Purslane looks like a weed to some people, but, instead, it is a delicious and nutritious herb. It offers an excellent option for those who are just starting to forage and haven’t yet developed a taste for it. It also is loaded with healing powers and can, in that regard, put right that which has gone wrong.
It is also easy to grow and is a great little ground cover that helps to prevent the soil from drying out too much in summer. Purslane leaves have more Omega 3 fatty acids than any other leafy greens and even more than some fish oils.
That looks like a weed, but most definitely is a herb. It has other names too, which are set out, as below:
Purslane or Common Purslane is also known as Pigweed (although confusingly quite a few different plants are called Pigweed), porcelain, little hogweed, or moss rose.
Latin: Portulaca oleraceae
Purslane usually grows spread out flat on the ground. So, it can be located growing in almost any unshaded area, including flower beds, cornfields, and waste places. It grows all over the planet and thrives in hot, dry situations. Yet it will die back at the first sign of a cold. It grows relatively quickly and thrives on neglect.
This plant is best eaten soonest after picking. Eat the freshly picked plant as quickly as possible and preferably raw to benefit from this nutritional powerhouse! The best way to harvest when the plant is in the seed is where all the omegas are found (like flax).
Food: You can chop raw into salads (Greeks pair it with potato salad), stews, soups, and stir-fries. It is a super addition to smoothies.
Use it instead of cornflour to add body to soups or sauces (with none of the GMO risks). It goes deliciously with Mediterranean veggies, salads, or tapas. Also, add chopped to fritters or a stuffing mix for squash flowers.
Animals: They use it in America to treat arthritis in horses. This is some of its best work. Chickens and farm animals also love Purslane – thus improving the animals’ health and the quality of their food.
Purslane has much more omega-3 fatty acids than in some fish oils.
Fresh purslane leaves contain surprisingly more Omega-3 fatty acids (α-linolenic acid) than any other leafy vegetable plant. One hundred grams of fresh purslane leaves provide about 350 mg of α-linolenic acid (ALA).
We are reshown that Research studies show that consumption of foods rich in ω-3 fatty acids can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, help prevent ADHD, and autism and their developmental differences in children.
Consumption of raw vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin A helps protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
There are also two types of betalain alkaloid pigments, the reddish beta-cyanins and the yellow beta-xanthins present in Purslane. Both these pigment types are potent antioxidants. They have been found, to have anti-mutagenic properties when they did those research laboratory tests.
Topping the list of plants high in vitamin E – and provides six times more vitamin E than spinach, it also has seven times more beta carotene than carrots. It’s also rich in vitamin C. Purslane and has some B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, and carotenoids. It also has trace amounts of dietary minerals.
The importance of Omegas:
Your own body cannot manufacture the Omega-3s (essential fatty acids), so you must get them from food. Alas, the typical American diet isn’t concerned with Omega-3s and is responsible for a shortage that is linked to a barrage of illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Medicinal Uses: In Indonesia, Purslane was originally prescribed for cardiac weakness. The latest research in Western medicine has shown this is one of the few veggie sources of omega 3 [fatty acids]. They also have a specific anti-inflammatory effect. It also has a high iron and Vitamin C content, hence its use in the prevention and treatment of scurvy.
Garden: It makes a fantastic ground cover. Drought is a tolerant—plant in a warm sheltered sunny spot. Usually, Purslane plants can be watered one or two times a week. Fertilizer is unnecessary, nor will insects, pests, or disease be a problem with your Purslane. One of the easiest foods to grow!
Fresh Purslane Herb – You ask, What Is Purslane, and how do you Care for the Purslane Plant? Strangely at first, it was considered to be a weed; Purslane is fast-growing, edible, and delicious. Grow Purslane in your garden as it can be valuable for your health. Purslane is a native to Asia but has now spread worldwide. It is commonly found in cleared areas. Easily recognized, the purslane herb has red stems and fleshy, green leaves. The flowers are bright yellow.
Growing Purslane, the most challenging part about growing Purslane is finding it. Once you have decided to raise Purslane, you may find that although you have been pulling it out of your flower beds clear areas for years, it has suddenly disappeared. Once you find a purslane plant, you can either harvest some seeds or trim off a few stems. All Purslane needs to grow in part to full sun and clear ground.
The plant, Purslane grows better in drier soil. Primis Player Placeholder If you decide to plant purslane seeds, scatter the seeds over the area where you plan on increasing the Purslane. Don’t cover the seeds with soil. They need the light to germinate, so they must stay on the surface of the earth. If you’re using purslane cuttings, put them on the floor where you intend to plant them. Then, gently water the stems, and they should take root within a couple of days.
Care of Purslane Plant, The consideration of Purslane is straightforward after it starts growing. You don’t need to do anything. The same traits that made it a weed, also make it easy to care for as a herb. Remember, it can become very invasive, so harvest it regularly. Gathering before it flowers will help cut back on its spread. Remember that the purslane herb is an annual.
While the chances are high that it’s going to reseed itself, you might want to collect some seeds towards the end of the season so that you have some on hand for next year, rather than having to hunt for a new Purslane plant.
If you want to harvest wild Purslane instead of growing cultivated Purslane, make sure that you only gather the Purslane that has not been treated with pesticides or herbicides.
Growing and Harvesting Purslane
Lots of American gardeners are growing and harvesting Purslane crops, while others perceive this multifunctional plant as little more than an annoying weed. What a shame! Prized in Europe, Asia, and Mediterranean cultures as a salad food, prolific Purslane can feed many people. Lots of people prefer to forage this plant instead of cultivating it.
Two Popular Purslane Varieties
These are the two most common Purslane varieties: one is known as Portulaca oleracea, commonly referred to as garden purslane. It has a green leaf that sometimes features reddish tips and edges.
The other type is called Portulaca Sativa, commonly known as golden Purslane since its leaves have a gold tinge. There are about 40 known purslane varieties?
Purslane Seeds must be planted with proper spacing. The rows should be about 8″ to 10″ apart. These plants will trail outward along the ground. It’s best to Plant purslane seeds about 1/4″ deep and sprinkles fine-textured soil over them just enough to cover. Don’t plant Purslane seeds too deep, or they won’t grow.
Watering Requirements for Purslane Success
Succulent Purslane is drought tolerant and thrives under drought conditions, therefore, so you want to make sure not to overwater. However, during the first ten days’ germination, you should keep the ground damp. Don’t waterlog the ground.
Watering After Plants Emerge
When the plant is up and beginning to grow, continue to water them, but make sure it’s only enough to keep the soil damp. Some gardeners say that once the plants are set, you should never water again. This varies according to specific environments. However, don’t allow your plants to become stressed due to a lack of water.
While Purslane is a tough plant and can thrive even in a gravel bed, it doesn’t tolerate wet feet. If you live in an environment with high rainfall during the growing season, you may do better-growing Purslane in a more protected and controlled environment, such as a greenhouse. Purslane would probably prefer a greenhouse.
How and When to Thin Plants
As soon as two to four plant leaves replace the first two leaves (embryonic leaves), you can safely thin the plants. As with all gardening, choose only the healthiest best sprouts to keep.
Encourage Growth and Fertilizer
Once they have grown to the height of about three to four inches high, and to encourage them to grow out and spread, you’ll want to pinch the plants’ tops. Depending on your soil, you might feel the need to add a slow-release fertilizer, maybe when you first plant. They say that Purslane typically doesn’t require any form of fertilizing, especially when using mulch rich organic soil.
That will assist many sick people.
We have already discussed this plant, making a lovely ground cover, how pleased this must have made the people who thought it was a mere weed, only to discover that it has many valuable qualities. However, once you become aware of all its other qualities, perhaps you would be more inclined to grow and treat this plant as a vegetable and herb and not have people walking on it.