Common purslane Facts

Common purslane Facts
Common purslane is hardy herbaceous plant that belongs to the purslane family. It probably originates from Mediterranean region, but it can be found around the world today. Common purslane doesn't require too much water and nutrients for the successful growth. It easily occupies new areas and it is usually labeled as weed outside its native range. Many people have changed their opinion about this plant after discovery (published in various medical journals) that common purslane is not just very tasty, but also extremely beneficial for the human health.
Interesting Common purslane Facts:
Common purslane has smooth, reddish, prostate stem that can reach 14 inches in length.
Common purslane has soft, succulent, dark green leaves arranged in the clusters at the joints of the stem and at the ends of the branches.
Common purslane produces yellow flowers. Individual flowers can be seen in the middle of the clusters of leaves.
Common purslane can bloom all year round. Flowers open early in the morning and remain open few hours. Common purslane belongs to a group of self-pollinating and wind-pollinating plants.
Fruit of common purslane is tiny pod filled with miniature black seeds.
Common purslane propagates via seeds and stem cuttings.
Common purslane is rich source of proteins, dietary fibers, vitamins A, C and E and minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium. Unlike other leafy vegetables, common purslane is excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Thick leaves of common purslane have salty and sour (lemony) flavor. They can be consumed stir-fried, as a side dish with fish and chicken or as ingredient of soups and curry. Due to high content of mucilaginous substance, leaves can be also used as thickening agents for soups and stews.
Seeds of common purslane are used for the preparation of herbal drink, flower buds as ingredient of salads, while stem is usually consumed in the form of stews.
Common purslane can improve function of gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems as well as blood circulation. It can be also used to prevent development of some types of cancer, atherosclerosis and muscle degeneration, and to increase strength of bones.
Due to high content of antioxidants, common purslane prevents formation of wrinkles and scars on the skin.
Common purslane is used in traditional Chinese medicine in treatment of bites of snakes and insects, dysentery, diarrhea, postpartum bleeding and sores on the skin.
Common purslane can trigger miscarriage and it should be avoided during pregnancy. It is also not recommended for people diagnosed with kidney stones due to high content of oxalic acid in the leaves.
Common purslane is an excellent companion plant. It provides nutrients and moisture for neighboring plants and "guides" their roots into deeper parts of soil.
Common purslane completes its life cycle in one year (annual plant).

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