Foxtail millet health benefits, uses and side effects

Foxtail millet is an annual grass with a slender, erect stem and is about 90-150 cm when it grows complete. The leaf is narrow and flat; the inflorescence is cylindrical and dense. The leaf blade is wide-lanceolate and long-acuminate with serrated edges. Here, we will talk about foxtail millet health benefits and side effects.

Foxtail millet health benefits, uses and side effects

The panicles are bristly 8-32 cm long and arching to the tip. Each of the short, branching stalks bears two bisexual flowers that have spikes and bristles. The seeds are small, convex, and remain enclosed within the inner glum and its palea.

Common name

The common name for this is thinai. It also has the names Setaria italica, kambankorai, Chinese millet, Italian millet, and kakun.

Botanical name and family of Foxtail millet

The botanical name is Setaria italica. It belongs to Poaceae family.

Geological places where Setaria italica plant grows

It is native to China. You find it cultivated much in Russia, North Africa, China, and India. In India, it grows in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan.

Foxtail millet health benefits for curing diseases

Foxtail millets have good nutritional benefits due to which people consume them so much. They have phytochemicals that include phytic acid that helps lower the cholesterol level. It also has phytate believed to have links to cancer risk.

  • Appetizer: It helps to improve your appetite. You can have a small roti made from Foxtail millet before your main meal to improve your appetite.
  • Astringent: This is due to the high amount of tannins that is present in the Setaria italica. The dryness occurs due to the drying of the mucous membranes of the mouth.
  • Diuretic: It helps improve the action of the bladder. If you have problems passing urine, then include the Setaria italica in your diet. You will soon have relief. This is one of the best foxtail millet health benefits.
  • Emollient: One of the benefits of using Setaria italica is that it makes the skin soft. You can improve the skin tone by including it in your meal.
  • Refrigerant: Another good use of the Foxtail millet is that you can use it to store heat. It helps to warm the body and keep it going through the cold weather.
  • Stomachic: By having that often, you improve the condition of the stomach. This means you have better digestive functions, good motion, and a great appetite. It removes all problems associated with poor digestion and gas.
  • Good nutrient content: The bran layer of the millets has B-complex vitamins along with other micronutrients. It has calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and iron. Also, it is rich in proteins.
  • Abdominal diseases: It helps to remedy several abdominal complications such as ulcerative colitis treatment, constipation, abdominal pain, and gastroenteritis. It cleans the GI tract and helps improve the appetite. This is one of the best foxtail millet health benefits.
  • Anorexia: People who fear to gain weight can substitute Foxtail millet in their diet instead of rice and stand to gain. The German Millet supplies nutrition without adding to the calories.
  • Burns: You get relief if you apply its paste to the skin where you have burn wounds. It provides fast relief and assuages the wound.
  • Antioxidant: A few phenolics and tannins act as antioxidants and remove free radicals. This helps prevent infections and diseases.
  • Alkaline: Due to its alkaline nature, people who use Foxtail millet in their diet will have better pH balance and digestion.
  • Anti-diabetic: The thinai helps to mitigate the problems associated with diabetes. The high fiber content helps fight against hyperglycemia. This fiber is used to prevent high cholesterol levels in the blood.
  • Good fiber content: This helps in the movement of the food through the alimentary canal. It removes leftover food and prevents the formation of gas. Thereby, the health of the digestive canal remains augmented.
  • Augment the nervous system: German millet helps to strengthen the nervous system. This makes the person calm and helps to improve his or her complete health.
  • Protect artery walls: It has a protective action on the walls of the blood vessel. It removes the plaque and strengthens the walls. This helps augment the health of the blood vessels.
  • A cure for diarrhea: Due to the high fibre content, this cereal is the best remedy for curing stomach problems. If you suffer from diarrhea, have some porridge made from it. This will clear your stomach and help stabilize it.
  • Minimize coronary blockage: By clearing the cholesterol and the plaque deposits in the blood vessels, that helps clean and rejuvenate the blood vessels. It removes all the blood clots and fatty deposits. This helps to improve the health of the blood vessels and the heart. Include in your diet to develop healthy blood vessels and coronary system.
  • Treat Dysuria: When you have pain or discomfort while passing urine, it may happen because of one of the many bladder complications. In most cases, it might be due to Urinary Tract Infection. Use of it helps to clear the infections in the bladder and improve your urinary system. You can overcome difficulties in urination by including Foxtail millet in the diet. This is one of the best foxtail millet health benefits.
  • Enhance spleen health: Improving the nutrient intake can enhance the health of the spleen. Drinking enough water will help to keep the spleen functioning well. It is one such that augments the working of the spleen. The spleen guards the body against infections from pathogens, viruses, and all foreign bodies. Taking care of your spleen is important for your good health. Include German millet in your diet to boost your spleen health. This is one of the effective foxtail millet health benefits.

Setaria italica rice

Side effects of foxtail millet

Some people may have irritation in the throat due to the husk of the millet. The foxtail millet suppresses thyroid function, so if you have hypothyroidism, you should avoid this millet.

This is due to the goitrogens. Cooking increases the effect of the goitrogens unlike the case of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli where cooking reduces the effect of the goitrogens.

Hypothyroidism can lead to fatigue, loss of hair, difficulty losing weight, cold hands and feet, and depression. You also see occurrences of renal calculi due to its consumption. If you see any adverse reactions, stop using the food item. Check with your doctor and then adjust your diet as needed.

Check all Foxtail millet health benefits and use per your need.


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Anoop Sharma

About Anoop Sharma

Anoop Sharma is an IT professional, freelance health writer and creator of He is passionate about helping others learn about health issues and their natural remedies, yoga and healthy food.

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