A plant whose properties have made it a common ingredient in natural remedies.
Our organism is a highly complex system, formed by different interconnected subsystems. This system is not closed, and can be affected by external elements that can damage us.
Although we also have certain natural defenses that combat harmful external (or internal) elements, it is not uncommon that at different times in our lives some type of disease occurs that the body will have to fight.
Fortunately, the progressive knowledge of the environment that surrounds us has caused that throughout its history, human beings have known the existence in nature of different plants with medicinal properties, the consumption of which can help us (although generally slightly) to strengthen our defenses. and even help us combat difficulties such as nausea or fever (a knowledge that was fundamental especially in the times when medicine was barely developed).
One of these medicinal plants is the portulaca oleracea or purslane, known and applied since ancient times, of which throughout this article we are going to see a total of 12 properties and benefits.
Properties and benefits of purslane
Purslane or Portulaca oleracea is a small but highly resistant and adaptable plant that is extremely easy to find in nature. Although it is often considered part of the weed, the truth is that it has various uses and some consider it a superfood due to its composition. In addition, since ancient times it was used in the kitchen and some of its medicinal properties were known.
However, it must also be taken into account that people with ulcers and certain gastric problems should avoid it (since it increases intestinal motility), and it is not recommended in pregnant women or during lactation.
Next we are going to look at some of the many advantages and properties that it has, specifically a dozen.
1. Helps improve circulation and cardiovascular function
This plant is undoubtedly one of the vegetables with the highest level of omega-3, favoring the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system, helping to fight cholesterol and helping to prevent possible problems in this system.
2. It is diuretic
One of the advantages of purslane is the fact that its consumption has diuretic effects, facilitating the emission of urine and kidney function in general. Thanks to this, it also allows us to expel harmful elements and waste from our body. It can be useful in urine infections or in people with edema or fluid retention.
3. Promotes excretion
In addition to diuresis, purslane also contributes to the proper functioning of the digestive tract thanks to its high level of fiber, facilitating excretion. In fact, it has laxative effects. Likewise, it also benefits the secretion of enzymes by the liver.
4. Has anti-inflammatory properties
The composition of this plant, rich in mucilage, also has anti-inflammatory effects, which helps to reduce inflammation caused by infections and other problems.
5. It has been used as an analgesic
Since ancient times, purslane has been used as a medicinal plant to treat some types of pain (for example, headaches or toothaches), having an analgesic effect.
6. Antiseptic and antifungal
This plant also helps to prevent the growth of some bacteria, contributing to the proper functioning of the immune system. It is also useful with fungi and even with some parasites.
7. Beneficial for diabetes
It has been observed that the consumption of purslane contributes to reducing blood glucose levels, being able to help regulate the glycemic status of patients with diabetes as well as their insulin resistance.
8. Helps against anemia
This plant has, as we are seeing, a large number of important properties derived from its components. With a high level of vitamins, minerals, beta-carborenes and amino acids and being considered a possible superfood, if it is introduced into the diet it can contribute to the improvement of anemic states and the lack of certain essential nutrients.
9. Reduce fever
Due to the aforementioned properties, it helps to reduce fever caused by various infections.
10. Helps control gynecological disorders
Some studies seem to affirm that the seeds of this plant help to stabilize the menstrual cycle in women who have irregular bleeding. However, it has also been observed that it could facilitate the appearance of contractions, something that as we have said makes it inadvisable in pregnancies.
It has also been observed to contain components such as betalains, which contain relevant and known antioxidant properties. Helps reduce cellular damage due to oxidation and helps stabilize free radicals.
12. Improves hair and skin health
Another property of purslane, due to its high percentage of nutrients and its antioxidant effects, is that it contributes to maintaining and strengthening the health of hair and skin and allows treating pigmentation problems, burns or other dermatoses.
- García, A. (2015). Phytochemical evaluation and nutraceutical properties of Portulaca oleracea and Achillea millefolium. National Polytechnic Institute. Interdisciplinary Professional Unit of Biotechnology. Mexico.
- Moscuzza, N. (2016). Purslane: a healthy alternative. REDI- Digital Repository of the FASTA University [Online]. Available at: http://redi.ufasta.edu.ar:8080/xmlui/handle/123456789/1271.
- Pérez-Santana, D .; Martínez-Pérez, D. and Rodríguez-Sánchez, JL (2015). Evaluation of the antioxidant properties of Averrhoa Carambola and Portulaca Oleracea L. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Food Sciences, 1 (2). Havana Cuba.