Why You Should be Eating More Edible Weeds like Purslane

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com


Some people feel that for every illness or ailment man has, there is something growing under the sun that can either heal it or prevent it from occurring. Thanks to modern science, some of this is proven to be true. We now know that many of the things we have been taught about nature and plants simply aren’t true. For example, many of the plants we pull and poison out of our yards and gardens aren’t useless “weeds” at all, but instead are beneficial herbs that we should be eating. Perhaps this is why Mother Nature refuses to back down. Ever notice that, no matter how many times you pull a weed out, even when you think you have gotten all the roots, it grows right back again? Mother Nature is trying to get us to pay attention! She has a surprising way to showing us things we didn’t know or things we have forgotten in favor of toxic pharmaceuticals and pesticide filled cultivated crops.

Dandelion is one example of a weed that has gotten a great deal of attention lately, but there’s another common weed called purslane that has just as many health benefits, but hasn’t captured the attention of America. Not yet, anyway. That might be all about to change.

In China, purslane has been used both as food and for medicinal purposes of eons. There are probably a great many more medicinal purposes to purslane that have been forgotten, but as of today, purslane is still used for all types of insect bites, snake bites, and indigestion.

Since the time of Hippocrates, this weed has been used across the world for its anti-parasitic, diuretic, and bowel moving properties. Ancient Egyptians used it to treat heart conditions, such as heart disease or heart attacks. Purslane can also add some really distinctive flavor to your favorite salad or vegetable dish.

If you plant any type of garden, or a lawn with a bald patch, you have probably pulled purslane from your yard, thinking it was a plain old weed. It grows almost everywhere and usually in the warm summer months. If your lawn has thin or bald patches, you often find purslane popping out of those spots. Purslane is usually easily identified by its leaves. They are thick and fleshy, and will look very much like a small jade plant, just not as green. The leaves are oval and very smooth, like a succulent plant. Purslane has a reddish-brown stem that grows straight out of a thick taproot. It can grow as high as 12 inches, if left alone.

You might have heard of purslane (portulaca oleracea) by a common folk name: cat’s tongue. It has a terrific combination of many important vitamins and minerals, not to mention things you never imagined a green plant could contain. If you eat a vegan diet, you will want to keep reading as this “weed” could become very important to you.

Check out the amazing health benefits of one of our most common garden weeds, purslane.

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  • oreo

    You are showing a picture of Portulaca grandiflora (moss-rose) which is a plant gardeners grow for their many colored of flowers. Do you also advocate eating the garden flower plant, moss-rose? I know that you can eat the ‘weed’ Portulaca oleracea (purslane) http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/purslane.html