Is purslane edible? Find out if this common herb is safe to eat and its possible health benefits in this informative article.

Is the purslane edible? Find out if it is safe to eat this common herb and its possible health benefits in this informative article.

Purslane, also known as Portulaca oleracea, is a green leafy plant native to Europe and Asia. It is a succulent plant that is often considered a weed in many gardens, but what some people don’t know is that purslane is edible and can be a nutritious addition to your diet. In fact, purslane has been used for centuries in various culinary traditions around the world.

Is it safe to eat purslane?

Purslane is not only edible, but also very nutritious. The plant is known to be a rich source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, calcium and potassium. It also contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health. Research suggests that consuming purslane may have several health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving digestion, and boosting the immune system.

Nutritional benefits of purslane:

  1. Purslane is an excellent source of dietary fiber, which promotes digestion and can help regulate blood sugar levels.
  2. The plant is also a good source of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and vitamin C, which protect the body against oxidative stress and free radicals.
  3. Purslane is low in calories and contains no saturated fat, making it a good choice for people who want to maintain a healthy weight.
Nutrients Quantity per 100 g
Vitamin C 21mg
Calcium 65 mg of calcium
Potassium 494mg
Omega-3 fatty acids 133mg

Although purslane is generally safe to consume, it is important to note that people with allergies or specific medical problems should use caution. As always, it is advisable to consult a health professional before making significant dietary changes.

Nutritional Profile of Purslane

One of the most notable characteristics of purslane is its impressive content of omega-3 fatty acids. While most plant sources of omega-3s are limited to flax and chia seeds, purslane surpasses both. This plant is a primary source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid that promotes heart health and reduces inflammation. Adding purslane to your diet can help you increase your omega-3 intake, especially for people who follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

  • Verlaga is an excellent source of vitamins A and C, two essential antioxidants that favor immune function and skin health.
  • It also contains significant amounts of vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  • The mineral profile of the Verlaga is equally impressive, with high levels of magnesium, calcium and potassium.
  1. Magnesium plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, such as nerve transmission, muscle contraction and energy production.
  2. Calcium is essential to maintain strong bones and teeth, while potassium helps regulate blood pressure and favors the health of the heart.

IMPORTANT: Verlaga must be collected from pesticid e-free sources to guarantee its safe consumption. Always consult a healthcare professional before adding new foods to your diet, especially if you suffer from any underlying disease.

Nutrients Quantity per 100 g
Vitamin A 1320iu
Vitamin C 21mg
Vitamin E 2. 8 mg
Magnesium 68 mg
Calcium 65 mg
Potassium 494 mg

History of Purslane as a Culinary Herb

One of the first records of the Verlaga as a source of food dates back to ancient Egypt, where it was cultivated and used as medicinal grass and green leaf. The plant was highly appreciated for its nutritional value and often included in meals to complement the Egyptian diet. The Verlaga was also used by the ancient Greeks and Romans, who recognized their health benefits and incorporated it into their kitchen.

“The Verlaga was highly appreciated for its nutritional value and often included in meals to complement the Egyptian diet.”

In addition to its popularity in ancient civilizations, Verdolaga has been used for a long time in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is believed to have refreshing and detoxifying properties. It is usually used to treat conditions such as inflammations, digestive disorders and skin irritations. The grass is also known for its high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which makes it a valuable component of a balanced diet.

  • Verlaga has a rich history as culinary grass.
  • The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used the purslane in their kitchen.
  • Traditional Chinese medicine recognizes the medicinal properties of Verlaga.

Today, purslane remains highly prized by chefs and home cooks for its unique flavor and nutritional profile. Its slightly tart flavor and crunchy texture add depth to salads, soups and stir-fries. Given its status as a nutrient-rich herb, purslane is being recognized as a superfood, gaining popularity in the health and wellness community.

Nutritional information (100 g serving)
Calories 16
Proteins 1. 4g
Fat 0. 1g
Carbohydrates 3. 4g
Fiber 1. 3g
Vitamin C 21 mg (35% DV)
Vitamin A 1320 IU (26% DV)
Potassium 494 mg (14% DV)

With its fascinating historical background and numerous nutritional benefits, purslane has secured a place not only as a culinary herb, but also as a valuable ingredient in traditional medicine and modern cuisine.

Culinary uses of purslane in different cuisines

Mediterranean Cuisine: In Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Turkey and Lebanon, purslane is commonly used in salads, soups and stews. Its tender leaves add a refreshing crunch to fresh salads and pair well with ingredients such as tomatoes, cucumbers and feta cheese. Purslane is also a key element in the traditional Greek dish called “horta”, in which the leaves are boiled and then dressed with olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. The acidic flavor of purslane complements the richness of Mediterranean cuisine, creating a balanced and tasty dish.

Interesting dishes using purslane in different cuisines:

  • Mexican cuisine: In Mexico, purslane is used in various traditional dishes. It is often sautéed with onion, garlic, and spices to create a tasty filling for tacos, tortillas, or quesadillas. The slightly acidic flavor of purslane adds a spicy touch to these dishes, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
  • Indian Cuisine: In Indian cuisine, purslane is known as “kulfa” and is used in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. It is usually sautéed with spices and other vegetables, such as potatoes or tomatoes. Purslane is also used in delicious curries, to which it adds a unique flavor and texture.
  • Chinese Cuisine: Purslane is a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine, especially in southern regions. It is sautéed with other vegetables or used in sweet and sour soups. The crunch of purslane adds a delicious texture to stir-fries, while its tangy flavor enhances the overall taste of the dish.

“The culinary uses of the purslane are diverse, and each culture incorporates this green leaf into its traditional dishes. From salads to sauteed, the greenish adds a unique flavor and texture to the cookies of the Mediterranean, Mexico, India and China.”

Health Benefits of Consuming Purslane

1. High nutritional value: Verlaga is full of essential nutrients that contribute to health and general welfare. A ration of 100 grams of raw verlaga leaves contributes approximately 16% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, 33% vitamin A and 15% folic acid. In addition, it is a good source of minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium.

  • Vitamin C contributes to the immune function and collagen synthesis.
  • Vitamin in favor the health of vision and skin
  • Folate is essential for DNA synthesis and cell division
  • Potassium regulates blood pressure and maintains the health of the heart.
  • Magnesium plays a crucial role in the nervous and muscular function.
  • Calcium is important to maintain strong bones and teeth.

2. Anti-inflammatory properties: Verlaga contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. These fatty acids, specifically alpha-linolenic acid (wing), help reduce inflammation in the body, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, arthritis and certain types of cancer.

3. Rich in antioxidants: Antioxidants are compounds that protect our damage from the damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules. Verlaga is especially rich in two powerful antioxidants: vitamin C and bet a-carotene. These antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and prevent oxidative stress, which can contribute to aging and the development of chronic diseases.

In general, incorporating Verlaga into your diet can provide numerous health benefits due to its high nutritional value, its ant i-inflammatory properties and its antioxidant content. Whether it is consumed raw in salads, as if added to sauteed or used in soups, this edible plant is a tasty and nutritious complement for a balanced diet.

How to Identify and Harvest Purslane Safely


  • Verlaga usually has thick, fleshy, smooth and palette leaves. The leaves are arranged alternately along the stem.
  • The stems of the purslane are reddish or green and can be prostrated or tracked, forming a low carpet.
  • Look for the small yellow flowers that bloom during the summer months. The flowers have five petals and are usually located on the tips of the branches.

Caution: Although purslane is usually easy to identify, it can sometimes be confused with other plants, such as spurge or cochineal weed. These two plants are not edible and can be toxic if consumed. Therefore, it is essential to know the distinctive characteristics of purslane before harvesting it.


  1. Choose an area free of pesticides and contaminants. Purslane is often found in gardens, fields, and even in cracks in sidewalks.
  2. Using clean garden shears, cut the purslane just above the base of the stem. In this way, the plant will grow again and can be harvested throughout the season.
  3. Handle the plant carefully to avoid bruising or damage to the leaves and stems.
Plant characteristics Distinctive features
Leaves Thick, fleshy, paddle-shaped, smooth
Stems Reddish or green, prostrate or creeping
Flowers Small, yellow, five petals

Precautions and Potential Side Effects of Consuming Purslane

Allergies: Although rare, some people may be allergic to purslane. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from mild to severe and may include itching, hives, swelling, difficulty breathing, or even anaphylaxis. If you have a known allergy to other plants in the Portulaca family, such as cacti or moss rose, it is advisable to use caution when consuming purslane and consult a health professional.

Drug Interactions: Purslane contains certain compounds that may interact with certain medications. It is recommended to consult with your doctor if you are taking blood thinners, diuretics, lithium or any other medications, as they may interact with purslane and cause adverse effects.

  • Table 1: Precautions and possible side effects of consuming purslane
    1. Allergies: Rare but serious allergic reactions may occur in susceptible individuals. Seek immediate medical attention if any symptoms occur.
    2. Drug interactions: Purslane can interact with certain medications, causing undesirable effects. Consult your doctor if you are taking medications.
    3. Gastrointestinal discomfort: Some people may experience stomach upset, diarrhea, or bloating after consuming purslane. If these symptoms persist, it is recommended to limit or avoid consumption.
    4. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Limited information is available on the safety of consuming purslane during pregnancy and breast-feeding. It is advisable to consult a health professional before including purslane in your diet if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Note: The information provided has only general informative purposes and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. It is always recommended to consult a health professional before making any change in the diet or start a new regime.

According to reputed nutritionists and health professionals, Verlaga is not only sure of consuming, but is also very nutritious. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A and C, and minerals such as potassium and magnesium, Verlaga offers a whole series of health benefits. Its high antioxidant content has been related to ant i-inflammatory effects and can contribute to reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

“Verlaga is a source of nutrients and can be a valuable complement to a balanced diet. Its unique composition of essential and antioxidant fatty acids favors health and general wel l-being.”- Dr. Jane Wilson, Nutritionist

To fully take advantage of the potential benefits of the Verdolaga for health, it is essential to prepare it properly. A recommended way to incorporate the purslane into your diet is to add it to salads or sandwiches. Its crispy texture and its slightly acidic flavor make it an excellent complement to fresh summer dishes. Verlaga can also be cooked and used as a taco filling or skip with other vegetables to obtain a nutritious garnish.

  • Verlaga salad with herbal vinaigrette: combine fresh green, mixed vegetables, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. Spray it with an olive oil vinaigrette, lemon juice, garlic and a mixture of herbs such as basil and parsley.
  • Tacos de Verlaga: Solo the purslane with onion, garlic and spices such as cumin and chile powder. Fill the corn tortillas with the mixture of cooked greenish and cover them with avocado, sauce and a splash of lime juice.
  • Verlaga and sauteed vegetables: heat the oil in a pan and add the purslane, peppers, peas and carrots. Set them until they are tender and crispy and condim them with soy sauce, ginger and a splash of sesame oil.

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

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