The wonderful properties of purslane, how to harvest it, and where to find it

Purslane is a plant that grows in almost all of Italy and offers dozens of health benefits. Known by various names, including “porcellana” and “porcacchia,” its scientific name is purslane oleracea.

This excellent therapeutic plant was used by our ancestors to prevent and treat various health issues, such as nausea and fever. Below, we list the main properties of purslane:

Heart Health: This plant is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, essential for promoting the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system, lowering cholesterol, and improving blood circulation.

Diuretic: Consuming purslane facilitates urine production and overall kidney function. Thanks to this property, it helps eliminate residues and harmful elements from the body.

Anti-Inflammatory: The plant’s composition, rich in mucilage, also has anti-inflammatory effects and can help alleviate inflammation caused by infections.

Antiseptic and Antifungal: Purslane helps block the growth of certain bacteria, thereby enhancing defenses. It can also be used to combat fungi and parasites.

Diabetes: According to recent studies, purslane could reduce blood sugar levels, making it a beneficial vegetable for people with diabetes.

Anemia: The vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in purslane can help improve symptoms of anemia.

Antioxidant: Purslane contains compounds like betalains with antioxidant properties capable of reducing cellular damage and counteracting the effects of free radicals.

How to Recognize and Use Purslane: Purslane is a wild plant, and as such, it needs to be recognized. It resembles a creeping plant with fleshy, smooth leaves and reddish stems.

This plant can be consumed raw, either alone or in salads. It is advisable to choose the youngest branches as they are more tender and flavorful. The stem should be avoided; although edible, it is too tough and has a less pleasant taste.

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