the human body including medicinal benefits. This herb has various nutrients that impact positively on the human health. They include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
These type of nutrients are known to benefit dyslipidaemic patients since they supplement the diet with flaxseed oil which in turn lowers blood pressure when its rises high.Omega-3 fatty acids also reduce cardiovascular disorders. It also helps to reduce mania. Fresh leaves of Purslane herb contains larger amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. In children omega-3 fatty acids prevent autism and development of ADHD.
- Vitamin A
Pursley contains 1320IU/100 g of Vitamin A. It is among the plants with the highest amount of Vitamin A. Vitamin A has been referred to as the best natural antioxidant. This nutrient also improves vision especially in children. Vitamin A also plays a role of maintenance of mucus membranes as well as the skin texture. Consuming Purslane herbs rich in Vitamin A protects the lungs from cancer.
- Vitamin C
Consuming Pursley with large amounts of Vitamin C increases the rate of iron absorption into the human body. People who consume foods with Vitamin C and an improved immune system hence cannot be easily affected by diseases.
- Belatin Alkaloid pigments
Pursley has two types of these pigments. They include the:
- beta-xanthins that appear yellow in color
- Beta cyanins that appear red in color.
Both pigments are known to be antioxidants and have proved to contain anti mutagenic properties.
How to use Purslane herbs
Pursley can be used as a salad, or as a cooked spinach. For medicinal purposes, Purslane drinks are prepared from the leaves or the stem of herbs. To use Purslane herbs, you need to trim the stems using a very sharp knife. Then cook the leaves on the stems for about 7 minutes under low temperatures. Ensure you do not overheat them because it reduces the amount of antioxidant properties. It can also be served in soup preparations.