Uray is an erect, smooth, branched unarmed
herb, 30 to 60 centimeters high. Leaves are alternate, ovate, long-petioled, 4 to 10 centimeters
long, obtuse tip, usually notched, base truncate or decurrent. Flowers are very small, densely disposed, green, 1 millimeter long.
Sepals are 5, or 1 to 3, ovate to linear, often aristate. Inflorescences are terminal, axillary, simple or panicled, interrupted
spikes. Fruits are compressed, indehiscent or circumcised utricles.
Seeds are black or brown, orbicular.
Note: This herb differs from Amaranthus
spinosus (Uray) in the absence of spines on the stems.
- A common roadside weed on lowlands
at low and medium altitudes.
- Probably introduced.
- Probably originated from America.
- Found in all warm countries.
- The powdered leaves yield tannin,
some reducing sugar and resin, but no alkaloid.
- Studies yielded amino acids lysine, arginine, histidine, cystine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan.
- Study yielded spinosterol (24-ethyl-22-dehydrolathosterol) as major component along with 24-methyllathosterol 24- ethyllathosterol, 24-methyl-22- dehydrolathosterol, 24-ethyl cholesterol and 24-ethyl-22-dehydrocholesterol as minor components in sterol fraction.
- Yields flavonoids, rutin, and quercetin.
- Roots yield a steroidal component, amasterol ( 24-methylene-20-hydroxycholesta- 5,7-dien-3β-ol).
- Analysis of leafy vegetable per 100gm: moisture 81.8, protein 5.2, fiber 6.1, fat 0.3, vitamin C 178mg; minerals 2.8g (calcium 33.0 mg, phosphorus 52.0 mg, iron 18.7 mg.); amino acids (arginine, histidine, lysine, methionine, cystine, phenylalanine, leucine, isoleucine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, valine; and seeds with 14-16% protein and 4.7 to 7% fat.
· Similar to
· Emollient (leaves).
· Considered emollient and vermifuge.
- Traditionally used as anti-inflammatory, diuretic, analgesic, antiulcer, antiemetic, laxative.
- Considered antiproliferative, antifungal, antiviral.
· Harvest the root at any time of the year.
· Wash thoroughly, cut into pieces and sun-dry.
· The plant can be eaten as a vegetable.
Edibility / Nutritional
- Leaves and seeds are edible.
- Eaten as vegetable.
- The tops are rich in calcium and iron. The plant is a good source of
vitamins B and C.
- Study found it to be an excellent source of protein.
- The therapeutic properties and dosage are very nearly identical
to Amaranthus spinosus.
- Philippine Negritos apply bruised leaves directly to eczema, psoriasis and rashes.
- Poultice of leaves for inflammations, boils and abscesses.
- Use for acne and for skin cleansing.
- Infusion of plant has been used as a diuretic and galactagogue.
- Used for snake bites and scorpion stings.
- Decoction of plant used for dysentery and inflammation.
- In Ayurveda, used for treatment of diabetes.
- In India, stem used as
antidote for snake bites. Leaves used for scorpion stings. Traditionally
used for constipation, inflammation, eczema, bronchitis, anemia and
- In Nepal, infusion of
powdered seeds of flower used for stomach problems. Seeds also used
in pregnant women to lessen labor pains.
• Flavonoids / Rutin / Quercetin:
Study yielded flavonoids quercetin and rutin. Flavonoids possess biochemical
effects – inhibition of enzymes, hormone regulation, antimicrobial,
antioxidant and anticancer activities, among other. Av presents itself
as a good medicinal food. (3)
• Antiviral: Edible Nigerian vegetables were evaluated for virucidal potential. Extract from
four leaves, including A viridis, used as edible vegetables, were test
for antiviral activity. All the extracts showed dose-dependent antiviral
• Antiviral Protein / Amaranthin: A ribosome-inactivating antiviral protein, amaranthin, was isolated from AV.
• Antinociceptive / Antipyretic: Study of methanolic extract of the whole plant of Amaranthus viridis in mice reveals dose-dependent antinociceptive and antipyretic activities. (5)
• Pollen Grains / Allergenicity: Study concludes that airborne A. viridis pollen is the most prevalent pollen during August to November in the outdoor environment of Saudi Arabia, with a clear pattern of midday to early evening maxima. (6)
• Anthelmintic: Three plants belonging to the Amaranthacea family – A spinosus, A caudatus and A viridis, traditionally used as vermicides, were studied for anthelmintic activity using earthworms (Phretima posthuma). Study concludes all three plants possess potent anthelmintic activity compared to Piperazine.
• Antihyperglycemic / Hypolipidemic / Leaves: Study evaluated the antihyperglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of a methanolic extract of leaves in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Results showed reduction of elevated blood glucose level and lipid profile, similar to the standard drug glibenclamide. (10)
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study of various extracts of leaves were evaluated for anti-inflammatory activity in carrageenan induced paw edema and cotton pellet granuloma in rats. Results showed potent anti-inflammatory activity with significant dose-dependent reduction of edema induced by carrageenan. (11)
• Antihyperglycemic / Hypolipidemic / Stems: Study investigated a stem aqueous extract for antidiabetic and antihyperlipidemic effects in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Results showed decrease in blood glucose and dose-dependent modulated lipid profile changes in rats. (12)
• Hepatoprotective / Antioxidant: Study evaluated a methanolic extract of whole plant in paracetamol -induced hepatotoxicity. Results showed liver protection activity against paracetamol-induced liver damage. The hepatoprotection was attributed to its antioxidant property. (13)
• Cardioprotective / Amelioration of Isoproterenol-Induced Cardiac Toxicity: Study evaluated the antioxidant role of A. viridis against isoproterenol-induced oxidative dame in plasma and erythrocytes of rats. Results showed increase in antioxidant enzymes, reduced concentration of lipid peroxidation products. (15)
• Airborne Allergenic Amaranthus viridis Pollen: Amaranthus pollen grains are known to be highly allergenic and a potential cause of respiratory allergic diseases. Study reveals A. viridis as a major component of outdoor airspora in Saudi Arabia constituting a major percentage of total pollen counts in various regions. (16)