Amaranth, an ancient grain with a captivating and intriguing history, is not as well-known today as it should be, despite being rich in amazing nutrients that sustain life and enhance beauty. The Aztecs first cultivated this valuable grain hundreds of years ago and used it for food, medicine, and religious ceremonies. They even built statues of their deity using amaranth grain and honey, which were worshipped, broken, and distributed for eating. Unfortunately, this practice is the primary reason why amaranth did not survive as a staple. The arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors under Cortez in South America led to the outlawing of the cultivation of the grain as an effort to enforce Christianity upon the pagan natives, which led to the burning of all the amaranth fields in their efforts to eliminate the sacred grain from Aztec culture. As a result, amaranth was almost completely wiped out and largely escaped notice until the 1970s, when it was introduced to the USA and started to take root as a respected grain.
Amaranth oil, rich in squalene, is one of the most common lipids produced by our own skin and is a natural moisturizer. People living in particularly cold, harsh winter areas have used the oil for many years to keep their skin in good condition, preventing dryness and chafing of the skin when exposed to freezing temperatures. This oil is said to have the ability to slow down the effects of skin aging and the formation of wrinkles without irritating the skin at all. It can be added to many skin and hair care products without heating to great effect.
Amaranth oil also contains lysine, a rare amino acid that the human body does not produce naturally. When applied to the hair, it will protect its integrity and appearance by increasing calcium uptake efficiency, preventing excess shedding, strengthening hair follicles, and helping to prevent male pattern baldness.
Amaranth, also known as 'The Love-Lies-Bleeding Plant,' was used in the past to stem/slow the flow of blood from cuts and abrasions. It is said to have wound-healing properties due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory uses.
Amaranth has a pale yellow color with a bland earthy, slightly fruity vegetable oil smell and is known to relieve stress and stimulate the senses. Overall, amaranth is an ancient grain with a rich history that is deserving of more attention for its many beneficial properties.