Portulaca oleracea (common purslane, also known as verdolaga, pigweed, little hogweed, red root, pursley, and moss rose) is an annual succulent in the family Portulacaceae, which may reach 40 centimetres (16 in) in height.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 millimetres (0.24 in) 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.
Purslane, raw Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 84 kJ (20 kcal)
Carbohydrates 3.39 g
Fat 0.36 g
Protein 2.03 g
Vitamin A 1320 IU
Thiamine (B1) (4%) 0.047 mg
Riboflavin (B2) (9%) 0.112 mg
Niacin (B3) (3%) 0.48 mg
Vitamin B6 (6%) 0.073 mg
Folate (B9) (3%) 12 μg
Vitamin C (25%) 21 mg
Vitamin E (81%) 12.2 mg
Calcium (7%) 65 mg
Iron (15%) 1.99 mg
Magnesium (19%) 68 mg
Manganese (14%) 0.303 mg
Phosphorus (6%) 44 mg
Potassium (11%) 494 mg
Zinc (2%) 0.17 mg
Water 92.86 g
Approximately forty varieties currently are cultivated
Soft, succulent purslane leaves have more omega-3 fatty acids than in some of the fish oils. If you are a vegetarian and pledge to avoid all forms of animal products, then here is the answer! Go for this healthy dark-green leafy vegetable and soon you will forget fish!Botanically, this herbaceous leafy vegetable belongs to the family of Portulacaceae and scientifically known as Portulaca oleracea.
Other common names in place for this green leafy are pursley, pigweed, or verdolaga.
Purslane contains more omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid in particular) than any other leafy vegetable plant. Studies have found that purslane has 0.01 mg/g of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).It also contains vitamins (mainly vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), vitamin B, carotenoids), and dietary minerals such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron. Also present are two types of betalain alkaloid pigments, the reddish betacyanins (visible in the coloration of the stems) and the yellow betaxanthins (noticeable in the flowers and in the slight yellowish cast of the leaves). Both of these pigment types are potent antioxidants and have been found to have antimutagenic properties in laboratory studies.
100 grams of fresh purslane leaves (about half a cup) contain 300 to 400 mg of alpha-linolenic acid. One cup (250 ml) of cooked leaves contains 90 mg of calcium, 561 mg of potassium, and more than 2,000 IUs of vitamin A.
A half-cup of purslane leaves contains as much as 910 mg of oxalate, a compound implicated in the formation of kidney stones. Cooking purslane reduces overall soluble oxalate content by 27%.
When stressed by low availability of water, purslane, which has evolved in hot and dry environments, switches to photosynthesis using Crassulacean acid metabolism (the CAM pathway): At night its leaves trap carbon dioxide, which is converted into malic acid (the souring principle of apples), and, in the day, the malic acid is converted into glucose. When harvested in the early morning, the leaves have ten times the malic acid content as when harvested in the late afternoon, and thus have a significantly more tangy taste.
Purslane is native to Indian sub-continent and now distributed widely across the continents but actually as a wild weed. There exist varieties of pusley with variation in leaf size, thickness, and leaf arrangement and pigment distribution. This hardy herb plant requires relatively less water and soil nutrients and grows well sunny sunny climates. The plant grows up to 12-15 cm in height as a low-lying spread.
Pursley is widely grown in many Asian and European regions as a staple leafy vegetable. Its leaves appear thick, contain mucilaginous substance, and have a slightly sour and salty taste. Leaves and tender stems are edible. In addition to succulent stems and leaves, its yellow flower buds are also favored, especially in salads.
Purslane seeds, appear like black tea powder granules, are often used to make some herbal drinks.
Health benefits of Purslane
This wonderful green leafy vegetable is very low in calories (just 16 kcal/100g) and fats; nonetheless, it is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Fresh leaves contain surprisingly more omega-3 fatty acids (a-linolenic acid) than any other leafy vegetable plant. 100 grams of fresh purslane leaves provide about 350 mg of alpha-linolenic acid. Research studies show that consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and help prevent the development of ADHD, autism, and other developmental differences in children.
It is an excellent source of Vitamin A, (1320 IU/100 g, provides 44% of RDA) one of the highest among green leafy vegetables. Vitamin A is a known powerful natural antioxidant and an essential vitamin for vision. it is also required to maintain healthy mucusa and skin. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin A is known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Purslane is also a rich source of vitamin C, and some B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and carotenoids, as well as dietary minerals, such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and manganese.
Furthermore, present in purslane are two types of betalain alkaloid pigments, the reddish beta-cyanins and the yellow beta-xanthins. Both pigment types are potent anti-oxidants and have been found to have anti-mutagenic properties in laboratory studies.
Purslane Indian Recipes
Kulfa leaves 1 kg
Oil 125 gm
Turmeric powder ½ tsp
Red chili 4 (whole)
Ginger 1/2 inch (sliced thinly)
Onion 125 gm (sliced)
Salt to taste
Red chili powder to taste
Green chili 6 (whole)
Garlic clove 4 (sliced)
Cumin ½ pinch
Clean and wash kulfa saag/leaves and then cut it thinly.
Add saag in pot and cook on low flame.
The leaves will release water during cooking and it will cook in its own water.
Now heat half the oil in a pot and add onion, fry till golden.
Then add turmeric, green chili, red chili powder and whole red chili. Cook these spices for a while.
Now add kulfa saag/leaves and cook on low heat.
When water dries, then heat the remaining oil in a frying pan. Fry ginger, garlic and cumin in it for tempering (baghar).
Pour it over kulfa saag.
Delicious kulfa saag/leaves is ready to serve with gram flour bread.