Gardening

Ecological cultivation of Purslane and its nutritional properties

 

The purslane ( Portulaca oleracea ), grown in Egypt, China or India since ancient times, now grown virtually all over the world, especially in areas with temperate and tropical climate.

This green leafy vegetable is highly appreciated in the kitchen for its wide, rounded and fleshy leaves that can be enjoyed in cold dishes such as salads or green smoothies and in hot dishes such as purees, lasagna, croquettes, infused, etc.

Ecological cultivation of Purslane

Purslane is an annual plant that can reach 40 cm in length. To sow it you only need to prepare the seedlings with a mixture of soil and compost . Bury the seeds about 2 cm and water a little. The best time to sow is usually late spring or early summer. Avoid waterlogging the seedlings, since fungus would start to grow and even the seed could rot. Keep the seedlings in an airy area where they receive several hours of sun. Normally, in 2 weeks the seeds have already germinated. When it is about 10 cm tall we can transplant the seedlings.

When choosing a definitive site for Purslane, we must bear in mind that it likes rather sandy and dry soils, so it must be a place that has good drainage. A week before transplanting, add worm humus or  compost , 2 cm will be enough. It prefers soils with a pH between 5.5 and 7.5. The day before the transplant we must water the seedlings and the place or pot in which we will transplant them. This way we avoid stressing the seedlings. The transplant will be done in the late afternoon. Make sure to leave 20 cm2 of space for each plant. Later we will put the mulch or padding around the seedlings, preventing it from touching the stem.

During the development of Purslane we will not have many problems, as it is a heat resistant plant and can even withstand a certain degree of drought and is not usually affected by diseases or pests, with the exception of slugs or snails .

After 2 months we can start to harvest the Purslane, we will cut the shoots leaving 5 cm from the ground, so that they re-sprout. We can keep it until late autumn, although it could hold a little longer under cover.

Nutritional properties and uses of Purslane

  • It contains excellent amounts of  vitamins A, of group B (B1, B2, B3), C and E.
  • It has minerals such as iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium or phosphorus.
  • This plant is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids  .
  • It has antibacterial , antifungal effect and also eliminates parasites.
  • Helps to remove headaches applied as a poultice.
  • Purslane has traditionally been used to combat dry coughs.
  • It favors good digestion and even prevents heartburn or heartburn .
  • Calms and reduces inflammation of hemorrhoids .
  • It has a great cleansing effect on the blood and the body in general.
  • Thanks to its diuretic action, it is very beneficial in preventing or fighting urinary tract infections.
  • It stimulates the proper functioning of the immune system , protecting us against free radicals.
  • Purslane has anti-inflammatory action .
  • It is indicated for swollen and sensitive gums . You can rinse or simply chew the leaves for several minutes several times a day.
  • It tones the liver and promotes its proper functioning.
  • Helps relax muscles.
  • It has an analgesic effect so it helps to combat pain in general.

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