I have a lot of purslane in my garden. WOUld like to eat it and possible freeze some. Concerned about getting some that is poison because there are two different kinds. Does anyone know of a good site where they explain the difference? Thanks Deb
There are many different types of purslane, its considered by many as a poison but has to be ingested in large quantities to be of poisonous effect.
Eating large quantities of raw Purslane (especially the roots) may be hazardous to health due to the oxalic acid in the roots. It is toxic to higher animals by virtue of its calcium binding properties, as it may cause the precipitation of calcium oxalate in the kidneys, prevents calcium uptake in the gut and is not metabolized.
Here is a link that might be useful: Purslane
I too have a lot of purslane in my garden and just read that it makes a great living mulch, on a par with plastic. So I am leaving mine there and weeding the few other weeds that are growing through it. I have read that it has a somewhat gelatinous consistency and so have not been tempted to eat it.
Wow, I had no idea there were health issues except beneficial from purslane. I thought it was very high in omega 3's or something similarly wonderful. I have been known to yank it up and eat it thinking all purslane is good purslane. This calcium binding concerns me as I am 38 and would like to prevent osteo porosis. Can anyone elaborate on the pros and cons of purslane nutritionally?
Stick to eating the leaves and not the roots :)
Years ago I knew some people that made a faux pea soup from purslane and ate it several times a year. Now these people lived well into their nineties in good health, so it can't be that toxic.
Purslane can be toxic to ruminant livestock IF they are not used to it and IF that's all they have to eat. It hasn't been shown to be toxic in people. It's sold as a vegetable seed by companies like Johnny's, Seeds of Change, Cook's Garden, Stokes, Thompson & Morgen, etc.
I think the issue with purslane is the oxalates, same stuff as is in spinach, which is also toxic if you eat enough of it.
We have grown purslane as a garden vegetable (there are varieties that have larger leaves and an off-the ground habit) and it is delicious raw. I never tried cooking it.
I had some pop up in my outside potted plants every year and I just loved the plant. For some reason this year none came. I would love some seeds if anyone would send me some. I have some columbine (blue), daisey and zinnia seeds to trade if you would like some.
Maybe I am posting in the wrong area to ask for seeds. I read this site often but post very little. Should I be somewhere else, I love trading plants and seeds.
I wish there was someway to give you all my purslane seed. It is easily my worst weed. Out in a shallow pond bottom that is very dark soil and rich, I have seen purslane so huge you could hardly believe it.
I think they are so pretty and I don't know why mine didn't come back this year. They usually grow in several different places. Enjoy while you have them.
Regarding whether there are two types of purslane (one poisonous, the other not), while actual purslane is not considered toxic to humans with normal consumption there is a weed called "leafy spurge" which resembles purslane and is toxic if consumed. Leafy spurge will ooze a whitish liquid from the stems when picked, purslane does not. Also, spurge has flat leaves that may have a darker green spot on them while purslane leaves are succulent and lighter green than the spurge. Both leafy spurge and purslane grow in the same areas and under the same conditions. I have both growing in my yard at any given time during the growing season. If in doubt, don't eat it! Consult a botanist for a positive ID if you're not sure. Also, if you're foraging outside of your own yard, avoid roadways, sidewalks, and other public areas which may have applied chemicals. Good luck, I haven't eaten purslane but I know of many who do, both saute'd and raw in salads :) By the way, cooking purslane apparently eliminates the compounds that can form oxalate crystals (though not usually an issue with human consumption).