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Achyranthes bidentata - Blume.

Common Name Niu Xi
Family Amaranthaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards One report suggests that the root is poisonous[179].
Habitats Forest edges, the sides of streams and shrubberies[254]. Moist shady places at elevations of 1200 - 3000 metres in Nepal[272].
Range E. Asia - China, Japan, India.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Achyranthes bidentata Niu Xi


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Achyranthes bidentata Niu Xi
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Achyranthes bidentata is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in flower from August to September, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Seed
Edible Uses:

Seed - cooked. A good substitute for cereal grains in bread-making, they have often been used for this purpose in famine years[2, 177, 238]. The light brown oblong seed is about 1mm long[266]. Leaves - cooked[177, 178]. Used as a vegetable in the same manner as spinach[179].

Medicinal Uses

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Anodyne  Antiasthmatic  Antiinflammatory  Antirheumatic  Bitter  Digestive  Diuretic  Emmenagogue  
Odontalgic  Vasodilator

The roots, leaves and stems are widely used in Chinese herbal medicine[238]. The roots contain triterpenoid saponins, sitosterol and sigmasterol[283]. They are anodyne, antiinflammatory, antirheumatic, bitter, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue and vasodilator[238, 283]. They act predominantly on the lower half of the body and are used in the treatment of aching back and knees and asthenia of the lower limbs[176, 238, 254]. Research suggests that they can cause dilation of the cervix and so this herb should not be used when pregnant[238]. The herb is taken internally to treat hypertension, back pains, urine in the blood, menstrual pain, bleeding etc[238, 283]. It lowers blood cholesterol levrels and so is used in the treatment of atherosclerosis[283]. The root juice is used in Nepal in the treatment of toothache[272]. This juice is also used in the treatment of indigestion and is considered to be a good treatment for asthma[272]. The stem of the plant is used as a toothbrush that is said to be good for the teeth and is also a treatment for pyorrhoea[272]. The plant can be used fresh or dried. The leaves and stems are harvested in the summer and are usually crushed for their juice or used in tinctures[238]. The roots are harvested from 1 or 2 year old plants in the autumn or winter and usually dried and ground into a powder or used in decoctions[238].

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Other Uses

Insecticide  Teeth

Two insect-moulting hormones are found in the roots[174]. Can this have a practical application as an insecticide? The stem of the plant is used as a toothbrush that is said to be good for the teeth and is also a treatment for pyorrhoea[272].

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a rich, sandy, slightly acid soil in partial shade[238]. This species is probably not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to at least -5°c[238]. When grown in a rich soil the roots can be up to 1.2 metres long[238]. Widely cultivated in China, especially in Henan Province, as a medicinal plant[238] and as a food plant[179].

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - sow late spring in a greenhouse. Germination should be fairly rapid, prick out the seedlings into individual pots of fairly rich soil when they are large enough to handle. It is probably wise to grow this plant on in the greenhouse for its first winter, planting it out into its permanent position in late spring after the last expected frosts.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Achyranthes asperaDevil's HorsewhipPerennial0.9 -  LMHSNM23 
Achyranthes faureri Perennial0.9 -  LMSNM11 
Achyranthes japonicaJapanese Chaff FlowerPerennial1.0 -  LMSNM03 

 

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Author

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Botanical References

74238266

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