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Amaranth

  • Amaranthus hypochondriacus L.
  • Amaranthaceae
  • Amaranth family



Common Names

herbsFloramor
herbsFlower gentle
herbsFlower Velour
herbsLady bleeding
herbsLovely bleeding
herbsLove lies bleeding
herbsPilewort
herbsPrince's feather
herbsRed cockscomb
herbsSpleen amaranth
herbsVelvet flower


Parts Usually Used

Leaves


Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Amaranth is an annual herb; its stout, upright stem grows 3-4 feet high and bears alternate, oblong-lanceolate pointed, green leaves that have a red-purplish spot. Its flowers appear in August and grow in clusters. The flowers are not properly flowers, but tufts, with no smell, and of a reddish color. Bruised flowers will yield juice of the same color, dried they make good addition to flower arrangements. Flowering time is from August until frost. Seeds are a shiny black.

Other varieties: Smooth pigweed (A. hybridus); Pigweed or Green Amaranth (A. retroflexus). (also tumbleweed)


Where Found

Cultivated and occurs wild mainly in the central states of the United States.


Medicinal Properties

Astringent, hemostatic, nutritive, alterative


Biochemical Information

Not identified; probably small amount of tannin


Legends, Myths and Stories

The name is from the Greek, meaning "unfading".

The ash of amaranth has a very large salt peter content.

Some species of amaranth are known as pigweed. None of the species is poisonous and many are used as potherbs.


Uses

Taken internally for diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhage from the bowels, nosebleeds, and excessive menstruation. Can be used as a douche for leucorrhea, as a wash for skin problems, and as a gargle for mouth and throat irritations.


Formulas or Dosages

Infusion or decoction: use 1 tsp. leaves with 1 cup water. Take cold, 1-2 cups a day.

Gargle: 2 tbsp. to 1 quart water, simmered 10 minutes and used as a gargle 3-4 times a day. May be used as a douche for leucorrhea.

Tincture: a dose is 1/2 to 1 tsp.


Nutrient Content

High in vitamins A and C

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