Annual growing to about 20 in (50 cm). Has arrow-shaped leaves and clusters of white or pink 5-petaled flowers.
Habitat & Cultivation
Buckwheat is native to central and northern Asia, and is cultivated extensively in temperate regions, especially the U.S. It is harvested in summer.
Buckwheat contains bioflavonoids, especially rutin, which is strongly antioxidant. Rutin strengthens the inner lining of blood vessels.
History & Folklore
Buckwheat’s French name, blé Sarrasin, alludes to its ancient Middle Eastern origins. The grain was either introduced to Europe during the Crusades (11th and 12th centuries), or it was brought to Spain by the Arabs several centuries earlier.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Used for a wide range of circulatory problems, buckwheat is best taken as a tea or tablet, accompanied by vitamin C or lemon juice (Citrus limon) to aid absorption. Buckwheat is used particularly to treat fragile capillaries (seen as small bruises with no apparent cause), but also helps strengthen varicose veins and heal chilblains. Often combined with linden flowers (Tilia spp.), buckwheat is a specific treatment for hemorrhage into the retina. Buckwheat is also commonly taken in combination with other herbs for high blood pressure.
Recent research has shown that the Chinese F. dibotrys and F. cymosum are immunostimulant. They are prescribed for chronic bronchitis, inflamed gallbladder, and pulmonary abscesses.
Interacts with blood-thinning medication. Do not take as a medicine if taking prescribed anticoagulants.