Portulaca oleracea L.

Species: Portulaca oleracea L.

English Name: Purslane 

Chinese Name: 马齿苋

Family: Portulacaceae


Annual herbs, somewhat succulent, glabrous. Stem usually pale purple-red. Its leaves fleshy, flat, oblong-eliptic to obovate. Flowers are yellow, blooming between summer and autumn. Capsules are dehiscent by a lid.

Preparation: Whole plant is used. It can be collected in summer or autumn and used fresh or dried under the sun after it is steamed.

Properties: Sour in taste, cold in nature.

Actions and indications: Clears heat, expels damp, cools blood-heat, removes toxic substances. Indicated for bacillary dysentery, acute gastroenteritis, mastitis, hemorrhoidal bleeding, leucorrhea. External use for infectious and ulcerous disease of skin, eczema and herpes zoster.

©2003 S.K. Chan et. al.

©2003 S.K. Chan et. al.



Photos used under a Creative Commons license


– Chan Shek-Kiu and Wu Qi-Gen. Chinese Medicinal Herbs of Macao (Volume 1), Macao, University of Macau, 2003.