Survival Apothecary: Edible and Medicinal Uses for Amaranth

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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.

You may find my article about Wild Angelica useful.

Regina C.


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