Archive for September 27th, 2011

Common Wheat – Tritcum aestivum

This grass is easily grown, but is only known under cultivation. Since 6750 BC In Iraq and other eastern Mediterranean countries there is archeological evidence of its use. By 6000 BC it had reached the Indian subcontinent, and by 5,000 years ago it had reached Ethiopia, Great Britain, Ireland and Spain. In companion planting it grows well with maize and chamomile; but doesn’t like to be grown near dogwood, cherry, tulips, pines or poppies.

The seed are used in herbal medicine for the treatment of cancers, corns, tumors, warts and whitlows (also called a felon is an infection on the tip of the finger, not the sides or base of the nail.) It is considered a demulcent and emollient and used as a poultice on wounds.

Most wheat is made into flour and consumed baked into breads, cakes, pie crusts, etc. Most wheat flour consumed in the US is white flour, which has the bran and germ removed prior to grinding. The whole wheat flour (leaving the bran and germ in) is far healthier, but also goes rancid more quickly, therefore needing refrigeration to extend its shelf life. The removed germ is often sold as wheat germ and is then added back into food to increase the nutritional value. It can easily be put in ground meat dishes of all sorts.

Raw wheat can be ground into flour, or germinated and dried making malt, or made into bulgur. Wheat is the major ingredient in many popular breakfast cereals; i.e. Wheatena, Cream of Wheat, Wheaties, and Shredded Wheat.

There have been increasing problems with people becoming gluten sensitive or intolerant. When that happens the only solution is to cut wheat and other gluten containing products (barley and rye) from the diet! The inflamed bowel that results with a reduction in the absorption of nutrients can also be painful causing bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

In magic wheat is sacred to Ceres, Demeter, and Ishtar. It is a symbol of fertility and is often carried for that purpose. It is also used to attract money!