Amaranthus viridis (Bengali : Bon notay)

Botanical Name : Amaranthus  viridis
Family:    Amaranthaceae
Genus:    Amaranthus
Species:A. viridis
Kingdom:Plantae
Order:    Caryophyllales

Synonyms :   A. gracilis.

Common Names: Slender Amaranth or Green Amaranth.

Bengali name is Bon notey or notay sak. In Kerala it is called Kuppacheera.In Manipur it is known as Cheng-kruk
In Greece it is called vlita

Habitat : Original habitat is not very well known. But this plant occurs in Tropical  countries of the world.

Description:
Amaranthus viridis is a annual plant growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is frost tender. It is in leaf 10-Apr It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind, self.The plant is self-fertile.
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Cultivation:       
Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position. Requires a hot sheltered position if it is to do well. Plants should not be given inorganic fertilizers, see notes above on toxicity. Cultivated as a food plant in the tropics.

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Propagation:      
Seed – sow late spring in situ. An earlier sowing can be made in a greenhouse and the plants put out after the last expected frosts. Germination is usually rapid and good if the soil is warm. A drop in temperature overnight aids germination. Cuttings of growing plants root easily.

Edible Uses  :
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.

Leaves – cooked as a spinach. A mild flavour. The leafy stems and flower clusters are similarly used. On a zero moisture basis, 100g of leaves contains 283 calories, 34.2g protein, 5.3g fat, 44.1g carbohydrate, 6.6g fibre, 16.4g ash, 2243mg calcium, 500mg phosphorus, 27mg iron, 336mg sodium, 2910mg potassium, 50mg vitamin A, 0.07mg thiamine, 2.43mg riboflavin, 11.8mg niacin and 790mg ascorbic acid. Seed – cooked. Very small, about 1mm in diameter, but it is easy to harvest and very nutritious. The seed can be cooked whole, and becomes very gelatinous like this, but it is rather difficult to crush all of the small seeds in the mouth and thus some of the seed will pass right through the digestive system without being assimilated. The seed contains 14 – 16% protein and 4.7 – 7% fat.

Chemical Constituents: Leaves (Dry weight) 283 Calories per 100g
*Water : 0%
*Protein: 34.2g; Fat: 5.3g; Carbohydrate: 44.1g; Fibre: 6.6g; Ash: 16.4g;
*Minerals – Calcium: 2243mg; Phosphorus: 500mg; Iron: 27mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 336mg; Potassium: 2910mg; Zinc: 0mg;
*Vitamins – A: 50mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.07mg; Riboflavin (B2): 2.43mg; Niacin: 11.8mg; B6: 0mg; C: 790mg;
Medicinal Uses:
Amaranthus viridis is used as a medicinal herb in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, under the Sanskrit name Tanduliya.

A decoction of the entire plant is used to stop dysentery and inflammation. The plant is emollient and vermifuge. The root juice is used to treat inflammation during urination. It is also taken to treat constipation.

Other Uses:Yellow and green dyes can be obtained from the whole plant.
Known Hazards: No members of this genus are known to be poisonous, but when grown on nitrogen-rich soils they are known to concentrate nitrates in the leaves. This is especially noticeable on land where chemical fertilizers are used. Nitrates are implicated in stomach cancers, blue babies and some other health problems. It is inadvisable, therefore, to eat this plant if it is grown inorganically.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Amaranthus+viridis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaranthus_viridis

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