If you are reading about Purslane for the first time, know that it is a weed-like plant with exceptional nutritional value. Besides its healing properties for your health, Purslane benefits our skin and hair. Let us dig deeper and break down all the details about this common garden weed with succulent leaves and high nutrient content.
According to scientists, Purslane or Portulaca oleracea originates from Persia or modern-day Iran. However, it has traveled continents and is now part of kitchen gardens and backyards worldwide.
Its initial purpose was used for medicinal components, but it has become a functional culinary ingredient over the years. Many people are adopting healthier lifestyles.
At this time, learning about purslane benefits will help you make rational health choices. Check out all the reasons why this superfood is worth a try.
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History of Purslane in traditional medicinal usage
Throughout history, numerous cultures have recognized and used Purslane’s medicinal qualities. It has been vital in fostering well-being and addressing various health issues, from ancient civilizations to conventional folk medicine.
Purslane was regarded as a useful therapeutic herb in ancient Egypt. Moreover, it was discovered buried with mummies as a representation of rebirth and vitality. You will also find the mention of the plant in traditional Chinese medicine documents.
It was to enhance digestive health and treat ailments associated with excessive heat. As you may already know, Purslane has anti-inflammatory effects. So, it was used to calm skin irritations, heartburns and other issues in ancient Greek and Roman societies.
Purslane was used in traditional medicines in various cultures and geographical areas to treat various illnesses, such as respiratory, skin, and digestive problems. It was a precious and frequently used plant in conventional treatment methods because of its adaptability and availability in nature.
Here are reasons why you should incorporate using purslane:
Its anti-inflammatory properties
There are several purslane benefits to discuss in this post, and its anti-inflammatory properties are the primary ones. Consumption of Purslane can serve as an excellent remedy for problems such as IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and Arthritis. Purslane is a rich source of bioactive elements such as omega-3 fatty acids, phenolic acid, and flavonoids, offering anti-inflammatory benefits.
Arthritis is a common joint pain condition many people are suffering from nowadays. One of the major symptoms of Arthritis is joint inflammation, and Purslane can reduce the same. Moreover, holistic medical experts suggest that including Purslane in a person’s regular diet can naturally reduce all other joint pain symptoms.
If a person suffers from an IBD such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, there may be major inflammation in the gastrointestinal path. According to research, Purslane can ease gut inflammation too. Therefore, Purslane can be one of the easiest and most available options to maintain your gut health.
Purslane benefits for better brain and heart health
As mentioned earlier, one of the important purslane benefits is its rich omega-3 fatty acid content. It is an excellent element in preventing cognitive and cardiovascular health issues. Of course, modern medical science may prescribe purslane capsules and solutions. However, including it in the daily diet is highly beneficial too. Please note that omega-3 fatty acids can improve and maintain blood circulation, reduce heartburn symptoms, and improve heart function.
On the other hand, omega-3 fatty acids from purslane help in healthier brain functioning. A few studies suggest that Purslane improves mood regulation and memory power too. Therefore, consuming purslane supplements or including them in daily food is a good idea. However, it is always good to confirm whether it has any side effects to be on the safer side.
This low-calorie superfood is a perfect addition to a diet for people who always like to eyeball their meal preparations. Its high fiber content helps digestion and keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Therefore, you end up eating less and avoiding anything unhealthy.
Purslane is also a rich source of vitamins A, C, and E, apart from omega-3 fatty acids, which improve metabolism and maintain a balanced body weight. Moreover, it has some inherent diuretic effects that help reduce water retention, preventing bloating. Therefore, you can enjoy Purslane’s nutritious benefits that will help you manage weight effectively.
Purslane benefits for skin
The rich nutrient profile of Purslane nourishes the skin from the inside out. It is also one of the major purslane benefits for skin that has made it so popular nowadays. Additionally, experts say that Purslane is a superfood for the skin with an array of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, and magnesium. Please note that these have rejuvenating properties that you can utilize for more nourished and glowing skin.
Check out these purslane benefits for skin now:
Purslane contains beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A that promotes skin cell renewal. This procedure lessens the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles while preserving a smooth, radiant complexion.
Alpha-tocopherol, a strong antioxidant that shields the skin from oxidative damage, is vitamin E abundant in Purslane. Therefore, Purslane helps retain a youthful glow and lessens the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles by protecting the skin from free radicals.
UV ray protection
A potent antioxidant, vitamin C, in Purslane shields the skin from UV and oxidative stress. Additionally, collagen growth improves skin health and reduces aging symptoms. These vitamins complement vitamin A to enhance the overall health and radiance of the skin.
In addition to being a rich source of vitamins, Purslane is also a significant source of antioxidants, making it a true powerhouse in the fight for a clear, youthful complexion. Free radicals can damage skin cells and speed up aging, while antioxidants aid in their elimination.
Purslane’s antioxidant effects are also a result of the high concentration of flavonoids and other polyphenols in the plant. These substances encourage a more even skin tone and make the skin toxin-resistant.
DIY Purslane skincare remedies
You will be happy to know that spending hundreds of dollars to utilize the skin-nourishing purslane benefits is not required. All you need to know is one or two simple DIY purslane applications, and use them for skin issues anytime.
Honey and yogurt mask
Blend fresh purslane leaves with yogurt and honey to make an easy face mask. For soft, moisturized, and radiant skin, apply the mixture to your face, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then rinse it off.
Purslane facial toner
Facial toners containing Purslane are also beneficial since they offer a quick and chemical-free approach to refreshing the skin. Use fresh Purslane leaves as a toner after cleansing by seeping them in hot water, letting the infusion cool, and then using it. The leaves contain antioxidants that can soothe and revitalize the skin, lowering inflammation and redness.
Purslane benefits for hair
Purslane supports thick and healthy hair being nutrient-rich, which includes vitamins A and C. It nourishes hair follicles and promotes stronger hair development.
Here are a few purslane benefits for hair that you should know about:
Sebum, the natural oil that nourishes and hydrates the scalp, is produced more easily with the help of vitamin A. Purslane helps maintain a healthy scalp by nourishing it, preventing dryness and flakiness, and giving your hair a healthy growth condition.
With its ability to increase collagen, vitamin C in Purslane strengthens hair shafts, reducing breakage and split ends. Therefore, by using simple Purslane leaves, you can get shinier, smoother, and easier-to-manage hair. You can consume it as part of your diet or use it in DIY hair masks. Apart from that, you can also purchase hair products that contain Purslane.
DIY Purslane haircare remedies
Here are two simple yet potent DIY hair mask recipes using Purslane:
Nourishing Purslane and Yogurt Mask
- 1 cup fresh purslane leaves (cleaned and chopped)
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- Blend the fresh purslane leaves and yogurt in a food processor until you obtain a smooth paste.
- Apply the mask to damp hair, massaging it gently into the scalp and distributing it evenly along the hair strands.
- Cover your hair with a shower cap or towel and leave the mask on for 30 minutes.
- Rinse thoroughly with water and follow with a mild shampoo if necessary.
- This mask helps to moisturize and revitalize the hair, leaving it soft, shiny, and manageable.
Strengthening Purslane and Egg Mask
- 1/2 cup fresh purslane leaves (cleaned and chopped)
- 1 egg (beaten)
- Mix the chopped purslane leaves with the beaten egg in a bowl until well combined.
- Apply the mixture to damp hair, focusing on the roots and tips.
- Massage gently and let it sit for 20-25 minutes. Rinse the mask off with cool water (to prevent cooking the egg) and a gentle shampoo.
This hair mask is rich in proteins and nutrients, helping to strengthen the hair, reduce breakage, and promote healthy growth.
These DIY hair masks using purslane are natural, easy to make, and free from harmful chemicals. Regular application can improve hair health and a lustrous, vibrant mane.
Purslane in food
Purslane’s distinct flavor and succulent texture make it a delicious addition to various meals. Moreover, it gives your dishes a mild, somewhat acidic flavor, whether raw in salads or cooked in savory dishes.
Stir up a salad
Combine fresh purslane leaves, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, feta cheese, and a basic lemon vinaigrette for a quick and cool summer salad. Besides being delicious, this salad is a wonderful way to highlight the Purslane’s inherent healthiness.
If you like cooked food, add Purslane to a flavorful stir-fry. For a delectable Asian-inspired meal, sauté purslane with garlic, ginger, and your favorite vegetables. Finally, finish it with a dash of soy sauce.
Enjoy a Lebanese meal
If you enjoy Middle Eastern food, especially Lebanese, you should try the traditional “Fatoush.” It contains Purslane and a variety of fresh vegetables, herbs, and crunchy pita chips and is topped with a vinaigrette that has been flavored with sumac.
Smoothies and beverages
Purslane-infused beverages can add a pleasant and wholesome variation to your usual drinking habit. Adding a few Purslane leaves and letting them seep into a water pitcher will produce infused water. This simple infusion has mild, cooling flavors and antioxidants too.
Blend purslane leaves with fruits like berries, bananas, and spinach to make a nutrient-rich smoothie. To it, pour a little almond milk and top with honey for sweetness. It is delicious and fantastic to sneak extra nutrients into your diet.
Another great way of enjoying Purslane is in the form of tea. Get the calming fragrances and potential health benefits of this herbal infusion by steeping fresh or dried purslane leaves in hot water for a short period.
Dos and don’ts of Purslane usage and consumption
Check for underlying health issues
Purslane must be safely and properly incorporated into a balanced diet if one wants to benefit from it. Although Purslane is usually considered safe for intake, it is important to use caution, especially for people with certain medical conditions such as kidney stones. It is a concern even if you are under treatment and must take medicines regularly.
Like any other new food, you must not eat Purslane in large quantities if it is a new addition to your diet. You should gradually increase the quantity to gauge how the body will react. It is best to consult a doctor before adding Purslane to your diet for the first time, especially if you use medication or have pre-existing medical conditions.
Be careful of the quality
Because of its distinctively sour flavor, Purslane is a delicious addition to salads, stir-fries, and smoothies. You can also use it instead of other leafy greens in various recipes. As with any plant collected from the wild, ensure the Purslane you eat is free of toxins and pesticides. You must ensure that the place where it is growing is free of chemicals or pollution.
Purslane grows wildly in almost every garden and backyard. So, if you see it growing near you, pluck it out immediately. Firstly, it will not hinder the growth of other plants, and secondly, you can enjoy Purslane benefits. Whether in the form of hair, skin mask, or salad, it will surely contribute to your overall well-being.