PRICKLY AMARANTH, Amaranthus spinosus


Latin name: Amaranthus spinosus

English name: Spiny amaranth, Prickly amaranth, Thorny amaranth

Sanskrit name: Tanduliuyah

Indian name: Kanta chaulai

Medicinal parts used: Seeds, Leaves and Roots

Amaranthus spinosus is an erect, branched, annual or perennial herb. The color varies from green to purple. The plant can be 30-60 centimeters tall with hard, straight and are paired with axillary spines.

Amaranthus spinosus is a pantropical and subtropical weed native to tropical America. In India, it is often cultivated and is very common in crowded, open habitats such as cultivated fields and roadsides throughout the country.

Therapeutic use

  • The plant is astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient and febrifuge. It is used internally in the treatment of internal bleeding, diarrhoea and excessive menstruation.
  • It is also used in the treatment of snake bites.
  • Externally, it is used to treat ulcerated mouths, vaginal discharges, nosebleeds and wounds. The plant can be used fresh or it can also be harvested when coming into flower and dried for later use.
  • The root is emmenagogue and galactogogue. It is used in the treatment of menorrhagia, gonorrhoea, eczema and colic.
  • The seed is used as a poultice for broken bones.
  • The leaves of the plant are applied as a poultice to relieve bruises, abscesses, burns, wounds and inflammations.
  • The roots and leaves are boiled and given to children as a laxative.
  • According to the practitioners of Ayurveda, the root is used to treat uterine diseases.
  • A decoction of amaranthus spinosus is considered useful for the improvement of digestion.

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