Buckwheat, which is grown in the fields, belongs to the buckwheat family. It includes several varieties of plants. The following varieties grow in Europe: cultivated buckwheat and Tatar buckwheat.
Fields are usually sown with a cultivated species of buckwheat, and the second species is a weed. The Tatar species is a low plant, the bushes are highly branched, the foliage is wide petiolate. The flowers are greenish with a yellow tinge, small, completely devoid of aroma.
The origin and botanical description of buckwheat
Buckwheat was cultivated as a culture several millennia ago in Southwest Asia (in India and Nepal). This cereal "came" to Russia from Greece, which is why it is called "buckwheat".
That buckwheat, which is sown on an industrial scale and that we are used to seeing on our table, has a straight stem, green in color, with a slightly red tint. In the process of ripening, the color of the stems gradually turns bright red. The foliage is in the shape of triangles, green. The foliage is naked, the lower leaves grow on the petioles, and the upper ones sit on the stem.
The root system of this cereal is the pivotal, the length of the main root can reach 45 - 48 cm. But the mass of buckwheat roots is small and makes up only 12 - 13% of the total mass of the plant.
The flowers are small, consist of 5 petals, they are painted in different shades of pink. The flowers are collected in racemose inflorescences, each numbering from 500 to 1800 pieces of male and female flowers. If the weather is favorable, then this cultivated plant blooms about 45-60 days. This annual is maintenance free., therefore, on one bush of buckwheat you can find buds, blossoming flowers and starting to ripen the fruits. Harvested usually in the last decade of September.
Blooming buckwheat looks unusually beautiful - a field covered with white and pink flowers, over which tireless bees buzz, looks like a large veil, swaying from the slightest breath of breeze.
This cereal plant is one of the main crops grown by many farms in our country. And buckwheat, obtained after processing ripe fruits, is one of the most popular food products.
Where does buckwheat grow in Russia
Although this cereal crop is not too capricious, it grows much better on certain types of soils. Also, the yield of this crop depends on the climatic conditions of the growing region. The best yield of this crop is observed in the forest-steppe, as well as in Polesie.
The best soil for planting this crop is light, loose, which quickly warm in the spring in the sun. In the soil there must be a sufficient amount of nutrients, if it is depleted, then in the fall, under plowing, it is necessary to add organic and mineral substances. The soil should not be strongly acidic, the optimum acidity of the soil is neutral (or slightly alkaline).
Heavy soils in which moisture may stagnate are not suitable for planting buckwheat - on such soils, the crop yield will be too small.
Buckwheat as a siderat
This culture is usually planted quite late, so the main task during soil treatment is to preserve moisture. In addition, it is necessary to observe the rules of crop rotation, planting buckwheat after the "right" crops. The best precursors of buckwheat are:
- winter crops;
- peas, beans, soy;
- row crops.
After cereal crops, it is better not to plant this cereal, since the soil is heavily contaminated with weed grass, which significantly reduces buckwheat yield. Also, the yield of this cereal crop will be low if it is planted after potatoes, a sick nematode, or after oats.
But buckwheat itself most often displaces weeds from the field, therefore, where it grows, herbicides are not used.
The healing properties of buckwheat
In our country, until the middle of the last century, green buckwheat was eaten - this color is explained by the method of processing cereals. And such cereal is much more beneficial for the human body - it helps to restore the body more effectively after serious diseases.
The composition of this cereal contains a large number of vitamins and minerals, which explains its benefit as a low-calorie product, indispensable for people with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, in addition:
- contributes to the improvement of the brain;
- contributes to the improvement of metabolic processes;
- promotes the formation of "good" cholesterol in the body;
- helps to "clean" the vessels;
- increases the level of hemoglobin in the blood,
- improves the genitourinary system;
- boosts the immune system;
- Helps to heal skin wounds faster.
What are the fruits of the plant
The main value of buckwheat lies in its fruits. Buckwheat contains the following beneficial substances:
- trace elements: P, Al, K, B, Sr;
- vitamins: A, E, B;
- folic acid;
- some amino acids;
Porridge from this cereal helps cleanse the liver of harmful substances and toxins, improves blood circulation and brain nutrition, vision, hearing. It is buckwheat (along with oatmeal) that is included in the diet for patients with type 1 diabetes.
What are the flowers and leaves of buckwheat valued for?
Buckwheat flowers and foliage also have medicinal properties, they actively used in traditional medicine in different countries with the following diseases:
- bronchitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis and other inflammatory processes in the airways;
- to relieve pain with radiculitis;
- to strengthen the vessels and their walls.
On the basis of flowers and leaves make decoctions and infusions that can be used for internal use, and in the form of lotions and compresses - for external use.
Traditional medicine recipes using buckwheat flowers
For coughing, as well as for the treatment of inflammatory processes in the respiratory tract, it is worth brewing an infusion of buckwheat flowers. It should be 18 - 20 g of flowers, pour 2.5 cups of boiling water and leave for 120 minutes. The container with the infusion is then closed on top with a plate or a lid. An adult should drink this infusion instead of tea several times a day.
The dried aerial parts of this cereal crop (0.5 cup) are brewed with a liter of boiling water, insist. Drink should be cooled infusion with:
- arthritis (up to a liter of infusion per day);
- decrease in pressure and general weakness.
Infusions based on the ground parts of buckwheat are used to treat tonsillitis or laryngitis.
Buckwheat sprouts in diet food
It is better to sprout green buckwheat - it is it that is usually included in the menu for dietary nutrition. Sprouted green buckwheat normalizes the metabolism in the body, it has very few calories, so such buckwheat seedlings allow you to fight excess weight.
This cereal is very useful for the human body, so many are convinced that there are simply no contraindications to its inclusion in the diet.
but some contraindications for buckwheat still exist:
- this cereal contributes to the active formation of bile;
- gassing in the intestines;
- increased intestinal motility.
And green buckwheat often and in large quantities should not be eaten by people who have increased blood clotting.
Buckwheat as a honey plant
Buckwheat honey is considered one of the best among beekeepers. Buckwheat flowers are wonderful honey plants, the time of their flowering directly depends on weather conditions. In the sunny season, buckwheat inflorescences do not bloom until 1.5 months. The aroma of small flowers attracts bees. These flying insects from one hectare of buckwheat collect up to two hundred kilograms of honey that is very useful for health, which has a rather sharp aroma and taste.
Fresh buckwheat honey is brown. It does not crystallize for a long time. BUT regular buckwheat honey should be eaten by people with the following diseases:
- with high blood pressure;
- various diseases of the cardiovascular system;
- improves metabolism in the body;
- increases hemoglobin, contains a large amount of iron, therefore it is recommended for future mothers as food;
- necessary for those who recover after surgery or a large loss of blood.
Nutritional value and chemical composition of Greek groats
Unroasted buckwheat contains:
- 20% protein;
- 4% fat;
- 76% carbohydrates;
- vitamins of groups B, U, P, K;
- a number of natural acids;
- a number of macro- and microminerals.
The proteins that make up buckwheat are easily absorbed by the digestive tract of the human body, and carbohydrates, on the contrary, are processed for a long time in the digestive tract, so buckwheat gives a person a feeling of satiety for a long time.
The benefit of this cereal is undeniable, it is not for nothing that doctors usually include cereals based on it in the diet for many diseases in which you need to sit on fairly strict diets.
The benefits of buckwheat honey
Not only cereals, but also buckwheat honey is a very useful product that should be eaten even by completely healthy people. And the husk remaining on the grits after processing buckwheat is used for stuffing orthopedic pillows and mattresses.