Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Fagopyrum esculentum

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Astringent, acrid.
An infusion of the herb has been used in erysipelas, and a poultice made of the flour and buttermilk for restoring the flow of milk in nurses.
The breakfast cakes are very heating, and in many people cause severe itching,  felt chiefly after removing the clothing at night, with an eruption of vesicles. The faeces may become so glutinous that expulsion is difficult.

Toxicology: - Fagopyrin, a dianthroquinane, is present in both the green and dried plant, but not in the ripe seeds. Once absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, the fagopyrin in the blood vessels of the non-pigmented skin, reacts with ultra-violet waves in the sunlight. Radiant energy produced by the fagopyrin when exposed to sunlight causes severe damage to the blood vessels and non-pigmented skin. This primary photosensitization can be severe to the point of causing cell death and sloughing of the skin.

This means that cattle, sheep, horses and goats can be affected by eating the green plant. Animals with white skins are the worst affected. Initially the non-pigmented skin becomes reddened, swollen and painful. In severe cases, there is serum exudation and necrosis of the skin, causing the skin to become parchment like and slough.
Black skinned animals are not affected, except for showing photophobia if the eyes are unpigmented.
Treatment consists of getting the animal into shade, preferably into a dark stall or barn.

In humans, there can be a contact dermatitis, but many authorities now regard this as more of an allergic reaction than a phototoxic one.

Medical use - Grieve says that an infusion of the herb has been used in erysipelas, and a poultice made of the flour and buttermilk for restoring the flow of milk in nursing mothers.

Silveus advises an infusion of the leaves or flowers in the treatment of:-
circulatory problems
Prevention of bruising
varicose veins
retinal haemorrhages
radiation damage

Pharmacology - The flavonoid Rutin reduces the permeability and fragility of capillaries, and has been shown to reduce endogenous cholesterol and blood pressure. The high levels of plant sterols also have a statin like effect on endogenous cholesterol.
The high levels of Lysine promotes the conversion and utilization of proteins.
Recently, a substance, Fagopyritol, has been patented by Cornell University for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Oddly, the Rutin content depends on both time and season. The content increases until the climax of the blooming period, reaching its maximum in the evening. It decreases after blooming.

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2001 Sep;41(6):451-64.  
Advances in the development of functional foods from buckwheat.
Li SQ, Zhang QH.
Food Science and Technology Department, The Ohio State University, Columbus 43210, USA.

Buckwheat originated in North or East Asia and is widely adapted in North America. It has been grown since at least 1000 BC in China. It has very strong adaptability to adverse environments with a very short growing span. Many varieties are growing around the world, but mainly in the north hemisphere. Currently the most common buckwheat spice is Fagopyrum esculentum Moench (common buckwheat or sweet buckwheat), while Fagopyrum tartaricum is also available in some mountainous regions. Many nutraceutical compounds exist in buckwheat seeds and other tissues. Buckwheat has been used and will be better used as an important raw material for functional food production. In this review we focus on works related to the development of functional foods from common buckwheat, Fagopyrum esculentum Moench. A lot of research has be conducted in the functionalities and properties of buckwheat proteins, flavonoids, flavones, phytosterols, thiamin-binding proteins, and other rare compounds in buckwheat seeds. Buckwheat proteins have unique amino acid composition with special biological activities of cholesterol-lowering effects, antihypertensition effects, and improving the constipation and obisity conditions by acting similar as to dietary fiber and interrupting the in vivo metabolisms. The trypsin inhibitors isolated from buckwheat seeds are heat stable and can cause poor digestion if they are not suitably cooked before consumption. The allergenic proteins existing in the buckwheat seeds and their derivatives were reviewed with respect to their chemical and biochemical characteristics as well as the physiological reactions after digestion. Some possible mechanisms involved in these effects are discussed in this review. Experiments, both with animal models and with human beings, revealed that buckwheat flour can improve diabetes, obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and constipation. Methods to exploit buckwheat seeds and flour to produce highly effective nutraceuticals are also reviewed.

 Phytochemistry. 2006 Mar;67(6):618-21. Epub 2006 Feb 3.  
An angiotensin-I converting enzyme inhibitor from buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) flour.
Aoyagi Y.
Kagawa Nutrition University, 3-9-21 Chiyoda, Sakado, Saitama 350-0288, Japan.

A compound that inhibited angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE) activity was isolated from buckwheat powder. This compound is thought to be the hydroxy derivative of nicotianamine and its chemical structure is 2''-hydroxynicotianamine. This compound showed a very high inhibitory activity toward ACE, and the IC(50) was 0.08muM. Only this hydroxy analog was found in buckwheat powder, at about 30mg/100g, and no nicotianamine was detected. However, nicotianamine was detected in the buckwheat plant body. 2''-hydroxynicotianamine was also found in other polygonaceous plants.

J Plant Res. 2005 Oct;118(5):355-9. Epub 2005 Sep 22.  
Pb hyperaccumulation and tolerance in common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench).
Tamura H, Honda M, Sato T, Kamachi H.
Biotechnology Group, Energy Application R&D Center, Chubu Electric Power Co., Ohdaka-cho, Midori-ku, Nagoya, Japan.

Common buckwheat grown in Pb-contaminated soil was found to accumulate a large amount of Pb in its leaves (8,000 mg/kg DW), stem (2,000 mg/kg DW), and roots (3,300 mg/kg DW), without significant damage. This indicates that buckwheat is a newly recognized Pb hyperaccumulator, which is defined as a plant containing over 1,000 mg/kg of Pb in its shoots on a dry-weight basis. Moreover, it was shown that application of the biodegradable chelator methylglycinediacetic acid trisodium salt at concentrations of up to 20 mmol/kg resulted in a more than five times higher concentration of Pb in the shoot without notable growth inhibitation at up to 10 mmol/kg. These results indicate that buckwheat is a potential phytoremediator of Pb-contaminated soils.

Environ Pollut. 2005 Dec;138(3):548-58.  
Zinc and copper uptake by plants under two transpiration rates. Part II. Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum L.).
Tani FH, Barrington S.
Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Macdonald Campus of McGill University, 21 111 Lakeshore, Ste Anne de Bellevue (Quebec) H9X 3V9, Canada.

To evaluate the environmental risks of irrigating crops with treated wastewater, a study was undertaken to quantify heavy metal uptake by 4-week old buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum L.) plants during 18 days of irrigation with 8 different Cu and Zn solutions under two transpiration rates (TR). At 4 weeks, potted buckwheat plants were transferred into one of the two growth chambers, offering either a high or low vapour pressure deficit (VDP) for, respectively, a high or low TR. Triplicate pots received one of the 8 irrigation treatments containing one of two Zn levels (0 and 25 mg/L) combined with one of four Cu levels (0, 5, 10 and 15 mg/L). Daily TR were measured by weighing the evapo-transpired water lost from the planted pot, less was the evaporation loss measured from triplicate non-planted pots. After 0, 6, 12 and 18 days of treatment, the stems and leaves of three randomly selected plants were harvested and after 18 days, the roots were harvested to determine Cu and Zn uptake. The treatments did not affect TR in terms of dry plant mass, indicating the absence of toxic effects. Irrigating with Zn, without Cu, increased dry biomass production, whereas the lowest biomass occurred with 15 and 30 mg/L of Cu with and without 25 mg/L of Zn, respectively, because higher applications of heavy metal significantly reduced soil pH. Plant Cu and Zn uptake increased with TR. With higher levels of Cu, Zn uptake by buckwheat was significantly reduced, while Zn had a slight but non-significant impact on Cu uptake. Previously and in a study exposing wheat plants to the same conditions, Cu significantly increased Zn uptake, while Zn had a slight but insignificant negative effect on Cu uptake. The buckwheat roots contained the greatest levels of Cu and Zn, indicating their role in moderating heavy metal uptake. Also, both Cu and Zn had a synergetic effect on each other in terms of root levels, and a similar observation was made in the earlier similar experiment using wheat plants. Irrigating a buckwheat crop with treated wastewater, with more natural Cu and Zn levels of 0.08 mg/L, could be quite beneficial without endangering the quality of the crop and acidifying the soil pH. The most concentrated experimental solutions contained 300 times more Cu and Zn, to obtain measurable differences.

J Pharmacol Sci. 2004 Apr;94(4):393-402.  
Protective effect of buckwheat polyphenols against long-lasting impairment of spatial memory associated with hippocampal neuronal damage in rats subjected to repeated cerebral ischemia.
Pu F, Mishima K, Egashira N, Iwasaki K, Kaneko T, Uchida T, Irie K, Ishibashi D, Fujii H, Kosuna K, Fujiwara M.
Department of Neuropharmacology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Fukuoka University, Fukuoka, Japan.

In the present experiment, we studied the action of buckwheat polyphenol (BWP, from Fagopyrum esculentum MOENCH) in a repeated cerebral ischemia model, which induced a strong and long-lasting impairment of spatial memory in 8-arm radial maze with hippocampal CA1 cell death in rats. BWP (600 mg/kg, continuous 21-day p.o.) significantly ameliorated not only the impairment of spatial memory in the 8-arm radial maze, but also necrosis and TUNEL-positive cells in the hippocampal CA1 area subjected to repeated cerebral ischemia (10 min x 2 times occlusion, 1-h interval) in rats. In order to investigate the mechanism of BWP protective action, we measured the release of glutamate and NO(x)(-) (NO(2)(-) + NO(3)(-)) production induced by repeated cerebral ischemia in the rat dorsal hippocampus using microdialysis. A 14-day BWP treatment significantly inhibited the excess release of glutamate after the second occlusion. In addition, the BWP remarkably suppressed a delayed increase in NO(x)(-) (NO(2)(-) + NO(3)(-)) induced by repeated cerebral ischemia in the dorsal hippocampus as determined in vivo by microdialysis. However, the 14-day treatment did not affect hippocampal blood flow in either intact rats or rats subjected to repeated ischemia measured by lasser Doppler flowmeter. These results suggested that BWP might ameliorate spatial memory impairment by inhibiting glutamate release and the delayed generation of NO(x)(-) in rats subjected to repeated cerebral ischemia.

Considerazione aggiunte.
Il grano saraceno contiene un elemento fotodinamico,la fagopirina, che causa anche negli animali fotosensibilizzazione.
Il grano s è ricco di magnesio. Ricordiamo che il mg. È presente in tutti i tessuti come ione e legato a proteine.  I sintomi della deficienza di mg sono simili a quelli del calcio e sono caratterizzati da disturbi         circolatori(vasodilatazione),ipereccitabilità muscolare tetania e morte. Nei foraggi è presente nell'erba medica e nel trifoglio +++. I fabbisogni negli animali oscillano tra i 40200mg x 100gr di alimento.(varia a secondo l'età e le produzioni 2040gr al di perun bovino in produzione, utilizzabile al 2030%).
Il metabolismo come quello del calcio è regolato dalle paratiroidi.
Nei ruminanti una tipica patologia da carenza è la tetania da erba o da pascolo.
Il grano saraceno è ricco il lisina amminoacido essenziale  ed in vitamina p(rutina ,esperidina ,biofavonoidi)
(Vit. P, Bioflavonoidi)
Vitamina  conosciuta anche con il nome di bioflavonoidi, si scioglie nell'acqua e viene eliminata attraverso le urine. nella frutta e nella verdura si trova insieme alla vitamina C. E' detta anche fattore di permeabilità dei capillari, ed è costituita da citrina, rutina, esperidina, flavoni e flavonoidi e costituiscono anche una difesa contro qualsiasi tipo di infezione. In modo particolare la Rutina rende più facilmente disponibile l'acidi ianuronico, rafforza le proprietà della vitamina C e ne impedisce l'ossidazione. E' utile nelle frequenti perdite di sangue che possono essere ricondotte ad un indebolimento dei vasi sanguigni. E0' un antiaggregante piastrinico ed un antiossidante di vitamina P.
Utilizzo: rafforzare i capillari, gengive sanguinanti, vene varicose.

FLAVONOIDI|: i flavoni (dal latino flavus, giallo) hanno preso il loro nome dalle colorazioni gialle delle sostanze vegetali della lana e del cotone. Più tardi sono stati definite flavonoidi tutte le sostanze con una formula di base comune che presenta 2-fenilbenzopironi, indipendentemente dal loro colore. A questi appartengono i flavoni (apigenina, luteolina), gli oli flavonici (olio canforato, quercetina e altri con i glicosidi quercitrina e rutina), flavononi (esperetina con il glicoside esperidina), oli flavononici (silibina), isoflavoni (genisteina); anche le antocianidine e le catechine sono simili. I flavonoidi sono spesso legati con glucosidi. Nel frattempo sono stati segnalati in molte piante, tuttavia rappresentano raramente i principi attivi principali. Di particolare interesse medico sono le rutine (ad esempio nell'ippocastano, nella ruta, nel grano saraceno) e l'esperidina (negli agrumi) che riducono la resistenza capillare patologicamente alta e la fragilità capillare. Essi vengono indicati anche come fattori permeabilizzanti, bioflavonoidi e, un tempo, anche come vitamina P. Per quanto riguarda l'impiego, essi vengono utilizzati in preparati contro malattie che hanno a che fare con la resistenza capillare; ad esempio malattie delle vene, arteriosclerosi, pressione sanguigna alta, diabete, scorbuto e altre. I flavonoidi dell'arnica e del biancospino influiscono sull'attività cardiaca, quelli delle foglie di betulla, delle specie di Solidago, della radice di ononide, dell'equiseto e altre hanno un particolare effetto diuretico. Allo stesso modo l'effetto antispastico della radice di liquirizia viene attribuito ai flavonoidi, come anche l'effetto fegato-biliare del cardo mariano e dell'elicriso. La genisteina (nella baccellina) ha caratteristiche estrogene. Non è ancora chiaro se l'effetto delle classiche droghe sudorifere, fiori di tiglio e fiori di sambuco, dipenda o meno dal contenuto di flavonoidi.

Un settore ancora poco sviluppato ma di notevole potenzialità è poi quello legato alla produzione di cibi salutistici: il grano saraceno si caratterizza infatti per la presenza di un particolare tipo di amido a più lenta digestione particolarmente indicato nella dieta dei diabetici. Le proteine del grano saraceno sono poi ricche di aminoacidi essenziali, lisina in particolare. Un altro componente di cui è ricco il grano saraceno è la rutina, un composto in grado di prevenire la fragilità capillare. Recentemente è stato osservato che il grano saraceno risulta perfettamente tollerato dagli individui che soffrono di celiachia per cui la farina pura (cioè non miscelata con quella dei frumenti) può essere utilizzata per produrre paste, polente, dolciumi o prodotti da prima colazione che possono essere assunti da individui affetti dal morbo celiaco.
Il grano saraceno è un'ottima fonte alimentare per gli animali, è un'ottima coltura da sovescio e funziona da coltura ricoprente per il controllo delle infestanti. Nelle zone dove abbonda la selvaggina può rappresentare un'importante fonte di alimentazione per gli animali selvatici. La prolungata fioritura e l'abbondante produzione di nettare rendono la coltura particolarmente attraente per le api che producono un miele scuro con un forte aroma.