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Purslane: Is Gandhi’s Favorite Food In Your Yard?

Purslane has been used throughout history in treatment of cardiac weakness, dry cough, diarrhea, dysentery, fever, gingivitis, and high cholesterol, hypertension, sore throat and urinary tract infections. Topically purslane has been used as a poultice for bee stings, boils, burns, and hemorrhoids.

Purslane is reported to have been one of Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite foods and also consumed by Thoreau while residing at Walden Pond. It is pleasant, cool, and moist, with a sour flavor that can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Use purslanes in salads, pickles, stir fry dishes and soups as a cooling summer food. Bake purslane shoots with breadcrumbs as a casserole. It can be used in place of okra in recipes.

Purslane is used in Creole cooking and in the mideastern salad, fattoush. The dried seeds can be ground and added to flour. I’ve noticed our local farmer’s market selling this fine herb to introduce people to purslane’s vegetable potential.

One hundred grams of purslane contains about 2,500 IU beta-carotene, 103 mg. calcium and 25 mg vitamin C. In 1986, purslane was discovered to be the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease and can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Read about six different ways to eat purslane plus tips for storing and keeping it.

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Brigitte Mars

Brigitte Mars, a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild, is a nutritional consultant who has been working with Natural Medicine for over 40 years. She teaches Herbal Medicine at Naropa University, Boulder College of Massage, and Bauman College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts and has a private practice. Brigitte is the author of 12 books, including Rawsome!. Find more healthy living articles, raw food recipes, videos, workshops, books, and more at Also check out her international model yogini daughter, Rainbeau at


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5:24PM PDT on Jul 4, 2011

Excellent article. Thanks for sharing.

10:29AM PDT on Sep 15, 2010

Save seeds, send life

Thank you.

10:29AM PDT on Sep 15, 2010

Save seeds, send life

Thank you.

3:16PM PDT on Sep 7, 2010

Thank you for the article, interesting...

1:12AM PDT on Sep 1, 2010

we have this variety of purslane down here in southeast florida that is all over the place. But it doesn't have the usual paddle shaped leaves, but pointed leaves. Does anyone know if this type is edible.
incidentally, whoever tagged the portuclaca name to the family commonly known as the edible purslane must have been in error, as it is the poisonous 'spurge' which has the milky sap!

5:19AM PDT on Aug 23, 2010

Sounds yummy!

10:52AM PDT on Aug 22, 2010

Walmart is selling Purslane in 10" X 10" trays, densely packed. Good bargain. There will by Purslane in pots all around my house. Yummy. Fresh salad on hand!

9:33AM PDT on Aug 21, 2010

i think it`s best to leave the weeds in the garden. they`re more nutritious.

7:04PM PDT on Aug 17, 2010

I just checked Wikipedia. The purslane mentioned here is an herb apparently. My flowers are in the same family, but the leaves are probably not edible. The flowers are very pretty, though.

6:55PM PDT on Aug 17, 2010

I may be way off base. That does not look like my purslane plants. There are no blossoms. Is there a purslane herb that is different from purslane flowers?

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people are talking

Sativas usually don't do that and are more.. functional..? (not really certain what a good term for …

Don't think girls today would like these

Thank you for sharing.

Really unsettling but necessary article. Thank you.


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