One of the many weeds growing in our lawn is the Purslane plant (Portulaca oleracea). It is also known as pigweed, hogweed, duckweed, and pursley. Purslane is an edible plant that is eaten all over the world as a leaf vegetable. The Purslane flourishes in different types of soil and it is drought-tolerant. This plant also grows in cold climates. You can grow Purslane plants from seeds and from stem cuttings. The Purslane plant is also a medicinal plant. It is considered to be a blood-cleanser and taken to refresh the digestive system. It is also used as a tonic, fungicide, and astringent.
Purslane is taken for diarrhea, hemorrhoids, postpartum bleeding, and intestinal bleeding. The plant is also used to treat insect or snake bites, wounds, warts, eczema, boils, and sores.
Many countries are known to use this plant for a host of other ailments affecting the heart, bladder, spleen, liver, lungs, skin, kidneys, and intestines. It is even used for earaches, toothaches, cold and fevers, insomnia, and for poisoning.
The Purslane is crunchy and tasty, but slightly sour. It may be eaten raw, combined in salads, stir fried, or cooked as a vegetable.
The plant is also used in stews, soups, pastries, and eaten fresh in ham/chicken/beef sandwiches.
Purslane is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals; it, however, contains oxalic acids (also found in spinach, broccoli and other vegetables) and cardiac glycosides which can be toxic if the plant is eaten in large quantities.
I read here that the Purslane is a power-packed, nutrient-rich weed. This plant, which is low in calories and fats, tops the list of plants high in vitamin E and an essential omega-3 fatty acid; purslane leaves have more omega-3 fatty acids than some of the fish oils.Purslane provides six times more vitamin E than spinach and seven times more beta carotene than carrots. The plant is an excellent source of vitamin A, have one of the highest quantities among green leafy vegetables.
It is also rich in vitamin C and dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese.