Silver cockscomb can be stunning, yet a weed can be problematic. If not taken care of, it will spread rapidly and reduce its growth in other plants, decreasing the yield of other crops. It can also attract caterpillars, insects, moths, worms, and caterpillars that can cause damage to crops.

In the Karnataka region’s Chamarajanagara district in Karnataka, where silver cockscomb is known as ann soppu, the farmers of the Soliga tribe believe that managing the weed could cost up to Rs 2,000 for one acre (0.4 hectares) annually. However, they don’t think of silver cockscomb as to be a weed.

The Soligas are famous for their ancient ecological knowledge. Silver cockscomb is a nutritious green leafy vegetable that thrives on land left fallow and under drought-like conditions.

Also referred to as logos spinach, The weed is part of the family of Amaranthaceae, which includes essential economic plants such as spinach (Spinacia Oleracea), beetroot, quinoa, and beetroot. Celosia argentea refers to the plant in the scientific lexicon, kudu in Marathi, and panini keerai in Tamil.

Silver cockscomb can be a brief-lived 50-60cm tall plant with simple, spirally-arranged leaves around the stem, adorned with silky white or pinkish flowers. Because it is widely grown in America, Most farmers use the plant to feed their livestock. However, like the Soliga tribe, specific communities also eat it as leafy vegetables.

Healthy add-on

Female members from the Soliga tribe gather food-grade leaves as well as young silver cockscomb shoots and cockscombs to make massage, also known as a mash that is consumed just before the start of monsoon (April until June) to lower the body’s temperature and lessen stomach burn that often originates from indigestion.

Basamma, a 58-year-old Soliga tribal woman hailing from Annehola village in the Male Mahadeshwara Hills of Chamarajanagara, is a fan of eating the green during the wet season, which runs from July until December when the plant is in abundant quantities.

The silver cockscomb makes the Allsopp Sambar and is a favorite of her family, served with rice or roti and Ragi balls. It is believed that the Soliga community also makes use of the young shoots and leaves of the plant to prepare palya, a dish that is served with a side of rice which is cooked using either chickpeas, field beans, cowpeas, or Pigeon peas (see the recipes).

Researchers have, in recent years, discovered evidence for the advantages of this herb. In 2018 Researchers of Vijayanagara Sri Krishna Devaraya University, Ballari, Karnataka, studied the antibacterial properties of the silver cockscomb cultivated in the Koppal district in Karnataka and discovered that its root and stem extracts protect against pathogens that cause microbial infections.

The study was published in the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry. It is issued by the World Vegetable Center, a non-profit institute in Taiwan, to conduct research and develop vegetable products. Silver cockscomb leaves are abundant in nutrients like beta-carotene and folic acids and have “medium” levels of vitamin E as well as iron and calcium.

While it’s part of a similar family to spinach, it doesn’t present the same danger for kidneys. Spinach leaves are rich in calcium, oxalates, potassium, and vitamin K, which may affect kidney function and result in kidney stones.

In contrast, leaves of silver cockscomb contain lower levels of Oxalic acid (0.2 percent) and phytic acid (0.12 percent), according to the World Vegetable Center.

The plant is often used for traditional Chinese and Indian remedies to treat eye ulcers and eye diseases. Researchers from China examined studies on the plant and discovered that the seeds contain an edible oil effective in treating diseases such as bloodshot eyes or cataracts. This study appeared in Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia in the year 2016.

Although scientists are beginning to discover the advantages of silver cockscomb, people worldwide have become aware of its use and benefits. It is believed to have been developed in the tropical region of Africa. According to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK, silver cockscomb is abundant throughout South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, the US, and Australia.

The people of these regions utilize this as an indigenous plant for fodder and medicinal uses. Documenting and examining their ancestral knowledge could transform this weed into one of a superfood.



  • Silver cockscomb: 2 bowls with fresh leaves and young shoots, cut and cleaned
  • Garlic: 3 cloves
  • Red chilies dry: 1-3, in the order you prefer.
  • Onion 1. Small
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tablespoon
  • Oil 2 tablespoons
  • Tamarind: 1, lemon-sized
  • Salt: according to taste
  • Paneer: cubes of fried paneer are preferred


Cook the cooked tender leaves and shoots of silver cockscomb in salt and water. Mash the cooked ingredients with garlic before mixing it with the water from the tamarind. Mix the mixture with mustard seeds, oil, and chopped onions. Paneer pieces cooked in oil could be served with the curry. Serve with rice, roti, or Ragi balls.



  • Silver Cockscomb: 2 bowls with fresh leaves and new shoots, trimmed and cleaned
  • Field beans/chickpeas/cowpea/pigeon peas: 40 g
  • Garlic: 3 cloves
  • Red chilies: 1-2 depending on the preference
  • Onion 1. Small
  • Oil 2 tablespoons
  • Tamarind: 1 lemon sized
  • Mustard seeds: 1 tablespoon
  • Salt: To taste


Cook tender leaves and shoots of silver cockscomb along with the chosen legume or bean in a few cups of water seasoned with salt. Then drain the water. In a saucepan, cook the mustard seeds with chilies and oil, then onions and garlic. Add the cooked beans and leaves to the pan. Add the tamarind water, and cook for a couple of minutes. The palya is ready to serve as a side dish with any dinner.