The Perks of Juicing Purslane: From Detox to Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Juicing purslane is not something that happens as often as you’d think it would, considering the unique benefits of purslane. Commonly known as pigweed, purslane is a plant you’ve probably stepped on many times, and you are more likely to have tried to get it out of your garden than seriously considered it as a juicing candidate.

That’s ’cause purslane is a perennial leafy herb and a very hardy plant that won’t have a problem thriving in any environment as long as it gets plenty of sun and water. As for its taste – purslane is one of the yummier herbs (I’m looking at you, parsley) and it’s a perfect candidate for juice recipes, with a flavor that’s a cross between cucumbers and arugula (it has a bit of a bitter bite – but we still have extra recipes for you!) with a hint of lemon. 

And it is worth taking another look at – not only for its unique taste, but also for the health benefits it’s packing…

5  Perfect Purslane Juice Benefits

This underrated herb has a lot going for it – check out this list of health benefits it has to offer!

Bursting with vitamins

A succulent vegetable with high water content, purslane is super rich in vitamins and minerals.  Just one hundred grams of purslane – that’s 3.5 ounces – contains 1320 IU of vitamin A, which is critical for vision and also involved in cell communication,  immune function, and the maintenance of your heart, lungs, and kidneys.

This plant also contains appreciable amounts of B vitamins, which help to improve your metabolism, and 12.2 mg of vitamin E. That’s 81% of your recommended daily allowance, in just 3.5 ounces of this common weed.

Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant which boosts your immune system and protects the cells, tissues, and organs in your body from free radicals. It also used in the formation of red blood cells, and helps keep your veins open and the blood flowing through them. It’s a nutrient you don’t want to skimp on.

Rich in omega-3s fatty acids

What’s more, purslane is higher in omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy plant and contains both ALA and EPA. You know omega-3s – they are the ‘good fats’ our doctors are always telling us to add in our diet; they may reduce the risk of stroke and coronary disease, and are important for the development of children. And purslane contains more of these than any other known leafy green.

Why spend your money on fancy supplements when you can find this treasure house of goodness in your own backyard?

Improves your sleep

Scientists at the University of Texas at San Antonio discovered that purslane is loaded with 10 to 20 times the amount of melatonin, a hormone that can inhibit the development of cancer cells, compared to other herbs and vegetables. Melatonin is also considered as a key factor in regulating sleep patterns and menstrual cycles.

Boosts the immune system

There are two very potent antioxidants present in purslane, namely beta-xanthin and beta-cyanin. Aside from improving the body’s resilience against diseases, these antioxidants also help speed up the time it takes for cells and tissues to rejuvenate themselves.

Full of fiber

Akin to apple pectin and oat bran, purslane has very high levels of soluble fiber – which you still get from juicing (it’s the insoluble fiber that juicing removes). It won’t just help improve digestive function with regular use, but can also boost metabolism and reduce constipation by stimulating the intestines to work more efficiently.

Quick Tips on Juicing Purslane

  • Purslane still isn’t available in most health shops and supermarkets in the United States but it can be found growing wild almost anywhere in the country. Yay! Free! Well, as long as you’re willing to forage.

  • The residents of Crete, the largest and most populated of all the Greek islands, claim that the very low incidence of heart disease in their island is due to their regular consumption of purslane.

  • Purslane only contains 16 calories per 100 gram serving and is considered as one of the best diet foods by fitness buffs.

  • For bitter fruits and veggies, one of the best juicing ingredients to mask the taste of bitter is pineapple. For some reason, this tart and sweet fruit pairs does a great job making bitterness taste palatable so add some pineapple (especially the cores – they’re full of the digestive enzyme, bromelain) whenever you’re juicing purslane.

  • Keep in mind that purslane is a potent detoxifier, which is yet another reason to use it in very small amounts.
  • Last note: purslane is high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids but it’s also high in oxalic acid so please avoid juicing it if you have kidney stones, gout, osteoporosis or arthritis. Also, like mint, it can cause stomach irritation for some people so if you have a sensitive stomach – skip this one.

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