Edible Parts: Leaves; Seed.
Edible Uses: Coffee.
Seed - cooked. Used as a millet, it can be cooked whole or be ground into a flour before use. It has a good flavour and can be used in porridges, macaroni, dumplings etc. The seed is rather small, though fairly easy to harvest. It has a somewhat bitter flavour. Young shoots, stem tips and the heart of the culm - raw or cooked. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.
Reported to be preventative and tonic, barnyard grass is a folk remedy for treating carbuncles, haemorrhages, sores, spleen trouble, cancer and wounds. The shoots and/or the roots are applied as a styptic to wounds. The plant is a tonic, acting on the spleen.
The plant is sometimes used, especially in Egypt, for the reclamation of saline and alkaline areas.