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Rough Pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus)

A. chlorostachys.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Rough Pigweed
Amaranthus hybridus

Yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant[168].

  • Medicinal Use

    A tea made from the leaves is astringent[105, 222]. It is used in the treatment of intestinal bleeding, diarrhoea, excessive menstruation etc[222, 257].

  • Edible Use

    Leaves and young seedlings – cooked as a spinach, added to soups etc or eaten raw[46, 61, 62, 159, 183]. The nutritious leaves have a mild flavour[K].

    Seed – raw or cooked[22, 46, 61, 85]. Used as a cereal substitute, the seed is usually ground into a flour for use in porridges, bread etc. It is rather small but easy to harvest and very nutritious[K]. The seed can be cooked whole, and becomes very gelatinous like this, but it is rather difficult to crush all of the small seeds in the mouth and thus some of the seed will pass right through the digestive system without being assimilated[K].

  • Cautionary Notes

    No members of this genus are known to be poisonous, but when grown on nitrogen-rich soils they are known to concentrate nitrates in the leaves. This is especially noticeable on land where chemical fertilizers are used. Nitrates are implicated in stomach cancers, blue babies and some other health problems. It is inadvisable, therefore, to eat this plant if it is grown inorganically.

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow late spring in situ. An earlier sowing can be made in a greenhouse and the plants put out after the last expected frosts. Germination is usually rapid and good if the soil is warm[133]. A drop in temperature overnight aids germination[133]. Cuttings of growing plants root easily[206].
Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position[200]. Requires a hot sheltered position if it is to do well[K]. Plants should not be given inorganic fertilizers, see notes above on toxicity. Cultivated as a food crop in India[46, 105], there are many named forms[183]. This species has the potential, through crossbreeding, of imparting early maturity to the white seeded grain amaranths[183]. Most if not all members of this genus photosynthesize by a more efficient method than most plants. Called the ‘C4 carbon-fixation pathway’, this process is particularly efficient at high temperatures, in bright sunlight and under dry conditions[196].
Tropics. Naturalized in Europe[50].

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.