Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is a plant with an identity crisis. Europeans and Asians love to eat it in salads or cooked like spinach. Americans, on the other hand, generally consider it to be a weed (pigweed or hogweed) and go to great lengths to kill it.
But there’s another aspect of purslane that everyone—particularly those with diabetes—can appreciate, and that’s its benefit in controlling blood sugar.
Controlling Blood Sugar Levels With Purslane
A patented purslane extract (Portusana) has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity, enhance glucose uptake into the cells and slow the transport of glucose from the intestines into the blood. In a 12-week, placebo-controlled study, patients with type 2 diabetes who added 180 mg of this extract to their usual daily regimens had a 44 percent improvement in their hemoglobin A1C level compared to placebo, with an average reduction of 0.85 percentage points. Animal studies suggest that in addition to controlling blood sugar, purslane also curbs appetite and assists in weight loss.