Foxtail millet facts

India and China are the major production centers of Foxtail millet. Until 17th century, Foxtail millet was cultivated as a summer crop. It is the fast growing crop which alters from 60-120 days. It is cultivated up to the altitude of 2000 m. It develops well where the rainfall (annually) which extends from 500-700 mm. It is sensitive to frost between 16-26°C. It does well in the soils from sandy to heavy clay but is not suitable to saline soil and water clogged. It prefers pH about the range of 5.5-8.3.

Name Foxtail millet
Scientific Name Setaria italica
Native Foxtail millet was first naturalized in China. The evidence shows the domestication of Foxtail millet in the Middle East and Europe which dates about 4000 years BP.
Common/English Name Chinese Millet, Foxtail Bristle Grass, Dwarf Setaria, Foxtail Millet, Hay Millet, German Millet, Giant Setaria Hungarian Millet, Japanese Millet, Italian Millet, Red Rala, Liberty Millet, Hungarian millet
Name in Other Languages Afrikaans: Giers, Boermanna;
Arabic: Dukhn, Durra;
Chinese: Bai Liang Mi, Liang, Huang Liang Mi, Xiao Mi, Qing Liang Mi;
Czech: Bér Italský;
Danish: Kolbehirse;
Dutch: Vogelgierst, Trosgierst;
Eastonian: Itaalia Kukeleib;
Finnish: Tähkähirssi, Italianpantaheinä;
French: Millet À Grappes, Millet D’oiseau, Millet d’Italie, Millet Des Oiseaux, Petit Mil, Panic d’Italie, Sétaire d’Italie;
Georgian: Gomi;
German: Kolbenhirse, Italienische Borstenhirse;
Hungarian: Ecsetpázsit Köles;
Assamese: Kaon,
Bengali: Syama Dhan, Kangu,
Gujarati: Ral Kang, Karig,
Hindi: Bertia, Kakni, Chena, Kalakangni, Kakun, Kang, Kamguni, Kanghuni, Kangu, Kangni, Kauni, Kirang, Kirakang, Koni,
Kannada: Aarike, Kaango Akki, Bilikorla-Hollu, Kongu, Navanaklu, Naoni, Navane, Priyangi Thene, Navani, Raia, Vavani,
Kashimiri: Shol,
Malayalam: Navana, Tena, Tauna, Tenayari, Tina, Tenna,
Manipuri: Hoop,
Marathi: Bhadle, Kaang, Chena, Kamg, Kangni, Kang, Kangu, Raala, Rala, Raale, Rale,
Sanskrit: Chinaka, Kangaka, Dhanyapriyangu, Kanguh, Kangu,
Kanguka, Kangunika, Kanguni, Pitatandula, Kanku, Priyangu, Shyamaka, Priyanguka, Syamaka,
Tamil: Alaitticam, Caivankam, Cai, Celumaipiri, Cakattiram, Cinattaniyam, Ceyamakam, Elan, Cittirattantulam, Kakkaram, Enam, Irati, Kanakavirutti, Karcepam, Kankur, Mancaltinai, Paintinai, Niriyam, Pantupocanam, Tenai, Pontukatinai, Tennai, Tinai, Thinai, Tirutti, Uttanam, Titti,
Telugu: Kanguni, Koralu, Kora, Korra, Nakka-Korra, Korralu;
Javanese: Juwawut,
Sundanese: Jawawut;
Italian: Panico, Panico Degli Uccelli, Panico d’Italia;
Japanese: Awa, Hie, Awami;
Embu: Mukobi,
Kikuyu: Mukobi,
Meru: Mukobi;
Khmer: Kuö Thpu;
Korean: dzo, Jo;
Laos: Khauz Fa:Ngz;
Malaysia: Rumput Ekor Kucing, Sekui, Sekoi;
Nepalese: Kaguno, Kaun, Kagunu, Kauni;
Norwegian: Stor Busthirse;
Bontok: Sammang,
Cebu Bisaya: Daua,
Igorot: Sabug,
Iloko: Bukakau, Bikakau,
Ivatan: Rautnokara,
Pampangan: Boroña,
Panay Bisaya: Daua,
Sulu: Turai,
Tagalog: Daua;
Persian: Gal, Arzun;
Polish: Wonica Ber;
Portuguese: Milho Painço De Itália, Milho Painço;
Romanian: Vulpii Meiul;
Russian: Morap;
Slovašcina: Muhvič Laški, Bar;
Slovencina: Mohár Taliansky;
Sotho: Lebelebele;
Spanish: Mijo De Italia, Moha, Mijo Menor, Panizo, dana, panizo comun;
Sri Lanka: Ten-Nai, Tanna-Hal;
Swahili: Kimanga;
Swedish: Kolvhirs;
Switzerland: Pabbio Coltivato;
Southern: Fang Haang Maa,
Central: Khao Fang;
Tibetan: Khre;
Turkish: Kunak;
Vietnamese: Kê;
Catalan: Cua de guilla, Mill italià, Cua de guineu, Panís, Trepó
Plant Growth Habit Annual grass with erect, robust culms
Soil Well-drained
Plant Size Height: 60-150 cm
Leaf Lanceolate; Length: 20-40 cm; Wide: 1.5-3 centimeters
Leaf sheaths Glabrous or pubescent, small, 1-3 mm
Leaf lamina Linearlanceolate; Length: 45 cm; Width: 2 cm, scabrous, glabrous
Panicle 6-40 × 0.5-5 cm, dense, erect or pendent, lobed
Spikelets Elliptic, ovate or subglobose, 2-3 mm
Flowering Season August-October
Fruit shape & size Caryopsis
Seed Convex oval or elliptical, light yellow-brown, rusty or black
  • Major millets
  • Pennisetum glaucum
  • Sorghum bicolor
  • Minor millets
  • Coix spp.
  • Eleusine coracana
  • Eragrostis tef
  • Panicum miliaceum
  • Setaria italic
  • Digitaria spp.
  • Echinochloa spp.
  • Panicum sumatrense
  • Paspalum scrobiculatum
  • Urochloa spp.
Major Nutritions Isoleucine 803 g (48026.32%)
Leucine 1,764 g (47727.27%)
Tryptophan 103 g (23409.09%)
Threonine 328 g (18636.36%)
Lysine 233 g (6967.70%)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.6 mg (50.00%)
Carbohydrate 63.2 g (48.62%)
Iron, Fe 2.8 mg (35.00%)
Protein 11.2 g (22.40%)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 3.2 mg (20.00%)
Health Benefits
  • Proper function of cardiac
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Enhance memory
  • Antioxidant
  • Cures muscle weakness
  • Brain health
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Nerve signals
  • Hair health
  • Skin health
Calories in 100 gm 351 Kcal.
Traditional uses
  • The grains are used as astringent and emollient for the treatment of choleric affections and diarrhea.
  • The seeds help to strengthen virility, treats indigestion, dyspepsia as well as rheumatism.
  • The white seeds help to cure fever and cholera.
  • The decoction made from Setaria oil and bark of Acacia modesta is used as a tonic.
  • In India, it is used to promote vigor and treats bone fractures.
  • The cooked grains act as a cure for diarrhea.
  • The external application of paste helps to treat swellings.
  • The decoction made from the whole plant is effective for rheumatism and reduce the pains.
  • The seeds treat diabetes.
  • It is combined with cow’s curd in order to treat measles.
  • The sensitive people might be allergic to Foxtail millet.
  • It should be consumed in limited quantity.
How to Eat
  • Seed are eaten as a savory or sweet food.
  • The grains are cooked in milk or water.
  • The grounded seeds are used as flour that is used to make porridge puddings, cakes and bread.
  • The flour is used for making noodles.
  • It is combined with pulses.
  • It is used to make millet crisp rolls, mini crisp chips and flour.
  • It is also used to make wines and vinegar.
  • The sprouted seeds are eaten as vegetable.


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