genus Amaranthus, commonly known as pigweed, has approximately 60 species
(Amaranthus). The assorted species are classified as weeds and grow in full
sun and moist soil (Redroot). Pigweed is native to Central America but is
found all over North America (Redroot). It grows annually in the summer and
is killed by frost. Pigweed is usually between two and four feet tall but
can grow to be six and a half feet tall in some areas (Redroot). Pigweed grows
in central stems with oval leaves, small green spiked flowers, and small rounded
black seeds (Redroot). The plant is edible. The leaves are eaten raw like
spinach or used for tea (Amaranth). The seeds are ground into flour, used
for gruel, roasted into a beverage, and fermented into beer and have an extremely
high in calcium, protein, and fiber (Amaranth). Medicinal oil can be made
from pigweed (Amaranth). This oil is used as an ointment for burns, wrinkles,
rashes, acne, and hives (Amaranth). The oils can also be used to sooth stomachs,
relieve colon inflammation, and to stop hemorrhages, diarrhea, and excessive
menstrual bleeding (Amaranth). Pigweed is also eaten by livestock and used
in ceremonies related to the heart or blood (Amaranth).
Amaranth. Kundlai- Tantra Herbal Lecture Series. Electronic Document. http://www.covencentral.com/html/ccamaranth1.html
Amaranthus. . 2003. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services plants profile.
Electronic Document. http://plants.usda.gov/cgi_bin/plant_profile.cgi?symbol=AMARA
accessed on 3/4/2003
Redroot Pigweed: Amaranthus retroflexus. Virginia Tech Weed Identification
Guide. Electronic Document. http://www.ppus.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/amare.htm
Copyright 2003 Northern Arizona University.
page was authored by Megan Mullen