Desert Horse Purslane Exploring the Green Goodness

Desert Horse – It belongs to Purslane family In Tamil, it is known as Saranai Keerai, it grows on the ground only (Mookaratai Keerai grows in Viens) and Hindi it is known as Shwet Punarnava.

The desert horse purslane plant, scientifically known as Trianthema portulacastrum, has an uncertain origin, but it is believed to have originated in tropical America. While the plant is now found in various regions across the globe, including Eastern and tropical Africa, Madagascar, Western Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Contiguous United States, and Puerto Rico, its initial point of origin is thought to be the tropical regions of the Americas.

This succulent, annual herb is well-adapted to arid conditions and is known for its drought tolerance. It thrives in rich, organic, well-drained soil, reflecting its ability to grow in a variety of environments. The desert horse purslane plant has a history of human consumption that spans at least 2,000 years, indicating its importance as a food source in certain cultures. Additionally, the plant is utilized for its medicinal properties, serving as an herbal remedy in traditional medicine practices.

The provided text highlights the potential health benefits of Trianthema portulacastrum the bio name, commonly known as Desert Horse Purslane or Giant Pigweed. Here’s an abstraction of the key information regarding the nutrients and bioactive compounds found in this plant


Desert Horse purslane (Trianthema portulacastrum) is a nutrient-rich plant that offers a range of essential vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds. Here are some of the key nutrients found in horse purslane:

 Desert Horse purslane contains various antioxidants, which help protect the body from oxidative stress and may contribute to overall health.

Vitamin C:  Known for its antioxidant properties, vitamin C is important for immune function and skin health.
Vitamin A:   Essential for vision, immune function, and skin health.

Manganese:   Important for bone health, metabolism, and antioxidant defense.
Magnesium:   Plays a role in muscle and nerve function, blood sugar regulation, and bone health.
Phosphorus:   Essential for the formation and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.

Desert Horse purslane is a good source of dietary fiber, which promotes digestive health and helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

 Provides a source of carbohydrates, which are the body’s primary energy source.

Fatty Acids:
While specific fatty acid content can vary, some plants, including purslane, may contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health.

It’s important to note that the exact nutrient composition can depend on factors such as soil quality, growing conditions, and plant maturity. Including horse purslane in a balanced and varied diet can contribute to overall nutritional intake. If you have specific dietary concerns or requirements, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian.

Desert horse purslane
desert horse purslane

Images are from my garden and every time I pluck this I think of this as a weed. Then, when I started writing my blog and started to discover the leaves that are healthy and can be consumed by all. Then an old Lady was picking all the weeds I threw out. When enquired she said My son has a stone in his stomach, and instead of wasting money if he eats an alternative day his stone will vanish. I was bit surprised and got every thing on DESERT HORSE PURSLANE. How clumsy fool I was.


The health benefits of Desert Horse  (Giant Pigweed) are attributed to its rich array of bioactive compounds. While it’s important to note that individual responses to herbal remedies may vary, the following potential health benefits have been suggested based on the available literature:

Antioxidant Properties: Desert Horse purslane is rich in antioxidants, which can help neutralize free radicals in the body. This may contribute to cellular health and reduce oxidative stress.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects: The plant exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, which could be beneficial in managing conditions associated with inflammation, such as arthritis or inflammatory disorders.
Anti-Infective Activity: Desert Horse has shown potential in combating infections, suggesting antimicrobial or antiviral properties. This means that it will support and defend your immune system.

Analgesic (Pain-Relieving) Effects: The plant may have analgesic properties, providing relief from pain. This could be particularly relevant for conditions involving discomfort or pain.

Hepatoprotective (Liver-Protecting) Activity: Studies indicate that T. portulacastrum may help prevent and ameliorate liver damage, suggesting a potential role in supporting liver health.

Nephroprotective (Kidney-Protecting) Effects: The plant has been associated with protective effects on the kidneys, indicating a potential role in maintaining kidney health.

Metabolic Health Benefits: T. portulacastrum shows promise in managing conditions like hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hyperlipidemia (elevated lipid levels), suggesting potential benefits for metabolic health.

Cancer Prevention: Emerging research suggests that the plant may have anti-cancer properties. While more studies are needed, the findings indicate a potential role in the prevention or adjunct treatment of certain types of cancer.

Traditional Medicine Uses: Desert Horse has been traditionally used in Indian medicine for a variety of health issues, attesting to its historical significance in traditional healing practices.

Vegetable Nutrition: In addition to its medicinal uses, T. portulacastrum is consumed as a vegetable in some Asian regions. As a part of the diet, it may contribute essential nutrients and dietary fiber.
It’s crucial to approach the use of T. portulacastrum or any herbal remedy with caution and consult with healthcare professionals, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking medications. While the plant shows promise in various health aspects, more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms and establish standardized recommendations for its use.

Desert Horse Purslane Health Elixir

– 200 to 250 grams of fresh Desert Horse Purslane leaves, washed and chopped
– 8 to 10 shallots, crushed
– 6 to 8 garlic pods, crushed
– 1 medium-sized tomato, diced as desired
– 2 to 3 green chilies, crushed
– Curry leaves and coriander leaves chopped
– 10 to 15 peppercorns, crushed
– ½ teaspoon powdered cumin seeds
– ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
– Salt to taste
– For Tempering: ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds, 2 to 3 red chilies cut into 3 pieces


 an earthen pot (or any vessel), heat two tablespoons of oil over a flame.

As soon as the oil becomes hot, add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the red chilies and fry for 30 seconds.

Add the crushed shallots and fry for a minute or two. Then, add the crushed garlic and fry for an additional minute. Introduce the chopped tomato and fry for another minute or two.

Pour ¾ litre of water into the pot and bring it to a boil.

 As the water begins to boil, add the chopped Desert Horse Purslane leaves, turmeric powder, cumin powder, and crushed peppercorns. Allow the mixture to boil until it reduces by 100 ml.

 Add curry leaves and coriander leaves, letting it boil for an additional minute.

 Your nutritious elixir is now ready. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. The goal is to avoid overcooking; we’re merely cooking to eliminate the raw smell. Consume this elixir every other day and observe the positive changes.

Enjoy the health benefits of this Desert Horse Purslane concoction!

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