Evaluation of the biological activities of natural extract from some species of Portulaca grown in Tunisia

Morphological aspect of Portulaca (INRGREF, 2016)
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Purslane is known for her gastronomic and medicinal excellences effects. It is considered a miraculous plant with healing properties (Hwess.H et al., 2017). It is very used in traditional medicine, but not well exploited in the pharmaceutical industry. In order to raise awareness also on this wild plant, we have decided to compare many provenances of puslane, using maceration extraction.


Purslane is a cosmopolitan herb. It belongs to the family of Portulacacea. This plant grows mainly in North Africa, Middle East, South Asia Europe, America and Australia. It is used as vegetable or spice, raw or cooked. It has various medicinal uses and it is employed mainly as natural remedies for headache, bowel diseases, cardiovascular diseases (Uddin M. K. et al., 2014) and burn treatment.  To determinate the best biological activity, various parameters were compared between different Tunisian provenances.

Main results: 

Phytochimical analysis revealed that this plant has a wide range of phyto contents including flavonoids, polyphenols, and proteins. 

Evaluation of phytochemical and biological activities showed that:

  1. Total polyphenol content differs from one provenance to another
  2. Total flavonoids content differs from one source to another
  3. It was also reported that the flavonoids and polyphenols vary in different aerial parts of the plant (stem and leaves)
  4. The plant has many pharmacological activities including antioxidant activity
Main practical recommendations: 

This plant is highly consumed as natural remedies especially among elder people and for veterinary care activities. This plant is over-harvested in Tunisian forest areas which leads to the destruction of an important source of bioactive molecules with various uses and benefits for human consumption.  

Impacts and weaknesses: 

The water content of Portulaca oleracea is 90%. A very important quantity can be dried to get the needed quantity of dry matter.

Future developments: 

Roots Portulaca valorization is very interesting because there are studies which have shown their role in phytoremediation (Yadegari, M. 2018).


Ahouas Hayfa, Saloua Sadok, Lamia Hamrouni

E-mail : hwess-hayfa@hotmail.fr

Further information

Hwess H., Ayadi R., Mahouwachi W., Rizgui M., Hamrouni L.,2017. Notes ethnobotanique et ethnopharmacologique sur Portulaca oleracea (L.)

Wenzel G.E., Fontana J.D., Correa J.B.C., 1990. The viscous mucilage from the weed Portulaca oleracea L. Appl. Biochem. Biotechnol. (24/25), 341–353.

Yadegari M., 2018. Performance of purslane (Portulaca oleracea) in nickel and cadmium contaminated soil as a heavy metals-removing crop'. Iranian Journal of Plant Physiology 8 (3), 2447-2455.

Figure 1 credit: 

Hayfa Ahouas

Figure 2: 
Description of the Portulaca
Figure 2 caption and credit: 

Hayfa Ahouas