Ayurvedic Diet

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Reported by John Immel, Asheville, NC

Buckwheat Ayurveda Medicinal Properties
Vata aggravatingPitta aggravatingKapha pacifyingDigestive Effects Help
Experiences are Personal
Experiences vary according to the person and constitution. Individual results may vary.
Grounding, Relaxes-mind, Satisfies-stomach, Strengthens-resolve, Warms-abdomen, Diuretic, Muscle-relaxant
Type: Grains
Occasion: Cleanse, On-the-mend
Recommended for: Autumn-Winter
Subtaste: Bland
Nourishes: Muscle, Red-Blood, Plasma
Effect: Ojas, Acidifying
Nutrient: Flavonoids, Insoluble-fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Selenium, Soluble-fiber, Zinc, Carbohydrate
Element: Earth, Fire
Moves energy: Outward

Serving Size: 1/4 c
Species: Fagopyrum esculentum
Family: Polygonaceae
Pharmacological Effects
About Pharmacological Effects
The list of actions below have not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.

ayurvedic perspective

The substantial feel of buckwheat is like a cast iron pot on an open flame - warm, rustic, and comforting. It contains both warming and drying properties, making this a superfood for those who feel chronically weighed down, heavy and weak. It is a great substitute for rice, but more textured. Unlike rice, buckwheat's flavor boldly commands the plate. You won't forget the experience of eating this ingredient, and you'll crave it at the first sign of frost in the late-autumn air.

Strengthening & Circulating

Buckwheat, a hardy & versatile plant, may be ideal for chronic weakness due low metabolism associated with aging. A lack of metabolic function is at the core of most chronic disorders. Buckwheat's warmth comes with an ample dose of earth element. It is ideal among metabolism building foods because it is nutritious and strengthening as well. Its high iron content makes it a good blood tonic while magnesium nourishes and relaxes the muscles. According to Paul Pitchford in Healing with Whole Foods, "Buckwheat strengthens capillaries and blood vessels, inhibits haemorrhages, reduces blood pressure and increases circulation to the hands and feet."

Warm Yourself from Within

Buckwheat's popularity in northern climates and high altitudes is a testimony to its warming qualities. However, its warmth is unlike ginger or black pepper, whose pungency fans the flames of metabolism quickly. Rather, it improves metabolism without over stimulating the body. In macrobiotic language, buckwheat "activates yang reserves" much like salt - supporting your body's sustainable energy from deep within. Its warmth also comes in handy for balancing cold conditions, such as Vata type diarrhea in the intestines or undigested food in the stools.

Dry Out Excess Baggage

It is unique to find a drying astringent that also heating, but we've found it in buckwheat. It is ideal for watery kapha dosha due to its diuretic ability to reduce water weight and dry up mucus in the respiratory tract. It lowers blood sugar levels and has even been used for lowering blood pressure. Several studies have also shown that buckwheat improves insulin uptake in cells, which may be useful in insulin resistant diabetes.

Narrow Your Focus

Buckwheat is contracting according to macrobiotics - good for focused attention. Buckwheat's flavor, scent and qualities bring you right here, right now. Enough of other worries that cloud your mind - buckwheat will help you focus on what's really important.
Buckwheat's hearty warmth hits the spot on any damp cloudy day in November. Enjoy as you snuggle up with your loved ones, or while listening to crackling logs in a wood burning stove. Smoky, nutty and earthy, buckwheat is slightly demulcent like oatmeal but lighter on the stomach. Its rustic flavor is suitable for savory crepes and pastas. Its warming qualities make it one of the most commonly used grain-like foods in northern countries like Russia. It is also used in mountainous regions like Tibet where wheat cannot be grown.

The triangular shape of buckwheat and its hazel color make it resemble the nuts of the beech tree. This pseudo grain looks like rice, cooks like quinoa, but is really a fruit seed! Despite the name, buckwheat isn't related to wheat. Used as a grain or flour, the closest food relatives to this unique ingredient are rhubarb and sorrel.

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buying & preparation
Buckwheat can be found in most whole food grocery stores next to the rice, oatmeal, and quinoa. Its unusual triangular shape makes it particularly easy to spot. The seeds are called buckwheat groats, and often you'll see them included in a breakfast porridge mix along with other well-loved hot cereals. Roasted buckwheat imparts an earthy, nutty flavor. Unroasted buckwheat tends to be more bland.
Browse Recipes
Interested in buckwheat for breakfast? We prefer buckwheat crepes to wheat, especially for the savory kind (called gallettes in Brittany, France). Have you ever eaten Japanese food? Then you might have already eaten buckwheat without even knowing. The grain-like fruit seed is ground up to make Soba noodles, which are a favorite in stir-fry dishes.

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