All the most interesting about buckwheat

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Many people know about the benefits and taste of buckwheat, but not everyone knows about the origin of buckwheat, its appearance or use outside of cooking. The plant was domesticated several millennia ago and is unique in that it has not undergone genetic modification in the entire history of cultivation. Buckwheat is grown as a green manure, a fodder and industrial crop, and its use in medicine makes it possible to treat many skin and gastrointestinal diseases.

Etymology of the word buckwheat

The name of the cereal comes from the word “buckwheat”, which in common people means a herbaceous plant from the buckwheat family (lat. Graecus or Greek ). It appeared because the first cereal was brought by the Greeks in the 2-3 century. AD In different regions of Russia, cereals are also called:

  • buckwheat;

The word “buckwheat” was formed with the diminutive-affectionate suffix “k” and is not a full name, as many think.

How buckwheat differs from buckwheat

For many, the words “buckwheat” and “buckwheat” are identical, and the question of how buckwheat differs from buckwheat causes difficulty.

Buckwheat is the fruit of a seed plant called buckwheat (biological name). After processing, the seeds of the plant acquire their usual color, aroma and become edible cereals.

History of the domestication of culture

Despite the fact that the culture was brought to Russia from Greece, the homeland of buckwheat is South Asia. Some biologists claim that the first plants were domesticated in the Himalayas, as they have the greatest varietal diversity in the wild.

According to the writings and excavations, scientists were able to establish that buckwheat was grown in Nepal and India about 5000 years ago. It was called then “black rice”. In the 15th century. BC. buckwheat appeared in China, Japan and Korea, then in Central Asia and Byzantium. Groats were brought to Europe relatively late – in the 8-9th century AD. The plant in European fields took root badly, so buckwheat was used more for medicinal purposes.

In Russia, the history of buckwheat begins in the 2-3 century AD. The mention of cereal is found in “The Lay of Igor’s Campaign”, where it is called “the favorite porridge of the Slavs.” Buckwheat flourished as a sowing crop in the 14-17th centuries, when it was grown in large quantities throughout the country: buckwheat grain was distinguished by its nutritional value, usefulness, pleasant taste, and the plant was resistant to diseases, poor soil conditions, cold snaps and droughts.

Biological characteristics of buckwheat

What buckwheat looks like: a herbaceous plant with a hollow and ribbed, often geniculate stem. The height depends on the variety and ranges from 50 to 130 cm.In nature, there are plants up to 2.5 m high. Branching depends on the type of planting: it is absent in a thickened crop, and branches of the 1st and 2nd order are formed in the row plant.

The first to appear during germination are rounded-kidney-shaped leaves, which then develop into cordate-pointed and seated arrow-shaped ones. The root system of buckwheat is capable of penetrating the soil to a depth of 1 m, but most of the branches do not lie deeper than 40 cm. Buckwheat blooms profusely: the flowers are located on axillary and long peduncles and have about 8 stamens. In the center of the flower there are three stigmas and a pistil, and at the bottom there is an ovary. The fruits are usually triangular in shape and have dense fruit shells. Depending on the variety and the weather and soil conditions, 1000 seeds can weigh up to 35 g, which is an indicator of a good yield. Cereal quality and overall yield also depend on the variety and climatic conditions. In a good year, up to 37 centners can be harvested from 1 hectare. grains.

Buckwheat bloom usually begins 16-39 days after germination and lasts up to 30 days. Some plants are still in bloom by the time they are harvested. The flower only lasts one day open, opens early (about 6 am) and dries up and falls off (if not fertilized). The flowering time differs depending on the type of variety: the early ripening ones begin to bloom at the beginning of the branching period, and the late ripening ones – during the formation of the branches. Up to 3000 flowers can form on one plant during the flowering period, and the yield is only 6-8% of the total.

Buckwheat application

Buckwheat is used not only in cooking. The plant has medicinal useful properties and is often used in traditional medicine recipes; buckwheat is grown as a green manure and as a forage crop.

In medicine

A lot of rutin is obtained from the upper part of flowering plants, which is used in the treatment of diseases accompanied by increased fragility and permeability of blood vessels. Phagopirin and rutin are also abundant in young leaves, a decoction or infusion of which is recommended for the treatment of hypertension, scarlet fever, measles, atherosclerosis and diathesis. Buckwheat unground contains a lot of lecithin, which makes it possible to use it in diseases of the vascular and nervous system, kidneys and liver.

What else is buckwheat useful for:

  • the broth is used for dry cough and colds;
  • buckwheat seeds are boiled and used as a remedy for large blood loss;
  • a large amount of potassium and iron allows the use of buckwheat porridge for radiation sickness to prevent the assimilation of isotopes;
  • low glycemic index and balanced composition make buckwheat indispensable for diabetes;
  • with eczema and other skin diseases, buckwheat poultices help well;
  • fresh buckwheat leaves can be applied to wounds and abscesses.

Buckwheat honey has also found application in medicine: it is used for atherosclerosis, anemia, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and nervous system, and colds.

However, the plant has both health benefits and harms. When using buckwheat leaves and shoots, you need to make sure that they were collected in an environmentally friendly place and do not have traces of chemical fertilizers or poisons. Young shoots can cause acute digestive upset with insufficient heat treatment and, less often, allergies. Buckwheat seeds purchased for home germination must also be clean and suitable for consumption. If you buy seed from the horticultural market, there is a great chance of getting food poisoning with chemicals used to treat seeds from diseases and fungi.

In agriculture

In agricultural areas, buckwheat can often be seen growing as a green manure. Benefits of using the plant:

  • short growing season;
  • powerful root system that loosens and structures the soil;
  • soil enrichment with nitrogen and potassium;
  • improvement of the soil and improvement of microflora;
  • natural displacement of weeds;
  • natural shading and loosening of the land (under trees, in vineyards);
  • improving the physical qualities of the soil.

It is better to plant buckwheat as green manure in May and using a narrow-row method at a rate of about 150 g of seeds per 10 sq. M. But depending on the purpose and conditions, buckwheat seeds are sown both before winter (5-9 weeks before cold weather) and in summer. To destroy weeds in flower beds, buckwheat can be sown throughout the season.

In animal husbandry

For cattle and small domestic animals, buckwheat straw, rich in fiber, vitamins and proteins, serves as a good bedding. In terms of nutritional qualities, buckwheat straw is not inferior to oatmeal. For fattening animals, it can be fed up to 3-4 kg per day. In the diet of poultry, buckwheat seeds must be present in the winter months, when there is a lack of vitamins and minerals, but grain should be given steamed and crushed. Also, buckwheat is recommended to be fed in small quantities to rabbits and goats (especially dwarf breeds), sheep, pigs. Waste from obtaining buckwheat is fed to cattle.

Buckwheat is indispensable in the diet of dogs and cats with gastrointestinal diseases, dietary nutrition, after surgery and long-term antibiotic treatment. The grain is also used in feed mixtures for ornamental birds, rodents and even fish.

In cooking

Buckwheat is sold in stores as:

  • kernels (there is a fast-cooking and ordinary unground) or thermally processed cereals;
  • flakes;
  • done;
  • flour;
  • green cereal.

Grits are used for cooking:

  • porridge;
  • soups;
  • cutlets;

Buckwheat flour is used in baking pancakes, pies, various biscuits, cookies, as well as for making pasta and bread. Green cereals are more often purchased for sprouting and subsequent use in salads, nutritious drinks, raw food dishes and diet food.

The benefits of buckwheat

A balanced composition, the presence of many essential amino acids and low calorie content are the main advantages of buckwheat. Its benefit is also that cereals are rich in fiber, which gently cleanses the intestines.

It is recommended to use the kernel for diseases;

  • gastrointestinal tract;
  • of cardio-vascular system;
  • nervous system;
  • respiratory organs.

On the basis of buckwheat, several effective diets have been developed for fast and safe weight loss. Irreplaceable groats are used in the preparation of a menu for diabetic nutrition and the organization of a diet for atherosclerosis and during recovery after operations, long-term illnesses. It is also necessary to include buckwheat in the diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as for people with increased physical or emotional stress.

Like any product, buckwheat is both beneficial and harmful to the body. When overeating, digestive problems are possible: increased gas production, constipation. Allergy to buckwheat can appear only with personal intolerance to the product. During an exacerbation of gastrointestinal diseases, it is better to replace whole buckwheat with a piece or flakes to reduce the load on the walls of the digestive tract. With increased blood clotting, it is better to limit the use of buckwheat porridge in small portions.

Beloved by many, buckwheat is a useful and unique product: it has almost no contraindications and is suitable for all types of nutrition, helps to cope with a number of diseases and improve overall well-being. The use of cereals is not limited only to the food industry: buckwheat is grown as green manure, fed to large and small domestic animals, and is also actively used in cosmetology and medicine. The history of buckwheat cultivation goes back several millennia, and its advantage over other crops is its genetic immutability and environmental friendliness during cultivation.

All the most interesting about buckwheat
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