Tender young leaves and shoots - cooked and used as a vegetable
Root - baked. Rich in carbohydrate and protein, though the flavour is bland and the texture sometimes woody.
Seed - cooked. It can be ground into a powder and added to cereals when making bread, cakes etc
There are no material uses listed for Boerhavia diffusa.
The roots are diuretic, emetic, expectorant, laxative and stomachic
. They are used in the treatment of asthma, oedema, anaemia, jaundice, ascites, anasarca, scanty urine and internal inflammation. They are also said to be an antidote to snake poisoning
. An alkaloid in the roots has been shown experimentally to produce a distinct and persistent rise in blood pressure plus marked diuresis
Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in the spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Boerhavia diffusa. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors at least in the milder parts of this country. It is hardy to at least -7°c in Australian gardens
but this cannot be translated directly to the British climate because our summers are cooler and our winters longer, colder and wetter. If the plant is capable of surviving our winters it is likely to need a sheltered very sunny position in a well-drained soil.
Most if not all members of this genus have the same edible uses
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
There are no interactions listed for Boerhavia diffusa. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.
Polycultures & Guilds
There are no polycultures listed which include Boerhavia diffusa.
This table shows all the data stored for this plant.
Material uses & Functions
Native Climate Zones
Adapted Climate Zones
Native Geographical Range
Root Zone Tendancy
? 1.01.11.2 Cribb. A. B. and J. W. Wild Food in Australia. Fontana ISBN 0-00-634436-4 (1976-00-00)
? 2.02.12.22.3 Ewart. A. J. Flora of Victoria. ()
? 3.03.13.23.3 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
? 4.04.1 Manandhar. N. P. Plants and People of Nepal Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-527-6 (2002-00-00)
? 5.05.15.2 Low. T. Wild Food Plants of Australia. Angus and Robertson. ISBN 0-207-14383-8 (1989-00-00)
? 6.06.1 Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T. Australian Medicinal Plants. ()
? 7.07.17.27.3 Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
? 8.08.18.2 Medicinal Plants of Nepal Dept. of Medicinal Plants. Nepal. (1993-00-00)
? Wrigley. J. W. and Fagg. M. Australian Native Plants. Collins. (Australia) ISBN 0-7322-0021-0 (1988-00-00)
? [Flora of China] (1994-00-00)
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