« back to encyclopedia search results
Amaranth (Amaranthus Hypochondriacusa)
Plants of the genus Amaranthus with edible green leaves - also known as bayam, calaloo/callaloo, Chinese spinach - roots, flowers and seeds.
Most varieties need plenty of heat to grow and mature, and are cultivated throughout the West Indies, American Mid-West, India and the Far East. The root is called dasheen, and eaten boiled as a vegetable.
The seeds (grain) is also known as "Inca wheat" as it was a staple of the Aztec"s, due to its high protein content. In the U.S.A. it has become an addition to some breakfast cereals.
Medicinal uses: The crimson flowers have an astringent property and infusions of these can be effective in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery. They are also useful to reduce excessive menstrual bleeding. They are available from some health food shops and herbalists. See Alternative Medicine