Effects of Portulaca oleracea L. (purslane) on the metabolic syndrome: A review

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

2 Targeted Drug Delivery Research Center, Department of Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Clinical Research Unit, Ghaem Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Orthopedic Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

5 Laboratory for Microfluidics and Medical Microsystems, Bu Ali Research Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

6 Pharmaceutical Research Center, Pharmaceutical Technology Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is defined as a disorder with multiple abnormalities, including obesity, high blood pressure, dyslipidemia, and high blood glucose. MetS is the best-known risk factor for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), cardiovascular disease (CVD), and obesity. With the globally increasing prevalence of MetS and its related abnormalities, attention to safe and effective prevention and treatment of this complex disorder has been increased. In particular, most treatments have been devoted to using natural agents that could provide more reliable and effective medicinal products with fewer side effects. Portulaca oleracea L. (purslane) is an herb whose therapeutic properties could be found in some ancient medical books. Purslane has shown analgesic, antispasmodic, skeletal muscle relaxant, bronchodilator, antiasthmatic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, diuretic, antibacterial, antipyretic, and wound-healing properties. In addition, purslane’s hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic properties have been reported in different studies. The positive effects of this plant include reducing stress oxidative and inflammation along with the atherogenic index, improving insulin level and glucose uptake, decreasing lipid profiles, and ameliorating weight gain. These activities could reduce MetS complications. This review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of various in vitro, animal, and human studies regarding the effect of Portulaca oleracea on metabolic syndrome to better understand the underlying mechanisms of action for designing more effective treatments.


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