What is Portulaca?
The herb portulaca (full name portulaca oleracea purslane) is an annual succulent with bright yellow flowers surrounded by a cluster of leaves. The plant known as purslane, wild portulaca or pigweed is found all over the world, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe. It is an edible nutritious vegetable that is a famous plant in Korean traditional medicine, used to treat infection and to relieve irritated skin as well as help skin look and feel younger.
Healing Powers of Portulaca
One of the benefits of portulaca on the skin is that it has a soothing effect, making it a useful treatment for inflammatory skin injuries, such as boils and cuts*. A topical poultice, made by mashing the plant in a pestle and mortar, applied to the injured area can provide immediate relief. In the Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism, a review of portulaca stated that it accelerates the healing process of the wound by decreasing its surface area and improving the skin’s elasticity*.
Portulaca Treating Skin Conditions
It can also be used to help treat skin conditions such as dermatitis and psoriasis. Instead of making a topical poultice create a paste by mashing the plant and mixing it with slippery elm powder (from the bark of the slippery elm tree). The mixture should be three parts of the plant to one part of the slippery elm powder. Applying this to the affected area should calm the skin. If you do not have a plant you can mash up, portulaca extract is equally beneficial. It has strong anti-irritant properties and soothes sensitive, itchy skin.
Anti-Aging Properties of Portulaca
As you have already seen, portulaca can help skin heal from cuts and boils as well as help support healthy skin conditions. It also has the ability to reduce the aging effects of wrinkles and help to a lesser extent brighten the skin.
As it has a natural source of vitamins A, C and E, and the Coenzyme Q10, it is an excellent antioxidant, fighting premature aging and protecting the skin from environmental damage. As an extract it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and flavonoids. These anti-aging benefits of the herb for both internal and external use can manifest themselves in clearer, healthier skin.
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Antioxidant Properties of Portulaca
As you know one of the best ways to continue to have healthy skin is from the inside out. The healthier you are the healthier your skin will be. Portulaca is supercharged with antioxidant vitamins. It is a great source of many antioxidant vitamins, including pro-vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin C. For example, just one cup of raw portulaca (about 43 grams) provides 15% of the daily value for vitamin C and 11% of the daily value for vitamin A.
As you may already know, antioxidants help scavenge free radicals, the harmful by-products of cellular metabolism that can contribute to cancer and many other age-related diseases. Antioxidants are also a crucial component of anti-wrinkle diets, and as we said, treating your skin from the inside out is the best long term. Eating plenty of antioxidant-rich foods such as portulaca helps in your fight against wrinkles.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products listed on Engineered Lifestyles are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please read our full product disclaimer here.