Botanical Name: Triticum aestivum L.
Synonym: Triticum vulgare Vill.
Family: Poaceae, Graminae
Sindhi Name: Kannak
Local Name: Gehun, Gandum
English Name: Common wheat
Part Used: Seeds, grains
Triticum aestivum Linn. is an annual grass, which is simple, erect, hollow, glabrous and extends up to 1.2 m. Leaves are flat, narrow, 20–38 cm long and about 1.3 cm broad. Spikes are long, slender and dorsally compressed. Rachis is tough, and does not separate from spikelet at maturity. Spikelets are 2-5 flowered, relatively far apart on stem, slightly overlapping, nearly erect and pressed close to rachis.1
Triticum aestivum L. is cultivated in all parts of the world, from the Arctic to the tropics. Triticum aestivum L. is also native to the Mediterranean region and southwest Asia. 3
Ethnomedicinal Uses In Skin Diseases:
Finely ground wheat flour is applied for the treatment of otitis externa. For the treatment of ringworm fried and finely ground wheat grains are applied. Black psyllium seeds (nazboo) with wheat oil, applied for the treatment of scabies. A mixture containing ground jaggery and wheat flour in oil is applied for resolving the wounds. Mixture of wheat flour, lemon juice and water is applied over face for the treatment of acne. Wheat flour along with ground jaggery and mustard oil is applied for the treatment of heat rashes. To treat a chronic wound, apply the mixture of wheat flour, jiggery, and sesame oil. Honey in wheat flour is applied over infections. The paste of wheat flour, butter and water is applied topically for the treatment of boils and wrinkles.
The most abundant constituents of Triticum aestivum L. are alkaloids, flavanoids, carbohydrate, saponins, triterpenes, mimosine, phytosterols, tannins, glycosides, fixed oil, fats, phenolic compounds, gum and mucilages. Leaves contain starch, arabinoxylan, β-glucan, O-glycosylflavone, vitamins, carotene, sulfur and sodium.8, 9, 10 Wheat is also rich in biological enzymes, fiber, bioflavonides like apigenin, quercitin and luteonin, indole compounds, choline and laetrile.
Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/ Scientific studies:
Triticum aestivum L. is used as antiseptic agent, as a cure for burn, dermatosis, leprosy, itch, wound, wart.2 Externally wheat flour is useful to treat scalds, itching, burning eruptions.4Wheat bran is used as an emollient in skin diseases such as psoriasis.5 Wheat flour is useful in the treatment of acne, perspiration, fever, blood flow disorders, bruises, burns, cancer (peritoneal), chronic skin disorders, constipation, cough, cystitis, detoxification, diabetes, digestion, eczema, hypertension, infection, gingivitis, malaise, abdominal pain, poison ivy, psoriasis, scar healing, sedative, skin ailments, sore throat, thirst, tooth disease prevention, weight loss aid and wound healing.6 Externally used preparation of wheat has the effect of relieving pain, promoting wound healing and skin regeneration. It can be used for treating verruca and pigmentation.7 Seeds are used in folk remedies for cancers, corns, tumors, warts, and whitlow.14
Triticum aestivum L. proved to be a good anti-cancer agent.11 It also possesses anti-hyperglycemic, antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant activities.13
1- Kirby, E. J. M. (2002). Botany of The Wheat Plant. In: BC Curtis, S Rajaram, H Gomez Macpherson, eds. Bread wheat. Improvement and Production. Food and Agriculture Organisation, Rome.
2- Duke, J. A. (2002), Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, p. 765-766, V.II, CRC Press NewYork, Washington, DC. U. S. A.
3- Kashyapa, S. K. (1992), The Useful Plants of India, p. 653, publication and information directorate, CSI R.DR.K.S Krishan Marg, New Delhi-110012,India.
4-Dr. Nadkarins, K. M. (1954), Indian Materia Medica, p. 1249-1250. Manglore Publishers, India.
5- Khare, C. P. (2007), Indian Medicinal Plants, p. 676, Springer Science Publishers, New Delhi-110058, India.
7-By Huang, Xianghui; Huang, Haifei; Huang, Haijiao, From Faming Zhuanli Shenqing (2011), CN 101987178 A 20110323, Language: Chinese, Database: CAPLUS.
8-Z Naturforsch C. 2000 May-Jun; 55(5-6):337-40.
9-J Mass Spectrom. (2013), Mar;48(3):329-39. doi: 10.1002/jms.3160.
11-The Plymouth Student Scientist 10/2013; 6(2):20.
13- Resmi C. R. (2001), Antidiabetic effect of a herbal drug in Alloxan diabetic rats. Indian Drugs; 38 (6): 3191
14-–Briggle, L. W. (1980). Introduction to energy use in wheat production. p. 109–116. In: Pimenter, D. (ed.), Handbook of energy utilization in agriculture. CRC Press, Inc. Boca Raton, FL (https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/Triticum_aestivum.html)