An Introduction to Purslane.

What is the most nutritious plant you can think of? Could there be a better plant for you than spinach? Turns out – there is, and it is called Purslane.

Although considered a weed, it is an edible and highly nutritious vegetable plant with a nutritional profile that ranks as a true Superfood! 

Purslane  (Portulaca Oleracea) is a common, annual green or golden succulent plant found globally. Its other common names include garden purslane, little hogweed, pusley, and wild portulaca. It's called pourpier in France and verdolaga in Mexico. Purslane is a fast-growing herbaceous annual with succulent leaves and stems. The leaves, stems, flowers and seeds are all edible, and the extract can be used as a dietary supplement and skin care ingredient providing multiple benefits.

Purslane extract is a good source of important minerals like potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous as has more hydrating omega –3 fatty acids than any other plant. 

It has skin soothing; wound healing and anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory effects. This is due to the high content of antioxidants including melatonin, vitamins A and C alpha –tocoperal (E), beta -carotene and glutathione.

Research in Purslane indicates that it can up-regulate an enzyme that can extend the life of “telomeres’ which are the cap like ends of our chromosomes. The progressive shortening of these telomeres leads to cell aging and death. 

Counteracting the telomere shrinking process is this enzyme, telomerase, which uniquely holds the key to delaying or even reversing the cellular aging process. This new research was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2009 ,jointly to Elizabeth H. Blackburn , Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak for the discovery of “ How Chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase”

Ongoing research consistently shows Purslane has remarkable benefits for the skin and body.

Don’t overlook supplementing you diet with Purslane to benefit your skin. Purslane is delicious and can be eaten raw or cooked and the leaves, stem, flower and seeds are all edible. It has a flavour similar to spinach or watercress and some consider it is a culinary delicacy. Supplements when fresh plants are not available include Purslane extract powder, Purslane tinctures and dried Purslane plant that can be brewed as tea or added to soups and stews.

Two of the most nutritious plants in the world —lamb’s quarters and purslane—are weeds, and some of the healthiest traditional diets, like the Mediterranean, make frequent use of wild greens.
― Michael Pollan, Author of Food Rules: An Eaters Manual 

Indeed, the humble Purslane plant outperforms most of the vegetables we find at the grocery store. Stay tuned for more – we have lots more of this plant's nutritional profile to explore. 

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