Considered in some regions as a weed, purslane is a delicious edible succulent with great properties.
Verdolagas (Portulaca oleracea) is one of the most consumed edible succulents in Mexico, mainly with stews in green tomato sauce, chili and meat. Its growth extends throughout the Mexican territory, which is why it is considered a weed. However, it is not a plant native to the American continent, since its origin is traced to India, Europe, and some regions of Western Asia. How it got to Mexico is unknown. Its name means “green lakes”.
Among its main characteristics of the purslane are its translucent reddish stem with prostrate growth; green leaves; and yellow or reddish flowers that grow during the spring to fall season, but only open for a few hours on sunny mornings. The seeds are small pods and take root on any type of ground, since they are highly adaptable.
Although it is considered an invasive species, it can contribute to generating humid microclimates so that other species can grow; as is the case with corn, which requires certain levels of humidity. Also, be used as food thanks to its medicinal and nutritional properties.
However, care must be taken that the environment in which it grows is free of pesticides or other pollutants that can harm health. It has a slightly acid flavor and is completely edible, it can be prepared in salads, stews, and even tamales.
These are the vitamin and nutritional contributions of purslane:
- It contains Omega-3 acid, more than any vegetable.
- Provides vitamin C and B.
- Provides magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron.
- Helps against constipation and inflammation of the urinary tract.
- It is a great help to combat oral lichen planus.
- Its leaves help treat insect bites (even snake, bee or scorpion bites).
- Auxiliary in the treatment of hemorrhoids, postpartum bleeding and diarrhea.