PURSLANE …is a pretty little succulent groundcover, with a red radial stem and green leaves.  One of the most overlooked of all plants, it’s ability to grow just about anywhere (including between bricks) gives the impression that it is a pesky weed.  But that’s just a figment of our cultural collective – look a little closer and you will uncover purslane’s stance as a nutritious vegetable.  Surprisingly, purslane remedies the Western diet which is deficient in omega-3 + omega-6 fatty acids (a condition which often leads to cardiovascular & other potentially mortal diseases, including cancer) & contains eight times the α-linolenic acid of cultivated vegetables (including spinach & lettuce) [1].  It has been found to be neuroprotective, anti-microbial, anti-diabetic, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcerogenic & anti-cancer [2].  And by the way, it also displays anti-fungal properties [3]!   It is delicious year-round & thus commonly found on the ingredients list of tropical Asian & Mediterranean soups & salads.  So next time you step on this pretty little thing, reach down and pluck it’s gifts – it might taste better than you think, but even more importantly – it might just save your life!  Image: [4].


  1. Simopoulos, A.P., The importance of the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acids. Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy, 2002. 56(8): p. 365-379.
  2. Zhou, Y.-X., et al., Portulaca oleracea L.: a review of phytochemistry and pharmacological effects. BioMed research international, 2015. 2015.
  3. Oh, K.B., et al., Detection of antifungal activity in Portulaca oleracea by a single‐cell bioassay system. Phytotherapy research, 2000. 14(5): p. 329-332.
  4. Julie/Julesong. Pigweed. Pinterest 2018 15/02/18]; Available from: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/441000988490968040/?lp=true.


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Chrissy-Tiina Laurikainen

In person + online permaculture teacher. Online permaculture consultant. Upkeep of a 30 acre rural property (using permaculture & other agroecological techniques). A communal research laboratory focusing on free innovation in the works. Doing what I can to support LIFE on planet Earth!!

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