Herb: European Millet

Latin name: Panicum milliaceum

Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)

Medicinal use of European Millet:

The seed is cooling and demulcent. The cooked seed is applied as a poultice for abscesses, sores etc whilst juice from chewed seeds is applied to children's sores. The seed is also incinerated and mixed with oil then used as a poultice that is said to heal sores without leaving a scar. A decoction of the root is used as an antidote to poisoning by Momordica spp, it is also used to treat haematuria in women and as a bath for skin eruptions.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Waste places in Britain.

Edible parts of European Millet:

Seed - cooked as a whole grain or ground into a powder and used as a flour for making breads, pasta and fermented foods such as "tempeh". A nutty flavour, it is more easily digested than many cereals because its high alkaline content counteracts acids. It is also free of gluten and so, although bread made from it does not rise, the cereal is suitable for people with coeliacs disease or other gluten intolerances. The seed can also be sprouted and added to salads, soups etc. The seed contains about 10% protein, 4% fat.

Other uses of the herb:

A starch from the seed is a substitute for corn starch (Zea mays). It is used for sizing textiles. The leaves are a source of fibre used in paper making.

Propagation of European Millet:

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within a week. Prick out the seedlings into trays or individual pots and plant them out after the last expected frosts.

Cultivation of the herb:

Waste places in Britain.

Known hazards of Panicum milliaceum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.