Botanical Name: Panicum psilopodium
Species: P. sumatrense
Panicum miliare auct
Common Names: Little millet, Witch grass, Chikui, Bara gondula.
Hindi: Moraiyo, Kutki, Shavan.
Bengali : Sama.
Tamil : Samai.
Gujarati : Gajro, Kuri.
Telugu : Samalu.
Marathi : Sava, Halvi, Vari.
Oriya : Suan.
Kannada : Saame
Habitat: Panicum psilopodium grows in the temperate zones of Asia: the Caucasus, China, East Asia and also in the tropics of the continent,India, Indochina and Malaysia. It can withstand both drought and waterlogging. It can be cultivated up to 2000 m above sea level.
Panicum psilopodium is an annual herbaceous plant, which grows straight or with folded blades to a height of 30 cm to 1 m. This species of cereal is similar in habit to the proso millet except that it is smaller. The leaves are linear, with the sometimes hairy laminae and membranous hairy ligules. The panicles are from 4 to 15 cm in length with 2 to 3.5 mm long awn. The grain is round and smooth, 1.8 to 1.9 mm long.
Edible Uses: Panicum psilopodium or Little millet is cooked like rice. Sometimes the millet is also milled and baked. The protein content of the grain is 7.7%.
Aqueous decoction of fresh root (ca. 10 ml) mixed with (ca. 1 gm) table salt is given to cure stomach-ache by the Lodhas.
Root paste (ca. 20 gm) mixed with a little camphor (ca. 2 gm) and “Haldi” paste (paste of Curcuma longa rhizome) is applied on skin
eruption by the Asur tribe.
The largest cultivation is in central India. Usually, it is planted using a seed drill. It can also if necessary be planted spoiled. The green plant can also be used in part as cattle feed. The straw can be mixed with clay or cement be used in construction.
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