ABSTRACT The Portulaca oleracea L. (Portulacaceae) is a cosmopolitan species with a wide range of biological activities, including antioxidant and neuroprotective actions. We investigated the effects of P. oleracea extracts in a 6-hydroxydopamine rat model of Parkinson's disease, a debilitating disorder without effective treatments. Chemical profiles of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of whole plant were analyzed by thin layer chromatography and the antioxidant activity was assessed by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrilhidrazila method. Male Wistar rats received intrastriatal 6-hydroxydopamine and were treated with vehicle or extracts (oral, 200 and 400 mg/kg) daily for two weeks. The behavioral open field test was conducted at days 1 and 15. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed 4 weeks after surgery to quantify tyrosine-hydroxylase cell counts in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Extracts presented antioxidant activity in concentrations above 300 µg/kg. The chromatographic analysis revealed the presence of Levodopa, alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, terpenoids and polysaccharides. Both extracts improved motor recovery 15 days after lesion and protected from tyrosine-hydroxylase cell loss after 4 weeks, but these effects were more evident for the aqueous extract. Because the dopamine precursor is present, in addition to antioxidant compounds and neuroprotective effects, P. oleracea can be considered as potential strategy for treating Parkinson's disease.