Fat hen Facts

Fat hen Facts
Fat hen, also known as lamb's quarter or white goosefoot, is herbaceous plant that belongs to the Amaranth family. It originates from Europe and Asia, but it can be also found across Africa, Australia and North America today. Fat hen thrives on the clayey, sandy and loamy soil and it can be frequently seen in the wastelands, lawns and gardens. It represents valuable source of food for humans and animals in Africa and Asia, while it is classified as noxious weed in most parts of Europe and North America.
Interesting Fat hen Facts:
Fat hen is tall plant that can reach 4 to 59 inches (rarely up to 118 inches) in height.
Fat hen has dark green leaves that are diamond-shaped with deeply serrated edges on the bottom part of the stem and lanceolate-shaped leaves with smooth edges on the upper parts of the stem. Bottom side of the leaves is covered with silver-white powdery substance. Leaves are alternately arranged on the stem.
Flowers of fat hen are also covered with powdery substance. They are small, grayish-green colored and arranged in elongated, loose panicles. Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Fat hen blooms from July to September. Success of pollination depends on the wind.
Seed of fat hen is enclosed inside the hairless pericarp. Fat hen produces two types of seed: small, black-colored seed, hidden inside the thick, rough or smooth coat, and large, brown-colored seed surrounded with thin, smooth coat. Each plant can produce from 10 to more than 160.000 seeds per season.
Fat hen propagates via seed.
Fat hen is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, B1, B2 and B3, and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.
Leaves and young shoots of fat hen can be used in human diet. They have sweet flavor and crunchy texture, especially when they are harvested before the blooming season.
Leaves of fat hen are often used for the preparation of salads, as a substitute for spinach or as an ingredient of various soups and stews. Seeds of fat hen are also edible. They can be consumed like a grain or ground into flour and used for the preparation of bread.
Chickens, pigs, sheep and birds on the farms like to eat fat hen.
Recent studies showed that fat hen contains substances with antioxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Fat hen can be used in treatment of toothache and intestinal parasites, for cleansing of the urinary tract and to boost immune system.
Light-weight pollen of fat hen can induce allergic reaction in sensitive individuals.
Based on some archaeological studies, fat hen is an ancient plant that originates from the Iron Age.
Fat hen completes its life cycle in one year (annual plant).

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