Amaranth in TCM:Explore the properties of Amaranth according to Chinese
Nutrition and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM):
Channels: LU, LI, UB, LV
Flavors: sweet, bitter
clears damp, resolves water accumulations
In terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Amaranth is known for its ability to tonify qi. It also helps to resolve dampness and resolve water accumulations.
In general the ancient Chinese medical texts cite that it enters the Lung, Large Intestine, Urine Bladder, and Liver. The flavor of Amaranth is sweet and bitter, and it is considered to be cool in temperature.
Amaranth was used by the Aztecs and is said to have the ability to ward off malnutrition. It has the ability to thrive in poor soil and during drought conditions. Amaranth is especially helpful for nursing or pregnant women, infants, children, or those who do heavy physical work.
Amaranth has similar properties to Quinoa. When used in combination with low-lysine grains such as wheat, Amaranth "presents a very high amino acid/protein profile, even higher than found in meats.... the value of this combination is... high levels... of both protein and calcium. Amaranth is expensive, at roughly 6 to 10 times the price of wheat." (HWWF 459)
Amaranth dries dampness and benefits the lungs. It is high in protein, fiber, amino acids (lysine and methionine), vitamin C, and calcium. It contains more calcium and calcium cofactors (magnesium and silicon) than milk. As a result the calcium from Amaranth can be utilized efficiently by the body. Amaranth is often used in breads, cakes, soups, and grain dishes. Amaranth can be popped like popcorn or toasted for a nutty flavor. Amaranth can also be sprouted and used in salads.