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Lamb's Quarters

  • Chenopodium album L.
  • Goosefoot family



Common Names

herbsHui-t'iao (Chinese name)
herbsPigweed
herbsWhite goosefoot
herbsWild Spinach


Parts Usually Used

Leaves


Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Lamb's quarter is an erect, annual weed, 1-3 feet high; the stem often mealy, red-streaked. Leaves somewhat diamond-shaped, coarsely toothed; mealy white beneath. Flowers greenish-white, on densely flowered spikes, inconspicuous; in clusters; June to October.


Where Found

Found in gardens, fields, waste places. Throughout the United States.


Medicinal Properties

Stomachic, antiscorbutic


Biochemical Information

Phosphorus, iron, calcium, vitamins A, B2, Niacin, and C


Legends, Myths and Stories

This weed found in most gardens makes a good spinach substitute. The young tops are pinched off and steamed in a small amount of water. The nutritional value is greater than spinach, and the flavor is similar. Foliage and seeds are edible.

Although discarded by most Americans, not so the Native Americans. Lamb's Quarters are a favorite among and gathered by Navajos, the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, all the tribes of Arizona, the Diggers of California, and the Utahs. Boiled as an herb alone, or with other foods, large quantities are also eaten in the raw state.


Uses

Native Americans ate the leaves to treat stomachaches and prevent scurvy. Cold tea used for diarrhea. Leaf poultice used for burns and swellings. Fold remedy for vitiligo, a skin disorder.


Nutrient Content

Phosphorus, iron, calcium, vitamins A, B2, Niacin, and C

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