The Soliga tribal community uses silver cockscomb, which is often considered to be a weed but has been discovered to have advantages.
- Silver cockscomb is a short-lived 50-60 cm-tall plant considered as a weed, that bears simple, spirally arranged leaves around the stem with pinkish or silky white flowers.
- In Karnataka’s Chamarajanagara district the silver cockscomb is referred to as anne soppu.
- Also known as lagos spinach which belongs to the Amaranthaceae family, which includes economically important plants like spinach (Spinacia oleracea), beetroot and quinoa.
- The plant is known as Celosia argentea, kurdu in Marathi and pannai keerai in Tamil.
- It grows well even on fallow land and in drought-like conditions.
- Its leaves have lower levels of oxalic acid and phytic acid.
- Soligas use it as a nutritious leafy green vegetable, as it is high in nutrients such as beta-carotene and folic acids, and have vitamin E, calcium and iron.
- It is frequently used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine for treating eye diseases and ulcers.
- Soligas are an indigenous tribe of Karnataka,
- They reside in the peripheral forest areas near Biligiri Rangana Hills and Male Mahadeshwara in the Chamarajnagar district of Karnataka.