Thursday, March 26, 2009

Portulaca oleracea L.

English Name : Indian Purslane

Family : Portulacaceae

Origin : India and the Middle East

An annual, prostrate or spreading, succulent, branched herb; quite glabrous; 10 to 50 cm long. The stems are often purplish. Leaves are fleshy and flat, obtuse, oblong-obovate, base cuneate, 1 to 2.5 cm long. Flowers is sessile, axillary and terminal, few-flowered heads, the heads solitary or cymose, the buds compressed. Petals five; yellow; about as long as the sepals. Stamens 8 to 12.

Cultivated fields (and is also cultivated) in India.

Parts Used : Seed, stem, plant and its aerial part

Herb Effects
Diuretic, tonic, vermifuge and contraceptive (seed); antigonorrheic, purifies blood, antibacterial, antiscorbutic, depurative, diuretic and febrifuge (plant); analgesic, anthelmintic, gently laxative, astringent, tonic (to the heart), demulcent, emollient, hemostatic, reduces fever and diaphoretic.

Active Ingredients
Nicotinic acid and tocopherol (aerial part); adrenaline, alpha-linolenic acid, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, caffeic acid, dopamine, eicosapentaenoic-acid, ferulic acid, tocopherol (plant); oleracins I and II (stem); beta-sitosterol (seed); betulinic acid (stem bark).

Medicinal Use
For maladies of the ear, spleen, kidney and liver, anitgonorrheic and purifying blood (plant); burns, diabetes, diarrhea, dysentery, indigestion, hypotension, insomnia, ophthalmia, heart palpitations, scurvy, skin ailments (plant); in preventing heart attacks and strengthening the immune system, applied to burns (leaves); in the treatment of strangury, coughs, sores etc and are particularly effective in the treatment of skin diseases and insect stings (plant juice); to earaches, to alleviate insect stings (leaf juice); in dyspepsia, worm troubles and opacities of the cornea (seed).

Tincture: 1 - 4 ml daily.
Decoction: 1 cup 1-3 times daily.


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