no matter where you live in the world, you’ll always be surrounded by medicinal plants. One of these medicinal plants is purslane, a nutritious plant that’s now considered as a useless weed. Purslane can do a lot of good for a wide variety of patients. In traditional medicine, the herb is well appreciated by new mothers for its ability to treat mastitis, lack of milk flow, and postpartum bleeding. It also relaxes skeletal muscles and acts as a diuretic. Still, nursing mothers should consult a naturopath before taking purslane. Purslane also has the ability to cure: Headache Stomachache Painful urination Dysentery Enteritis Burns Earache Insect stings Skin sores Ulcers Pruritus Eczema Abscesses treat Colitis Acute appendicitis Dermatitis Shingles Arthritis Fever Diabetes Purslane contains a neurohormone called l-norepinephrine that acts as a vasopressor and antihypotensive agent to quickly treats hemorrhages. The herb even has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal properties. In terms of nutritional value, the herb contains more beta-carotene than spinach and carrots, as well as high levels of vitamins B, C, and E, magnesium, calcium, potassium, folate, lithium, and protein. More interestingly, the herb contains omega-3 fatty acids, especially alpha-linolenic acid. It’s also said to be the best plant source of the nutrient, containing 8.5 mg of omega 3 for every gram of weight. This fatty acid, as well as others found in the plant, keeps blood pressure and cholesterol in check and prevents blood clots. Another interesting substance of the plant is melatonin, an antioxidant that acts as a hormone and is also produced by the pineal gland. Melatonin regulates your body’s natural sleep and wake cycles to help you get a good night’s sleep. A study performed by the University of Texas at San Antonio discovered that purslane contained 10 to 1000 times more melatonin than other edible plants tested. Also, the plant currently being examined for its ability to combat tumors. How to harvest Purslane? Purslane is best harvested is late summer and early autumn when its leaves are full and juicy. However, it can be harvested year-round in warmer regions. You can plant purslane in your garden, but it can quickly become invasive. How to use Purslane? One of the biggest advantages of eating purslane is that it’s non-GMO since it’s not widely regarded as a food and isn’t widely cultivated. However, because it’s a weed, it’s essential to fully wash it before eating, since it’s most likely come into contact with pesticides. The leaves and stems can be eaten raw, dried, steamed, stir-fried, or even pureed, but beware, the herb gets a little slimy when overcooked.