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Botanical Name: Portulaca oleracea
Although purslane is considered a weed in the United States, it may be eaten as a leaf vegetable. It has a slightly sour and salty taste and is eaten throughout much of Europe, the middle east, Asia, and Mexico. The stems, leaves and flower buds are all edible. Purslane may be used fresh as a salad, stir-fried, or cooked as spinach is, and because of its mucilaginous quality it also is suitable for soups and stews.
Purslane is considered helpful medicinally in treating and/or preventing a wide range of conditions, including scurvy, cataracts, heart disease, asthma, cardia arrhythmia, depression, gingivitis, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis, as well as boosting the immune system. Rich in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as the minerals calcium and magnesium, and also omegaoils. Purslane contains more omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid in particular than any other leafy vegetable plant.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it’s known as Ma Chi Xian, meaning “horse tooth amaranth."