Quail Grass/Celosia (Qing Xiang Zi)
Botanical Name: Celosia argentea, C. cristata
Known by several names (including: Quail Grass, Cockscombs, Velvet Flower, Logos Spinach and Celosia), this common ornamental plant is edible and its seeds make a wonderful medicine for treating the eyes and high blood pressure. The Chinese have used the seeds as a commonly used medicine for centuries and the plant’s leaves and young stems are well known throughout Asia and Africa as a wonderful vegetable for soups and stews.
Below is an overview of Quail Grass/Celosia (Qing Xiang Zi), combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Quail Grass/Celosia (Qing Xiang Zi).
Western Name: Quail Grass/Celosia
Also Known As: Celosia, Wool Flowers, Cockscombs, Silver Cock’s Comb, Logos Spinach, Soko, Velvet Flower
Organs/Systems: Large Intestines, Heart, Bladder, Uterus, Eye, Skin
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Hypertensive, Mydriatic, Hemostatic, Astringing, Parasiticide, Ophthalmic, Antibiotic, Anthelmintic, Antidiabetic, Aphrodisiac, Hepatoprotective. Seeds – Uterine bleeding, bloody stools, hemorrhoids. Leaves, Young Stems, Flowers – nutritious.
Pin Yin: Qing Xiang Zi
Also Known As: Celosia Seeds, Kunlun Grass
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Clears Liver Fire: red sore eyes, hypertension, liver yang rising, nosebleeds, bleeding stools, uterine bleeding. Clears Wind Heat/Improves Vision: red painful swollen eyes, cataracts, blurred vision, itchy skin, ringworm.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Leaves, Young Stems, Flowers, Seeds
Flavors/Temps: Bitter, Cold
Caution: Because quail grass has a mydriatic effect on the eyes (causing the pupils to dilate excessively) never use this herb if you have glaucoma.
History/Folklore: The Greek word that “celosia” derives from means “burning” and refers to the flame-like flower head.
It is a traditional food in Central and West Africa. In Nigeria it is cultivated as a nutritious leafy green vegetable called, “make husbands fat and happy.” As a grain, quail grass is a pseudo-cereal, not a true cereal. The leaves, young stems and young flowers are used for stew. The leaves are soft with a spinach-like flavor. They can be cooked with garlic, lime juice and olive oil as a tasty side dish.
The flowers help control diarrhea, spitting up blood, hemorrhoids, leucorrhea and atypical uterine bleeding. The leaves can be used in dressings to treat boils and sores and the seeds are good for “tight feelings” or fullness in the chest. The seeds are also used in poultices to help heal broken bones. The seeds are hypotensive and ophthalmic.
Current research indicates that celosia extract used in an alcohol solution may help heal burns and wounds faster. It has a history of being used successfully to treat skin sores, eruptions and mouth sores.
As a parasiticide it is very effective against Trichomonas. A 20% extract can cause the parasite to disappear within 15 minutes.
Add one cup of boiling water to 1-2 teaspoons of celosia seeds and let steep for 15 minutes, then strain. This tea can be enjoyed 1-3x daily to help treat vision or chest complaints.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is mainly used to treat swollen eyes, high blood pressure, nosebleeds and other conditions associated with Liver Fire rising. It is considered to have a powerful effect on getting rid of heat and dilating the pupils.
In Asian cultures, quail grass is considered an aphrodisiac.
In Chinese mythology the plant was a favorite of the goddess Nu Wa, who created humans from clay and saved the world from destruction. She is called the Guardian of Heaven and Earth.
Quail grass is a common ornamental plant in China and other places. It is very easy to grow and takes little care. It grows well where other plants succumb to mold and other diseases found in hot damp tropical areas.
Seeds – 15% Fatty oil, 30% Starch, Niacin, Potassium nitrate, Amino acids, Calcium.
Quail grass (Celosia) is called “Taiwan’s Lavender.”
Medicinally, the seeds are used raw. They are gathered in the fall when the fruits are ripe and then dried.
Typically 3-15 grams of the seeds are used for making tea or decoctions.
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