Survival Apothecary: Edible and Medicinal Uses for Amaranth

medicinal and edible uses for wild Amaranth

Amaranth is a plentiful plant that comes in many variations.

Although there are many different types of Amaranth, they all have the same structure which makes them easy to identify.

Amaranth has been used in traditional folk medicine for centuries and also eaten as a common staple.

It’s unfortunate that this nutritious vegetable has gone by the wayside and is seen as a weed.

How to Identify Amaranth

Amaranth stands erectly and grows anywhere from one to six feet high.

Redroot Amaranth

The leaves are stemmed and stretch out about 3 to 6 inches long. They are ovular in shape, are a dull green color and are rough and hairy. The edge of the leaves are wavy.

The flowers are tiny and grow in tight clusters which grow on a stalk in a pyramid shape.

The taproot is fleshy, long, and have a pink to red color.

Red Amaranth

The seeds are black, shiny and extremely tiny – 28,000 seeds only weigh a mere ounce! The seeds are distributed over the countryside by blowing winds.

Where To Find Amaranth

Amaranth can be found all over the North American continent, except for Alaskan tundra.

The plant will grow in rich soil and can be found in meadows, pastures, and along streams.

Amaranth is commonly mistaken for Pigweed since it likes to grow around pig pens due to the manure rich soil.

Spiny Amaranth

Pigweed is also edible and tastes as good as Amaranth.

Is Amaranth Edible?

Yes, all varieties of Amaranth makes great fodder for salads and tastes delicious.

The leaves have a spinach-like taste and texture.

Slender Amaranth

Amaranth seeds are a quinoa-like grain and can be eaten like a porridge, popped like popcorn, and used to thicken soups.

Benefits and Uses for Amaranth

Amaranth Supplement

Amaranth has more iron than any green vegetable on the market, except for parsley. This plant packs 4 grams of iron per 100 grams It’s a healthy source of iron for those who are deficient and for most women.

The plant also boasts a whopping 80 gram serving of vitamin C in a 100 gram serving.

Amaranth Tea

Amaranth has strong astringent properties that has been used to treat open wounds and sores. It can also aid in healing ulcers. A mouthwash of simmered Amaranth can treat canker sores, sore throat, bleeding and ulcerated gums.

Amaranth tea can also be used to reduce heavy menstrual flows and aid in stopping hemorrhaging.

Strong decoctions were used by Native Americans to kill intestinal worms.

Use at least one teaspoon of dried flowers, leaves and roots and simmer in one cup boiling water.

Amaranth poultices

Poultices were used to reduce swelling and soothe toothaches.

I hope you have found my guide to Amaranth helpful! If you have any questions please post below.

Feel free to share with others through social media!

Regina C.

Survival Apothecary: Benefits and Uses For Angelica Plant

benefits and uses for Angelica plant foraged in the wild

Angelica is a prevalent wild shrub that grows all over the North American continent.

It has been used for centuries by the native Americans and early pioneers.

Although there are some poisonous lookalikes, it is fairly easy to rule them out.

Angelica makes for a great survival food as its mildly sweet stalks and roots taste like celery but even better and is full of starches and antioxidants.

The plant also has many medicinal properties.

How to identify angelica plant

Angelica has a purplish colored stalk that is stout and hollow.

The leaves are oblong and are coarsely toothed; there are three leaves at the end of each stalk.

The blossoms of the plant are greenish white and globe shaped.

The entire plant has a lovely aroma of store bought celery.

Angelica is stout and can grow to 8 feet tall. It can have rough oily veins.

Dangerous lookalikes

Poison Hemlock also has a purplish stalk and a whitish root. However, it’s fruits are oval with pale brown ribs.

The leaves of the Poison Hemlock are much smaller and toothier than Angelica leaves.

The easiest way to distinguish Poison Hemlock from Angelica is the smell of the root. Poison Hemlock has a slightly rotten smell to its root whereas Angelica has a wonderful celery smell to its roots and the entire plant.

Water Hemlock is another poisonous lookalike, Water Hemlock looks similar to Angelica and grows in the same areas.

The way to tell these apart are that Water Hemlock leaves are highly divided and featherlike. The root is whitish yellow and has no hairs. And again, Water Hemlock does not smell of celery at all.

If you are in doubt by any reasoning, leave the plant alone.

You can be assured that if the plant carries a beautiful aroma of fresh celery, even better than what you would smell in the store, you can reason that it is Angelica.

Where to forage for angelica

Angelica loves to grow by the ocean, streams and creeks. It can be found all over in North America.

This plant enjoys soil that is placed by water such as marshes, swamps, drainage areas, ditches, and moist mountain meadows.

Benefits and uses of angelica

Angelica Oil

The oil harvested from Angelica is a powerful remedy for treating colic and digestive gas.

Angelica Poultice

This herb was used as one of the oldest poultices known for pain in North America.

Crushed roots can be spread over sores and wounds.

Mash the roots of the plant and mix with pounded leaves of northern sagebrush. Heat the pulp and apply it to the opposite side of the body experiencing pain. This poultice can also be used to treat mild swelling.

The root poultice can also be used to alleviate arthritis, chest discomfort, and treat pneumonia.

Angelica Tea

Tea from the roots of Angelica plant was sipped on by native Americans three times a day to gain strength after being ill.

This root tea was also used for clearing kidney issues, including trouble with urinating.

The tea could also be used for stomach problems such as ulcers and sour stomach.

Tea of Angelica can also be used to gargle with as a mouthwash to freshen breath.

I hope you have enjoyed this addition to my survival apothecary series!

Please feel free to share this on your social media and leave a comment below.

Have a great day!