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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 925631, 11 pages
Review Article

Portulaca oleracea L.: A Review of Phytochemistry and Pharmacological Effects

1Key Laboratory of Standardization of Chinese Herbal Medicines of Ministry of Education, Pharmacy College, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 610075, China
2Central Laboratory, Shanghai Seventh People’s Hospital, Shanghai 200137, China
3Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China
4Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China
5School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Faculty of Science, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 3AF, UK
6Department of Pharmaceutical Botany, School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China

Received 15 September 2014; Accepted 31 December 2014

Academic Editor: Gail B. Mahady

Copyright © 2015 Yan-Xi Zhou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Portulaca oleracea L., belonging to the Portulacaceae family, is commonly known as purslane in English and Ma-Chi-Xian in Chinese. It is a warm-climate, herbaceous succulent annual plant with a cosmopolitan distribution. It is eaten extensively as a potherb and added in soups and salads around the Mediterranean and tropical Asian countries and has been used as a folk medicine in many countries. Diverse compounds have been isolated from Portulaca oleracea, such as flavonoids, alkaloids, polysaccharides, fatty acids, terpenoids, sterols, proteins vitamins and minerals. Portulaca oleracea possesses a wide spectrum of pharmacological properties such as neuroprotective, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiulcerogenic, and anticancer activities. However, few molecular mechanisms of action are known. This review provides a summary of phytochemistry and pharmacological effects of this plant.