Purslane: Health Benefits and Recipes

A Weed Worth Keeping

By Celeste Longacre
Jun 19, 2018
Portulaca - Purslane
Jacopo Ventura/Getty Images


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Purslane, or Portulaca oleracea, is a garden weed that is edible and has many health benefits. Find out the benefits of the purslane plant here, and get a purslane recipe!

Purslane Health Benefits

Like many other weeds, purslane is not only edible but also far more nutritious than many of the crops that we plant! Here’s just a few of the health benefits of purslane:

  • Seven times the beta-carotene of carrots
  • Six times more vitamin E than spinach
  • Fourteen times more Omega 3 fatty acids.

Purslane is also said to be a natural remedy for insomnia. It has many of the same health benefits as other leafy greens. Immigrants from India originally brought it with them to our shores, where it has escaped into gardens and backyards everywhere.

What is Purslane: Crop or Weed?

See the purslane picture below. It’s a plant most of us consider a weed. I have never planted purslane yet it appears every spring in my garden. A succulent, purslane can tolerate drought and the heat of summer. I let it grow in between my rows of carrots and beets and in other places where it isn’t bothering my veggies. Once it is touching my crops, I take it out and eat it.

To harvest purslane, it’s a good idea to pull it up completely, then cut off the stems from the piece attached to the root. Compost the root or feed to your chickens! Some companies are now actually selling the purslane seeds so that it can also be added to a garden on purpose. A delightful, nutritious extra for the enthusiastic gardener.

How to Cook Purslane

How do people eat purslane? Once you’ve cut off the root, the individual stems needs to be washed carefully. Purslane has little crevices to hold the soil, so you really need to use a hose to get ALL the dirt off. 

  • Purslane is usually tossed into salads or added to soups in the Mediterranean area
  • In Mexico, it’s a favorite addition to omelettes. 
  • Purslane can also be lightly steamed for 4 to 5 minutes, then served with salt and a little butter.
  • Purslane goes very well mixed with cucumber and topped with some oil-and-vinegar dressing.
  • Also try adding purslane to smoothies or juicing it.

Purslane Recipes

Here’s a great purslane salad: Fingerling-Potato and Purslane Salad with Grainy-Mustard Dressing.

Or try adding this nutrient-packed green to any soup. I like to add to my purslane to my bone broth soup which is delicious! (You can also add seasonal lamb’s quarters, dandelions, purslane, nettles, amaranth, and herbs for health.)

Another option is to freeze purslane to add it to soups through the cold winter months! See how to freeze greens.

Are you ready to add purslane to your diet? Let us know below!

About This Blog

Celeste Longacre has been growing virtually all of her family’s vegetables for the entire year for over 30 years. She cans, she freezes, she dries, she ferments & she root cellars. She also has chickens. Celeste has also enjoyed a longtime relationship with The Old Farmer’s Almanac as their astrologer and gardens by the Moon. Her new book, “Celeste’s Garden Delights,” is now available! Celeste Longacre does a lot of teaching out of her home and garden in the summer. Visit her web site at www.celestelongacre.com for details.


Reader Comments

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I am from Afghanistan here

I am from Afghanistan here also this weed germinated naturally and people know it better and also some farmer grow it and known as a vegetable crops in the market

Abo dragsh - gelban

Salam alaikum. I am from Libya. I know this plant in the old farms. It grows a lot in the farms where the non-fermented sheep are used. We eat a lot of times.

We have Purslane growing

We have Purslane growing abuntly in the Community Garden.
Our Mexican gardeners add it to their beans last 10-15 min of cooking. Says it takes the "toot" out!
Great article on others uses and benefits.
QUESTION: Are their any contraindications with prescription medications?


Hi Lilly, I don’t know the answer to that question about contraindications. I don’t take any prescription medications so I have not researched it. If you find out any information, maybe you could let us know? Thanks!

purslane gourmet

Around here in Portugal purslane is a staple for soup in Alentejo (South Portugal)


My father had beds and planters of what he called Portulaca, or Moss Rose. They were beautiful and I noticed they look like the pics I see of Purslane. Is it the same thing? He saved the seeds and planted them for other people.


Purslane, (which I'm new to learning about ) also contains oxalate so a warning to folks who are prone to kidney stones to be sure they thoroughly research consuming purslane, should also be added to your article.

Purslane aplenty!

I have about 1/4 acre that is filled with purslane. I pick the mature plants (just as they are blooming), cut off the roots, turn them upside down and dry them on a screen on my enclosed back porch. When they are completely dry, I strip the leaves off the stems and powder them in the blender. I use the powder in diy cosmetics and sprinkle some on/in many foods (especially soups). The fresh purslane adds a tart crunch to salads. Yum! Warning: don't eat purslane out of your yard if you have used herbicides and/or pesticides anywhere near them.


I found this info about Purslane quite exciting, especially the fact that It has seven times the beta-carotene of carrots and six times more vitamin E than spinach along with "fourteen times more Omega 3 fatty acids".
All this in a weed, who knew!
I'm going to try & locate some, in Tulsa, at a home and garden outlet.
Wish me luck.

Hi Rhonda,

Hi Rhonda,

Who knew, indeed. Good luck!

That was a very good article

That was a very good article CL! I see them out in the yard. I plan to try some now. TY!

Thanks SurfKat!

Thanks SurfKat!

This came up in my flower

This came up in my flower bed, my daughter has something like this also in her bed, but has rose red blooms. Mine hasn't bloomed. Does it bloom? Would like to know if we have the same plant.

Hi Pat, I have only seen it

Hi Pat,

I have only seen it with yellow flowers.

Red and yellow

I bought a beautiful hanging basket with both red and yellow flowers a couple of years ago. I had no idea what it was until the garden employee told me it was a weed and edible. I paid good money for it anyway and am looking for another one this year!

purslane Vs portulaca or Moss rose

While purslane is of the family portulaca, it is NOT the same as the beautiful flowering Moss Rose (of the family portulaca) that comes in so very many gorgeous colors. Moss rose has narrow, elongated, succulent-type leaves, while purslane (the so-called weed) has ovate and more flat leaves. Please research the flower Moss Rose before you eat it, to make certain its edible. I grow both; the edible weed in my garden and the flower in my pots near the front deck. Definitely different. The Moss Rose has a much larger flower, and a different seed pod as well. Purslane's flowers are tiny.


Last year, I pulled them out thinking it was a weed. This year is the second year it apeald in my yard. I am not really sure if it's eatable for sure. I have so many of it that I leave it alone because it's ptretty. I am not brave enough to try to eat it.

GRRRR! A WEED I can't get rid

GRRRR! A WEED I can't get rid of! This year I turned over an area of soil to about 12-16 inches deep and amended everything and mulched with red wood chips and I have it popping up everywhere! Between strawberries, celery, lettuce, Walking Onions, etc.

I asked a friend's wife who's pretty organic, freaky and always asking for weird stuff/edibles and even SHE didn't want any!

Hi Mark, Have you tried it

Hi Mark,

Have you tried it lightly steamed (only 3-5 minutes) and served with butter and salt?

Do not till purslane

Dear Mark_K - I have also been battling this insidious weed for years now. (My husband and I both think it tastes nasty so please don't anyone ask me to eat it.) I am sorry to tell you this but the damage is done. I know from personal experience! When you till purslane, you are breaking the roots into multiple root "starts" and propagating the horrid little plant. Plus, you planted any purslane seeds that were on the flowering plants. :( All you can do now is spend the next SEVERAL YEARS pulling them up very carefully, as I have, before they have a chance to flower. Over time, you will see a reduction in this weed. It takes a lot of patience as the seeds hold up for many years and any time you disturb the soil, you will see them pop up. My condolences on your purslane invasion.


This stuff wont die or voluntary leave my gardens! It sees to come in with any garden soil or mulch that I add to my garden.
Do Not TRY to Till it under. It wont work.
I have resorted to hand picking it and feeding to my chickens. But I cannot add chicken compost to my garden any longer, because it comes back stronger than before.

I am wondering if you sell a

I am wondering if you sell a reproduction of the first almanac?

No reproductions of the first

No reproductions of the first Almanac. However, if you buy the new 2016 Almanac we will throw in a replica Almanac from 1916 and 1816 for free.

Well this is exciting news! I

Well this is exciting news! I have four hanging baskets filled to bursting with gorgeous flowering purslane. I love it because if I forget to water for awhile (it happens often) it handles it in the Louisiana heat. Now I have to try eating it!


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