Portulaca Oleracea Extract

Ingredient: Purslane Extract

INCI: Portulaca Oleracea Extract

Sources: Latin America, Europe and the Middle East

Our rating: GOOD

What is Portulaca Oleracea Extract?

Purslane is a succulent plant that can be found in many countries as it is easy to cultivate. Known in China as ma chi xian, the plant is mixed with garlic and yogurt and served as a side dish mixed in the Middle East.

It is a standard ingredient in “fattoush“ – a bread salad that originated from Lebanon where farmers would fry leftover pita scraps in olive oil with vegetables and herbs. Its leaves are rich in linolenic acid, α-tocopherol, omega-3 fatty acids and other important nutrients such as vitamins A, B1, B2 and niacinamide.

Benefits of Portulaca Oleracea Extract:

Portulaca oleracea is rich in antioxidants that fight free radicals that damage DNA and cause skin cell death. Free radicals contribute to aging by breaking the skin’s natural protective barrier. Antioxidants like vitamins A, B1, B2 and C in purslane extract neutralize free radicals and prevent the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

When cells are damaged by UV rays, tyrosinase enzyme oxidizes tyrosine (a non-essential amino acid produced by the body that helps organs regulate and secrete hormones) resulting in hyperpigmentation. Purslane extract inhibits tyrosinase enzyme from oxidizing tyrosine amino acid and prevents the synthesis of melanin pigments. This protects the skin against photocarcinogenesis – the formation of cancer cells by light.

Portulaca oleracea is also used to treat people with psoriasis – a skin disease where skin cells renew ten times faster than normal. The cells die as soon as they reach the skin’s surface causing raised, red plaques covered with white scales. Psoriasis affects 2–4% of the global population and there is no cure for it yet.

Studies show that the combination of purslane extract and calcipotriol – a form of vitamin D –- reduces transepidermal water loss and reverses keratinocytes differentiation and skin barrier dysfunction in psoriasis. This makes the plant suitable to be used as an adjuvant therapy for psoriatic patients.

Side Effects & Toxicity:

An extremely safe ingredient, portulaca oleracea has no known toxicity in general use and is shown to be non-irritating and suitable for sensitive skin.

Editor’s Note:

Dr. Artemis Simopoulos, president of the Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health in Washington, purslane is “a miracle plant” as it has the highest level of Omega-3 fatty acids than any other green plant.

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