Portulaca oleracea is commonly known as Verdolaga, Little hogweed, parsley, Moss rose as well as Pigweed. This plant belongs to the family of Portulacaceae and can reach up to the height of 40 cm.
There are approximately 40 varieties of Portulaca Oleracea that are cultivated across the globe. This plant is considered to be an invasive weed in a few countries.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PORTULACA OLERACEA
It has a smooth, red colored stems and alternate leaves that are clustered near the joints of the stem. The yellow colored flowers of the Portulaca Oleracea have around 5 regular parts that are up to 6 mm wide. The flowers of the plant open singly near the central part of the leaf cluster for only a short span on a sunny morning. The seeds of the Portulaca Oleracea are found in small pods which open when the seed has attained maturity. The plant has a taproot and is usually able to bear compacted soil conditions.
The Portulaca Oleracea has a small hairless succulent fleshy stem that is dark green in color. The plant has oval shaped leaves and is found in Asia as well as the temperate regions of Africa and America. The young shoots of the plant can be added in salads or soups and steamed cooked as a vegetable. It was believed in earlier days that spreading Portulaca Oleracea around the bed could help in protecting the sleeper from the eyes of any evil spirit.
The aerial part of the plant is used in medicines across the globe. It is harvested throughout the summer season. This plant is usually dried then powdered before using.
The Portulaca Oleracea needs fertile soil to grown and is usually cultivated in the month of May.
Capsules of 200mg potency can be taken 2 to 3 times in a day with water for improving heart conditions and the entire cardiovascular system.
Compresses and poultices can be used to relieve muscle cramps. This external applicator is made with 100 gm of the fresh plant and 100 ml of water. This mixture is boiled and allowed to simmer. After which a cloth is soaked in it and applied on the painful area.
The Portulaca Oleracea is rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Around 100 grams of the leaves contains 300 to 400 mg of fatty acid. The Portulaca Oleracea also contains mucilage, antioxidant vitamins E as well as C, glutathione, potassium, calcium and beta carotene.
Around 100 gms of Portulaca Oleracea contains carbohydrates, fat, protein, water, vitamin A, Thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, vitamin B6, Iron, magnesium, Phosphorus, zinc and Potassium. The calorific value of the Portulaca Oleracea is 20 Kcal or 84kj.
THERAPEUTIC POWERS OF THE HERB
The Portulaca Oleracea is a noted herb that is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, a substance that is commonly found in fish oil. The omega 3 is useful in strengthening the immune system and improving the cardiovascular system. This herb is an anti inflammatory that helps in improving the blood flow as well as checking clotting in the arteries. The advantages of Portulaca Oleracea have been elaborated in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition published in 2012.
The Portulaca Oleracea has high concentrations of antioxidants that help in protecting cancerous growths and against degenerative free radical damage which helps in slowing down the process of ageing. It also helpful to control blood cholesterol levels. Portulaca Oleracea relaxes the muscles and lowers blood pressure level.
SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONARY TIPS FOR USING THIS HERB
The freshly plucked and cooked Portulaca Oleracea has no reported side effects. Though the overdoses of the Portulaca Oleracea can upset the stomach and cause cholera.
PLANET AYURVEDA PRODUCTS THAT USE THIS HERB
The team of Planet Ayurveda does not currently have a product that contains Portulaca Oleracea but we offer the Agnitundi Vati capsules that are known to have similar properties.
We at team Planet Ayurveda are constantly working on formulations that use the basics of the age old Ayurvedic medicinal science. These formulations are vegetarian and are made from organically grown ingredients only. The teams of herbalists at Planet Ayurveda follow strict norms of quality check and ensure that every bottle of each product is of the best quality. We are also proud to say that none of the products manufactured or formulated by Planet Ayurveda have been tested on animals.