(Astragalus hamosus)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Astragalus hamosus
Leguminosae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The plant is demulcent, emollient, galactogogue and laxative[240]. It is useful in treating irritation of the mucous membranes, nervous affections and catarrh[240].

  • Edible Use

    Young seedpods – cooked[2, 105, 177]. They quickly become tough and fibrous[K]. The young seedpods are also used in salads. They have only a mediocre taste, but look very much like certain worms and so are used mainly for their novelty value[2].

  • Cautionary Notes

    Many members of this genus contain toxic glycosides[65]. All species with edible seedpods can be distinguished by their fleshy round or oval seedpod that looks somewhat like a greengage[85]. A number of species can also accumulate toxic levels of selenium when grown in soils that are relatively rich in that element[65].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow late winter in a greenhouse. Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water. If any seed does not swell up in this time then carefully prick it with a needle making sure that you do not damage the embryo, and re-soak for a further 24 hours. Germination usually takes place within 3 – 6 weeks at 13¡c[134, 200]. As soon as it is large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer.
Requires a dry well-drained soil in a sunny position[1]. Grows well in Cornwall[K]. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance and are best sown in situ[200]. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[200]. When removing plant remains at the end of the growing season, it is best to only remove the aerial parts of the plant, leaving the roots in the ground to decay and release their nitrogen. Many members of this genus can be difficult to grow, this may be due partly to a lack of their specific bacterial associations in the soil[200].
Europe – Mediterranean to Armenia, Ukraine and the Caucasus.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.