Foxtail Millet

Setaria italica - (L.)P.Beauv.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Seed.

Seed - cooked. It can be eaten as a sweet or savoury food in all the ways that rice is used, or ground into a flour and made into porridge, cakes, puddings etc. The seed can also be sprouted before it is used, when it will become somewhat sweeter. A nutritional analysis is available.

Medicinal Uses

Appetizer; Astringent; Digestive; Diuretic; Emollient; Refrigerant; Stomachic.

The germinated seed of yellow-seeded cultivars is astringent, digestive, emollient and stomachic. It is used in the treatment of dyspepsia, poor digestion and food stagnancy in the abdomen. White seeds are refrigerant and used in the treatment of cholera and fever. Green seeds are diuretic and strengthening to virility.


Seed - sow in spring in situ and cover the seed twice it's diameter. Germination is usually quick and good. Each plant should be at least 10 cm apart for maximum head size. Harvest each head as it goes orange. Try going through once a week and picking, or oftener if you're trying to get in before the grasshoppers.