Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) Botanically, this herbaceous leafy vegetable belongs to the family of Portulacaceae and scientifically known as Portulaca oleracea.
Purslane is an annual plant that is native to Persia, Africa and India.
Purslane in ancient times was looked upon as one of the anti-magic herbs, was said to afford protection against evil spirits.
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) in traditional Chinese medicine is called Ma Chi Xian, benefits include removing toxins, cool the blood and stop bleeding. Ma Chi Xian is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids as well as vitamin E, vitamin C and magnesium. Ma Chi Xain benefits cardiovascular health. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-hypertensive, anti-coagulation and antioxidant effects.
Purslane is supercharged with antioxidant vitamins. Purslane provides six times more vitamin E than spinach and seven times more beta carotene than carrots. It’s also rich in vitamin C, magnesium, riboflavin, potassium and phosphorus. Purslane’s high level of pectin (known to lower cholesterol)
It is an excellent source of Vitamin-A. Vitamin-A is a known powerful natural antioxidant and an essential vitamin for vision. It is also required to maintain healthy mucosa and skin. Vitamin-A is known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Purslane is also a rich source of vitamin-C, and some B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and carotenoids, as well as dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese.
Furthermore, present in purslane are two types of betalain alkaloid pigments, the reddish β -cyanins, and the yellow β -xanthins. Both pigment types are potent antioxidants and have been found to have antimutagenic properties in laboratory studies.
Omega-3s are a class of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids. Research studies show that consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and help prevent the development of ADHD, autism, and other developmental differences in children.
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The high content of iron and copper in purslane helps to stimulate the production of red blood cells. Both of these minerals are important for boosting circulation, which means more oxygen being delivered to essential parts of the body, increased healing speed of cells and organs, increased hair growth, and a general improvement of metabolic efficiency.
Purslane consists of copper that plays an important role in ensuring the proper function of the thyroid gland. However, excess copper is a major cause of thyroid malfunction, so you need a very balanced level of copper in the blood, or else hormonal activity will be imbalanced, and you can develop symptoms of either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.