Amaranthus spinosus

Species: Amaranthus spinosus

English Name: Spiny Amaranth

Chinese Name: 刺莧

Family: Amaranthaceae


Annual or perennial herbs. The stem is erect, green or somewhat tinged purple, 30-100 cm tall.  Leaves are simple, alternate, petioled, with a pair of sharp spines at the base of petioles. Flowers are unisexual or polygamous, arranged in axillary or terminal panicles. Utricles are oblong.

It can be found growing on wastelands, roadsides or grasslands near villages.

Preparation: Whole herb and root are used. They can be collected in the summer and autumn. Used fresh or sun-dried.

Properties: Sweet, bland in taste, cool in nature.

Actions and Indications: Clears heat, removes toxic substances, relieves hemorrhage. Indicated for enteritis, dysentery, hemorrhoidal bleeding, gastric or duodenal ulcerous bleeding, cholecysitis, cholelithes.


©2003 S.K. Chan et. al.

©2003 S.K. Chan et. al.

Photos used under a Creative Commons license


– Wu ZY, Raven PH, Hong DY (eds) (2003). Flora of China, Volume 5: Ulmaceae through Basellaceae. Science Press, Beijing, and Missouri Bot Garden Press, St. Louis