Portulaca oleracea L. in the treatment of patients with abnormal uterine bleeding: a pilot clinical trial

Phytother Res. 2009 Oct;23(10):1411-4. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2790.


Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) is a common cause of referral to the gynecology clinic. Portulaca oleracea L., commonly named purslane, is used in Iranian folk medicine to treat AUB. To verify this use, ten premenopausal women with AUB comprising menorrhagia, metrorrhagia, polymenorrhea and intermenstrual bleeding who had not responded to standard drugs and were candidates for hysterectomy participated in the clinical trial. Endometrial biopsies demonstrated the etiologies of AUB in six (60%) patients, fibroma; one (10%) patient, endometrial hyperplasia and one (10%) patient, endometrial cyst. Endometrial biopsies of two (20%) subjects were normal. The subjects took 5 g of purslane seeds powder in a glass of water every 4 h orally 48 h after the onset of menstruation for 3 days. The participants were requested to report the effects of seeds powder on the volume, duration and pattern of bleeding. Eight (80%) patients reported that the duration and volume of bleeding had reduced and their patterns of periods had normalized. The seeds powder was ineffective in two (20%) patients. One of the patients had endometrial hyperplasia and the other had fibroma. No adverse effects were reported. AUB did not recur in the patients responding to treatment for the duration of a 3 months follow-up. The results suggest that purslane seeds could be effective and safe in the treatment of AUB.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cysts / drug therapy
  • Cysts / pathology
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia / drug therapy
  • Endometrium / blood supply
  • Endometrium / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Leiomyoma / complications
  • Leiomyoma / drug therapy
  • Menstruation Disturbances / drug therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Portulaca*
  • Powders
  • Premenopause
  • Reference Values
  • Seeds
  • Uterine Hemorrhage / drug therapy*
  • Uterine Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / complications
  • Uterine Neoplasms / drug therapy


  • Plant Preparations
  • Powders