This is going to be a very important blog entry. Purslane is so important and so tasty that it deserves its own entry. These two plants, purslane and spurge are very widespread. Purslane tastes really good. Other than wild berries I think that purslane is my favorite foraging food. Learn this plant. It could save your life. Purslane grows near you.
This is purslane. It has red stems and kind of fat leaves. It kind of reminds me of a succulent like a jade plant. Purslane used to be a garden plant, but now it has escaped and even grows out of the cracks in my driveway. It seems to like sunny, sandy soil. Interestingly enough purslane is also very nutritious as it contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, like seafood.
In nature it seems like similar plants grow near one another. For example, the cure for poison ivy, jewel weed, grows near poison ivy. And spurge grows near purslane. You don’t want to eat spurge. This is spurge.
Like purslane, spurge kind of has red stems too, but if you look closely you can see that the stems of spurge are more woody and thin. Spurge radiates out from the center in a circle. Purslane is an erect plant growing upright. Spurge crawls along the ground. Purslane has thickish jade plant like leaves and spurge leaves are thin growing across from one another on the stem.
Here’s another shot:
This lemony, crisp nutritional powerhouse is neither, it’s actually a succulent. This accounts for its resemblance to a jade plant, and its water content. Many describe it as similar to arugula or spinach. It’s less bitter than arugula and less tannic than spinach. It can be prepared in many of the same ways as either. In terms of nutrition, it’s a good source of Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6 and Folate, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. More good news: recent research has confirmed that purslane is one of the best vegetable sources of omega-3 fatty acids. “Purslane is one of the richest sources of ALA (alpha linolenic acid), which is a precursor to DHA. In other words, if you can’t eat fish, purslane helps fight heart disease and stroke, too.”
Did you get that, if you can’t eat fish eat purslane to fight heart disease and stroke. Easting purslane is like taking fish oil.
And purslane and now you have to be able to identify purslane and its close non-edible neighbor spurge. Also, when you break a spurge stem it emits a white sap. You can always ID spurge from it’s milky white sap.
Purslane also has a ton of medicinal properties,
Purslane has long been considered of value in the treatment of urinary and digestive problems. The juice has diuretic effects. 2 Purslane is also considered to be a “cooling aid” and cleansing stimulant of the kidneys, helpful in the bladder for urinary tract infection. The plant’s mucilagenous properties make it useful in GI problems. Besides having vermicidal properties, purslane has been reported to possess antifungal effects, with marked activity against the genus Trichophyton. The phenolic constituents of the plant exhibit antimicrobial effects. Purslane, placed in animal feed, prevents diarrhea as well as provides immunostimulation in patient. Other sources mention purslane as effective in treating hookworms and amoebic dysentery. Clinical dataPurslane in a combination mouthwash demonstrated antimicrobial as well as anti-inflammatory effects. Skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, or sunburn may benefit from purslane. Other uses of the plant include a poultice for backache/dysmenorrhea; 1 neuropharmacological actions; and in cosmetics as a gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) source.
So GET OUTSIDE EVERYDAY © and find yourself some purslane.