This Little Weed Is Your Bug-Out Friend

Most Americans hate weeds. We work hard to keep our lawns clear of them so that we can keep up appearances for our neighbors. But there is one weed that you may want to allow to grow and that you may even want to plant at your bug out location. It’s called purslane.

If you’re not familiar with purslane, Bethany Hayes describes it this way:

Most people think of purslane solely as a weed that overtakes your turf grass. You typically find it in bare spots of your lawn. Purslane is easy to identify because of its reddish-brown stem that can grow up to 12 inches long. The leaves are thick and oval-shaped, with a smooth feel.

Purslane is native to India and Persia and can grow “just about anywhere from fertile garden soil to the poorest arid soils” according to Sandra Mason. But, if you think of purslane as simply a weed in your yard, then you are missing a potentially very useful plant to have on hand.

For example, purslane is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. Yes, those same fatty acids that are in those fish oil capsules that you take and that cardiologists are always raving about for heart health. If you don’t have easy access to fish (or don’t like fish) consider adding purslane to your meal.

Or do you have intestinal or digestive issues? Again, from Hayes:

Traditional Chinese medicine used purslane to treat gastrointestinal diseases. Herbalists use it to treat diarrhea, intestinal bleeding, hemorrhoids and dysentery. It might seem like a strange choice, especially if you mention it to your conventional doctor. However, many people swear by its uses.

How could you use it for gastrointestinal issues? You might create an herbal tea from its leaves, fresh or dried. You could try adding fresh leaves to chicken broth. If you have hemorrhoids, creating a salve from purslane can reduce the swelling and discomfort.

Or you may want to eat purslane for its vitamin K content which helps blood clotting and has been linked to reduced risk of several types of cancer.

One word of warning, though, if you have a history of kidney stones, be cautious with eating purslane as the plant contains oxalic acid which can cause the formation of kidney stones.

Still, if you don’t have kidney stones, then you may want to consider purslane as it is one of most potentially beneficial “weeds” that you can have in your lawn.