Purslane leaves and the benefits they have for the body
Don’t be fooled. Even though it is commonly referred to as hogweed, the purslane leaf is actually a very healthy plant that is a great source of nutrition. If you have never heard of this particular herb, read on to find out more about this underrated green.
The Origins of Purslane
The purslane plant can be traced back to India and its neighboring countries. It has historically been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes, as it is rich in fats, omega 3, vitamins, and an assortment of minerals. It comes as no surprise that the plant has been valued throughout history. Purslane tends to grow spontaneously in areas that are typically considered inhospitable, which also gives it a reputation as a weed. The purslane plant prefers dry and hot environments, and it can survive all year round due to India’s mild winters.
Getting the most out of the plant
Though it is not known to many, the purslane leaf can be a delicious and rich base for salads. It pairs particularly well with tomatoes and radishes, but its versatility doesn’t end there. It is also worth noting that it can be enjoyed either cooked or raw. You can usually find purslane as one of the ingredients in pre-mixed salad bags at the supermarket. It also goes great with an array of condiments, or you could simply enjoy it with just a little salt and oil.
Since the plant is made up of almost 90% water, it tends to have a slightly bitter taste on its own. In fact, spinach would be a good comparison. And due to its high level of omega 3’s, it is considered significantly more nutritious than the traditional leaves used to make salads.
Our unique salad ingredient has also been known for its healing potential for quite some time now. The purslane plant has been used to treat a variety of ailments, and it has historically been recognized as an effective:
- Migraine treatment
- Inflammation reducer
In the world of Chinese medicine, it has also been known to treat liver problems and stomach aches.
Keep in mind though, the consumption of purslane should always be in moderation. It should especially be avoided by those that are pregnant or suffer from kidney problems. But if you do not fall into one of those categories, then why not give the plant a try with the knowledge that you are also doing your body a favor.