A Review on Portulaca oleracea (Nonia bhaji): A wonderful weed of Chhattisgarh
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The wide geographical and climatic diversity of Chhattisgarh provides a repository of valuable indigenous system of medicine. Portulaca oleracea (Nonia bhaji) is one of the many wild herbs used by the tribals as a source of nutrition and medicine. P. oleracea is rich in many flavanoids, alkaloids, terpenes, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is usually found in oil and fat of fishes but not normally present in plants. It exhibits a wide range of pharmacological effects, including antibacterial, antiulcerogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and wound-healing properties. Its medicinal value is known from its use for treatment of burns, headache, and diseases related to the stomach, intestine, liver, cough, breathing issues and arthritis. Its use as a purgative, cardiac tonic, emollient, muscle relaxant, and anti-inflammatory and diuretic treatment makes it important in herbal medicine. Portulaca has also been used in the treatment of osteoporosis and psoriasis. It is a drought-and salt-tolerant annual plant. Melatonin is an additional ingredient in Portulaca that may contribute to its high nutritional value and antioxidant properties. Inspite of being a rich source of nutrition and medicine, it is one of the most overlooked herb which deserves conservation and further research.
Chhattisgarh, Portulaca oleracea, omega-3 fatty acids, melatonin, conservation.