Anyone here ever growth Amaranth?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by mjl, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. mjl

    mjl Well-Known Member

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    One of the things I tried new this year was amaranth - it's pretty, but now what? How will I know when it is ripe and will I need to treat this like wheat or can I dry and grind it without thrashing and winnowing? The other new item that I grew that survived is mung beans - they are rather entertaining!!

    Thanks in advance,
    Margaret
     
  2. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    There are many kinds of Amaranth. The information below refers to Amaranthus hypochondriacus, known as Love Lies Bleeding or Red Cockscomb. It is the one preferred to medicinal usage, and for the seeds.

    Collect leaves when the plant is coming into flower. They are then dried for infusions and extracts. The seeds are harvested when ripe. The best way to collect the seeds is to tie a small bag over the seedhead (I like to use pantyhose because it lets in the light and lets out the water). The seeds will simply fall into the bag when ripe enough, so collection is easy. Note: if you don't collect the seeds, you will soon have zillions of new plants - it self-seeds readily over vast areas, and can quickly become a weed. It also attracts grasshoppers in their swarms. You have been warned!!

    Cook leaves like spinach. Seeds can be popped like corn by placing 1 tablespoon seed in a dry pan and stirring till popped. It can be used as a cereal by combining 1 cup seed with 3 cups cold water or stock in a pan and bringing to the boil. Simmer for 25 minutes, covered. It has a very bland taste although some say it is nutty. The flour can be used in cookies, crackers and baking mixes to provide protein. The toasted seeds are added to soups, salads and stews.

    Seeds are used to treat diarrhoea and gastroenteritis. Once used to stop menstruation and for contraception, now used to treat excessive menstrual flow. Externally used to treat swellings, sprains and tick bites. A tea made from the dried flowers can be used to treat excessive menstrual bleeding. A tea from the leaves can be used to relieve stomach upsets.

    Warning: Avoid use if pregnant or lactating.
     

  3. Jimmy Mack

    Jimmy Mack Well-Known Member

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    to seperate the seed from the chaff, rub the plant material between you hands in front of a box fan ~ the seed will drop to the ground and the chaff will blow away
     
  4. nostalgia

    nostalgia Well-Known Member

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    The flowers can be dried beautifully. What I do is leave them upright in water (just a tiny bit of water in the very bottom of the vase) untill they are dry then remove them from the vase and gentle shake over a paper plate and the seeds will fall out easily. You will want to leave a long stem so that when the heads dry out you can cut off the part that rots and still have stem that is not rotten. Dry the seeds a few days then store them for next year.

    The flowers can be hung upside down by strings or placed in a vase with no water. Mine stayed a nice red for a long time, but did eventually fade to pink. Beautiful in a bouquet of dried flowers or hung from a shelf or curtain rod. :)