Yesterday, I discovered a new wild edible on our property.
I’ve actually been pulling it out of the garden all Spring! But as I was flipping through my Wild Cards (a deck of wild foraging photo/info cards by Linda Runyon), I came to one that I thought I recognized. Hey! I think that’s that stuff I’ve been yanking out of my tomato beds!
I took the card out to the garden to compare the photo with the plant, and sure enough, it was purslane I had growing there!
This is super exciting to me. Check out what I’ve discovered:
- Purslane is known as an excellent source of vitamins A, C and E and the essential amino acids. Reports describe Purslane as a “power food of the future” because of its high nutritive and antioxidant properties.
- Purslane leaves contain Omega-3 fatty acid which regulate the body’s metabolic activities. Purslane herb is known to have one of the highest known concentrations of Omega-3 fatty acid in any plant.
- The stems of Purslane herb are known to be high in vitamin C.
- Purslane is widely used as a potherb in Mediterranean, central European and Asian countries.
- Purslane is also widely used as an ingredient in a green salad. Tender stems and leaves are usually eaten raw, alone or with other greens. They are also cooked or pickled for consumption.
- Purslane is used in various parts of the world to treat burns, headaches, stomach, intestinal and liver ailments, cough, shortness of breath and arthritis.
- Purslane herb has also been used as a purgative, cardiac tonic, emollient, muscle relaxant, and in anti-inflammatory and diuretic treatments.
- Purslane is popularly preserved for winter by pickling Purslane in apple cider vinegar with garlic cloves and peppercorns.
- Purslane appears among a list of herbs considered to help benefit conditions such as osteoporosis and psoriasis.
The entire plant is edible, and it can be eaten fresh or cooked. It can even be canned or dried for long term storage!!
I picked some tonight, washed it, and ate the entire plant raw. It was delicious! The taste was very much like lettuce; bland, but good. You could also steam, boil, or saute it if you preferred.
Isn’t that AWESOME?!
Obviously, I won’t be pulling it out of my garden beds anymore. Or at least, I’ll transplant them if they become too invasive.
Yay for wild edibles!! I do believe I’ll add some purslane to my salad tonight!
Do you have purslane growing around your home? Have you ever eaten any? If you’ve never tasted it, you gotta give it a try! I’d love to know what you think!