The Bahamas Weekly Facebook The Bahamas Weekly Twitter
Columns : Let's Grow Bahamas Last Updated: Jun 20, 2014 - 5:05:44 PM


Purslane: One of the Most Nutritionist Weeds
By Luckner Timothee
Mar 7, 2013 - 11:37:46 PM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

Farmer.jpg
The author holding Portulaca oleracea (Common Purslane, also known as Verdolaga, Pigweed, Little Hogweed, or Pusley, and Moss Rose

“Purslane” has more Omega 3 than any other leafy vegetable plant to date

Weeding for me is an enjoyable experience for one it means that I will be cleaning the garden and listening to great music or lecture series. But aside from that I actually spend most of my time eating weeds. I know you are probably thinking I’m crazy. Go ahead, I have heard it all before.  What’s really crazy is that we don’t always know the connection we have with plants we have been pulling out of the garden or our lush lawns, and what their consumption can mean for us.

I have spent countless hours informing my friends of plants and how important everything in nature really is and thankfully a lot of them actually pay attention.

So let’s talk about one of the many weeds you will encounter on your property. Better yet let’s talk about one in particular and it's called Purslane.

Purslane is a native of India and Persia but has moved throughout the world. In many places this weed is being considered the plant that will surpass spinach in the market. You may very well find this plant at most farmers market and soon to be in your local grocery stores.

Approximately forty varieties currently are being cultivated. It has an extensive Old World distribution extending from North Africa through the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent to Malaysia and Australasia.

The species status in the New World is uncertain: in general, it is considered an exotic weed, however, there is evidence that the species was in Crawford Lake deposits (Ontario) in 1430-89 AD, suggesting that it reached North America in the pre-Columbian era it is naturalized elsewhere and in some regions is considered an invasive weed.

purslane.jpg

It has smooth, reddish, mostly prostrate stems and alternate leaves clustered at stem joints and ends. The yellow flowers have five regular parts and are up to 6 mm wide. Depending upon rainfall, the flowers appear at anytime during the year. The flowers open singly at the center of the leaf cluster for only a few hours on sunny mornings. Seeds are formed in a tiny pod, which opens when the seeds are mature. Purslane has a taproot with fibrous secondary roots and is able to tolerate poor, compacted soils and drought.  

Have your parents or doctor ever told you how nutritional this plant is? I bet 90% of you reading this would probably say “no”.  Luckily for me my mother spoke of this plant on many occasions, she has even cooked with it and I never doubted her for a second...okay maybe I did, but I am glad I did, because it forced me to research this plant, and you wouldn’t believe what I found. This plant is actually filled with omega-3 fatty acids it has more omega 3 than some fish oils. If you wanted to take it a bit further “Purslane” has more Omega 3 than any other leafy vegetable plant to date.

Purslane is a clinically effective treatment for oral lichen planus, and its leaves are used to treat insect or snake bites on the skin, boils, sores, pain from bee stings, bacillary dysentery, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, postpartum bleeding, and intestinal bleeding.

Why do we consistently pull up this plant and discard it like it's garbage daily? Most avid gardeners don’t seem to know of this plant and how important it can be to their diet. Here is another interesting fact you won’t believe “Purslane” doesn’t actually grow anywhere in the forest or bush. It only grows where people reside. It’s almost as if Mother Nature registers where people are living and grows these weeds precisely for humans.  But because man has become so disconnected to the land, we have missed the importance of plants/weeds.

So why not try what your Farmacist here does, and purslane to your next salad. Do what my mom did and add them to your bowl of soup;  or better yet, pluck it and eat it fresh and raw. 

And guess what?! Depending on when you pick it, your body will get a totally different nutrient. At night the plant traps in carbon dioxide which converts to malic acid - it’s the same process that happens in apples; and during the day it converts the malic acid to glucose. How cool is that? Now I don’t sound so crazy anymore do I?

Happy weeding everyone!

Signed,

Dr. Lucky Farmacist

Information source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portulaca_oleracea


Bookmark and Share


© Copyright 2013 by thebahamasweekly.com

Top of Page

Let's Grow Bahamas
Latest Headlines
The Calabash Tree
Far from your average Grower!
The Natal Plum: Enjoy with Caution
Let's Grow Bahamas October Almanac
The Fungi and its connection to my Garden
Let's Grow Bahamas Almanac
The Cassava (Yuca)
Golden Girls - Golden Knights - The Golden Dorsett
Purslane: One of the Most Nutritionist Weeds
Why our soil might be the most precious commodity we have!
It's Harvest Time, Baby!
Bush Medicine: Match Me if You Can (Jacob's Coat)
Bananas: The Super Fruit that is an Absolute Must for Your Garden
Guava, the "poor man's fruit"
Fever Grass: Not Your Usual “Cup of Tea”
Bush Medicine: In Nature, Everything Has a Purpose!
The Farmer's Almanac for The Bahamas: Growing from August through October
Fruit Tree of the Month: Jack Fruit
My Visit to the Small Farm Conference in Orlando
An Introduction to Goat and Sheep Production in The Bahamas
Why Start a Backyard Garden?