Tartary buckwheat (scientific name: Fagopyrum tataricum (L.) Gaertn; also known as Tartary buckwheat, duckwheat, India buckwheat, India wheat, green buckwheat, or bitter buckwheat, Chinese Pinyin: Ku Qiao Mai, Simplified Chinese: 苦荞麦), is a species of annual, erect, flowering, domesticated crop in genus Fagopyrum (buckwheat family, Polygonaceae). Found often in high mountain regions (usually from between 1,200 to 3,500 meters in elevation) in East Asia, Europe and North America, the plant can grow up to 70 cm tall. Tartary buckwheat is used as stomachic, sedative, blood circulation promoter, discutient and aperitive in traditional Chinese medicine (CTM) and widely adopted in treating different diseases and health problems, such as high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar.
Other simplified Chinese names for tartary buckwheat include: 菠麦, 乌麦, 花荞, 鞑靼荞麦, 荞叶七, 野兰荞, 万年荞.
2. Odour, Properties And Channels:
Tartary buckwheat is considered to have bitter and cold properties and to be associated with the kidney and large intestine meridians.
3. Uses, Health Benefits of Tartary Buckwheat & Medical Formulas:
3.1 Weight Control
Tartar Buckwheat contains 19 kinds of natural amino acids (up to 11.82%), in particular its rich arginine can boost levels of human growth hormone and nitric oxide which inhibits the synthesis of fat, glucose and glycogen in the body, and contributes to weight loss.
3.2 Blood Sugar
A research carried out by Harbin Medical University School of Public Health showed that the morbidity rate of high blood sugar from Tartar buckwheat production areas was only 1.6% compared to the rate of 7.33% in other regions. Similarly, the morbidity rate of diabetes is also much lower, 1.88%, compared to the average rate of 3.84% found outside the buckwheat production areas.
3.3 Blood Cholesterol
Bioflavonoid extracted from tartary buckwheat contains quercetin which may strengthen the body against the damage that LDL cholesterol can cause and lower the overall cholesterol level. Animal experiments show that tartary buckwheat flavonoids can significantly reduce the triglyceride and cholesterol levels in hyperlipidemic mice.
3.4 Blood Pressure
Bioflavonoid extracted from tartary buckwheat contains quercetin and morin which can improve the contraction and relaxation function of the vascular smooth muscle, in this way tartary buckwheat helps to promote blood circulation and control blood pressure.
3.5 Prevent Heart Attacks
Bioflavonoid extracted from tartary buckwheat contains rich rutin which is well-known as vitamin P. Research demonstrates that rutin is able to prevent the formation of blood clots in certain animals which suggests rutin may possibly reduce the risk of blood clots. Avoiding the formation of blood clots can help lower the chances of developing life-threatening situations including heart attacks, stroke and pulmonary embolisms (nutraceuticalasia.com 2017).
3.6 Scavenging Free Radicals
Free radicals, like superoxide anion, hydroxyl, peroxyl, alkoxyl, and nitric oxide, have one or more unpaired electrons in the outer orbit. These radicals are generated when cells use oxygen to generate energy (Ebrahimzadeh et al. 2010). It is known that a subtle balance between free radical generation and antioxidant defense exists at the cellular level under healthy conditions (Liochev 2013). Because the bioflavonoid extracted from tartary buckwheat has been proven to be effective in scavenging certain types of free radicals, tartary buckwheat can enhance the antioxidant defense and protect healthy conditions in the cellular level.
There is 43 micrograms of selenium per 100 grams of tartary buckwheat. Selenium is a powerful microelement. It may protect the body against contaminants such as mercury, cadmium, and silver, help speed the elimination of cancer cells, and slow tumor growth.
4. Contraindication, Side-effects & Cautions:
Administration with caution for the infirm and people with cold accumulated in the stomach, low blood pressure or low blood sugar.
List of reference
nutraceuticalasia.com 2017 Rutin for Blood Vessel Health [online] link: https://nutraceuticalasia.com/2017/04/23/rutin-for-blood-vessel-health/
The Ben Cao Medical Book (also known as Compendium of Materia Medica or Ben Cao Gang Mu; Chinese: 本草纲目) is the most famous and comprehensive medical book ever written in the history of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Compiled and written by Li Shi-zhen (1518~1593), a medical expert of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) over 27 years.
The Ben Cao Medical Book records and describes all the plants, animals, minerals, and other objects that were believed to have medicinal properties in TCM. The book reflects the pharmaceutical achievements and developments of East Asia before the 16th century. On the basis of his predecessors’ achievements in the pharmacological studies, Li contributed further by supplementing and rectifying many past mistakes and misconception in relate to nature of many medicinal substances and causes of various illnesses. Charles Darwin, originator of the biological theory of evolution, regards the book as the “ancient Chinese encyclopedia”.
Disclaimer: The Ben Cao Medical Book is translated by ChinaAbout.net. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of CTM knowledge and information from the research and experience from the author Li Shi-zhen. Kindly be alert that the CTM knowledge and ancient formulas given above are likely NOT medically proven and may contain misconceptions.