Wheat is explained many centuries before in Ayurveda text books as one among grains. It is used in the treatment of of gout, aphrodisiac therapy etc. As a dietary ingredient, it is hailed to improve body strength and nourishment. It is also used in Ayurvedic procedures related to Panchakarma and Upakarma (sub therapies).
Latin name – Triticum aestivum
Family – Poaceae
Medicinal properties of wheat –
Rasa (Taste) – Madhura (Sweet)
Guna (Qualities) – Guru (Heavy for digestion), Snigdha (Slimy in nature)
Vipaka – Madhura (Undergoes sweet taste after digestion)
Veerya (Potency) – Sheeta (Cold)
Karma (Actions) – Vatapitta shamaka (Balances Vata and Pitta Dosha)
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Part used, dosage
Part used – Grain
Dosage: Powder of the grain – 50 – 100 g
Three types of wheat are explained –
Maha Godhuma – bigger in size, imported from the west
Madhuli, Madhulika – smaller variety
Nisshuka / Nandimukhi – elongated, with blunt ends.
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Uses of wheat
- Wheat is used as food grain all over the world; hence wheat powder is used to prepare bread and its various types as a staple food.
- Wheat powder is used to prepare ‘upanaha sweda’, a type of poultice where wheat powder is mixed with other pain reliving herbs which are used to treat condition of arthritis, inflammation and localized pain.
- Wheat powder is mixed with other aphrodisiac herbs like kapikacchu, aswagandha, milk etc. and made into a paste and consumed regularly.
- In Vatarakta (gout), the ointment made of ghee, the powder of wheat and goat’s milk is prescribed for external application.
- To improve the milk quality and quantity in lactating women, wheat powder along with rice powder and barley powder is mixed with cow milk and consumed as a regular diet.
- Wheat powder along with tree turmeric, manjishta, lodhra powder is sprinkled over fresh wound to control bleeding.
Ayurvedic benefits, qualities
Wheat benefits and qualities as per Ayurveda:
Madhura – sweet
Vrushya – aphrodisiac, improves vigor
Guru – heavy to digest
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Hima – coolant
Sara – induces mobility, causes diarrhea, purgation, relieves constipation
Jeevana – enlivening
Brimhana – improves weight
Varnya – Improves skin tone and complexion
Balya – improves strength and immunity
Ruchiprada – improves taste
Sthairyakrut – improves stability, strength
Sandhana Krut – heals fractured bones and wounds
Balances Vata and Pitta Dosha. Does Not improve Kapha Dosha to a large extent.
Madhuli and Nandimukhi
Madhuli – minor, smaller variety of wheat –
Hima – coolant
Snigdha – unctuous, oily
Pittaghna – balances Pitta
Madhura – sweet
Laghu – light to digest
Shukrala – improves sperm and semen quantity and quality
Brumhana – nourishing, nutritious
Pathya – good for daily consumption.
Nandimukhi variety of wheat is also of similar qualities. It has blunt ends and it is elongated.
Wheat beer / Fermented preparation of dehusked and cooked wheet – Aranala
Kaphaghna – Balances Kapha Dosha
Bhedi – purgative
Deepana – improves digestion strength
Grahani – IBS, sprue, altering diarrhea and constipation
Arsha – haemorrhoids
Udavarta – bloating
Angamarda – Malaise, bodyache
Anaha – bloating, fullness
Asthishoola – arthritis, bone pain
People having gluten allergy/ incompatibility to gluten should resist intake of wheat and other food items prepared from wheat as it can cause diarrhea, bloating and increased intestinal movements.
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Bhavaprakasha – Dhanya varga
Kaiyyadeva Nighantu – Dhanya varga
Raja Nighantu – Shalyadi varga
Genus: Triticum L.
Names in different languages:
Sanskrit name – Godhuma, Hindi name – Gehun
English name – Wheat
Kannada name – Godhi
Malayalam name – Godhambu
Tamil name – Godumai
Telugu name – Godhumalu
In Northern India wheat is called as Gehun in many languages.
Bahudugdha – It contains good amount of starch giving white color like milk
Arupa – grows in marshy land
Sumana – improves mental strength, calming
Mleccha Bhojana – used by westerners in meals
Yavaka, Hudumba, Girija, Satinama, Rasika
Wheat germ oil is rich in tocopherol (vitamin E) content, total tocopherols 1897 mcg/g, alpha tocopherol 62%. The presence of ergosterol (provitamin D) has also been reported.
Wheat germ is also used for its minerals, proteins and lipid contents. Germ proteins are rich in lysine and possess high biological value and protein efﬁciency ratio. Wheat germ contains haemagglutinating and antipyretic factors, butthese are destroyed by toasting. It also contains haemo-proteins, possessing per – oxidase activity. Bran oil contains tocopherols, but major part of them (68%) is in epsilon form; alpha – tocopherol forms only11% of the total. Gluten lipids, associated with gluten, contain a high percentage of linoleic acid; lowering of serum cholesterol level has been observed in experiments.
Morphology of Triticum aestivum:
Wheat is an annual grass with simple culms, erect, hollow or pithy, up to 1.2 m tall. Leaves are flat, narrow, 20–38 cm long, about 1.3 cm broad. Flower – spikes are long, slender, dorsally compressed, somewhat flattened. Rachis is tough, not separating from spikelet at maturity. Spikelets are 2–5 – flowered, relatively far apart on stem, slightly overlapping, nearly erect, pressed close to rachis. Glumes are keeled in upper half, firm, glabrous, shorter than the lemmas.
Habitat: Wheat is cultivated throughout the plains of Northern states. More than 100 varieties of wheat have been developed all over the world.
Author: Dr.BK Prashanth M.D (Ayu), Ph.D
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