Botanical and Common Names
- Family Polygonaceae
- Fagopyrum esculentum (Buckwheat)
- Eriogonum jamesii (Wild Buckwheat)
- Intake of large quantities of the plant causes photosensitivity.
Indigenous to central and northern Asia, it is now cultivated in many parts of the world, especially in the US. Buckwheat is an annual, growing to about twenty inches, with arrow-shaped leaves and clusters of white or pink five-petaled flowers. Wild buckwheat is a mat-forming perennial herb, with a tough, woody rootstock. The leaves are mostly basal and spatula-shaped, with a light green colour above and a white woolly appearance below. Tiny white or greenish-white flowers are clustered at the tips of the stalks, which extend above the leaves. It can be found on dry, sandy or clay soils.
The French name "blé Sarrasin" alludes to its ancient Middle Eastern origins.
It is thought that the grain entered Europe during the crusades (11th and 12th centuries) or brought to Spain by the Arabs several centuries earlier.
There are many species of wild buckwheat used for a wide variety of ailments. The Zunis used the root of the wild plant to cure a sore tongue. A piece was placed in the patient's mouth, where it was to remain for a day and a night. The completed treatment was followed by a ritual disposal of the used root. They also ingested the fresh root for stomachache, and soaked the root and used the liquid for sore eyes.
Both sexes of the Navahos used the wild buckwheat as a contraceptive.
- capillary and venous tonic
- flavonoids (mainly rutin and quercitrin)
- Leaves, flowers
- Recent research is showing that the Chinese varieties (F. dibotrys and F. cymosum) are immune stimulants and are prescribed for chronic bronchitis, inflamed gallbladder, and pulmonary abscesses.
Used mainly to treat itching skin and liver disease
It effectively treats headaches by increasing venous tone.
It is used to treat a wide range of circulatory problems, including fragile capillaries, varicose veins, and chilblains. It is best taken with vitamin C or lemon juice to aid absorption.
When combined with linden flowers, buckwheat is a specific treatment for retinal hemorrhages.
Buckwheat is commonly combined with other herbs for high blood pressure.
It is also valued for its ability to stabalize blood sugar.