Robert writes articles about emerging medical discoveries with a focus on the health benefits of natural remedies and ingredients.
What Is Buckwheat Tea?
Buckwheat is a plant from a type known as a pseudocereal, which means that it has many of the characteristics of a cereal plant (for example, wheat) but is actually not part of the same species. Because of its similarity to actual grains such as cereal, buckwheat is often used to make products such as pasta and bread. In addition, the leaves and the seeds of the plant are used to make buckwheat tea, which is said to have many health benefits.
Buckwheat tea has a light taste and is often drunk simply for enjoyment. However many studies, as well as anecdotal evidence, suggest that buckwheat tea may have many health benefits including aiding in weight loss, reducing cholesterol in the blood, and improving the health of blood vessels. Its main benefit seems to be related to improving circulation and helping the function of vital organs. But of course, the scientific evidence is still very sparse and studies are in the early stages only.
Great Health Benefits of Buckwheat:
- It's gluten free, which makes it good for people on restricted diets.
- It has a low glycemic index, which may help in weight control.
- It is rich in many vitamins and minerals.
- It may help improve circulation and promote general health.
- It may help with weight loss.
How to Make Buckwheat Tea
Making buckwheat tea using store-bought tea bags is easy and is done the same way as you would prepare regular tea:
- Bring water to boil. You should have enough water to fill one cup per tea bag.
- Place a buckwheat tea bag in a suitable cup.
- Pour the boiling water onto the tea bag in the cup.
- Wait for 2-3 minutes. Then remove the tea bag.
- Wait for the tea to cool sufficiently and then enjoy.
Buckwheat tea can be obtained online and also from many Chinese food stores since drinking buckwheat tea is common in China.
Health Benefits of Buckwheat Tea
Emerging research suggests that some of the chemicals and nutrients in buckwheat tea may have beneficial effects on human health. For this reason, many health food stores and nutritionists are promoting buckwheat tea as a nutritional supplement. While likely not a miracle cure of any sort, the preliminary research is promising.
Below are summaries and links to some of the published articles on the benefits of buckwheat tea. I have avoided linking to sites that sell the product or which have a vested interest in making extravagant claims and have instead linked to published articles, mainly in peer reviewed journals, which deal with the research findings.
- A study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology using human test subjects who suffered from Chronic Venous Insufficiency resulting in ankle edema (swelling). For once, this study used human subjects in a controlled double blind study in which one group received buckwheat herb tea and the other received another placebo tea. The researchers found that there was an improvement and noted that "The difference between the groups was significant." It concluded that "The treatment with buckwheat herb tea is safe and could have a favourable influence on patients with CVI such that further edema development is prevented."
- In another published study buckwheat extract was found to reduce blood cholesterol in rats. But it is far too early to tell if buckwheat will have the same health benefits on humans.
- A paper published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported that buckwheat concentrate reduced the blood glucose level of diabetic rats. I am unaware of how the buckwheat concentrate was made and it is possible that tea would not have the same properties.
- A study on rats with intentionally inflicted (by the researchers) kidney damage showed an improvement in renal function and slowing of the progression of kidney disease when they received buckwheat concentrate. Again it is not clear if buckwheat tea would have the same effect or whether this would work in humans.
- Ingredients found in buckwheat tea were determined to be of benefit against diabetes in mice. The researchers concluded that their research suggested that rutin, fund in buckwheat could be used as part of "novel strategies for the prevention of type 2 diabetes."
- A human study published in the very prestigious New England Journal of Medicine concluded that a substance called D-chiro-Inositol, which is found in abundant quantities in buckwheat, found that it "increases the action of insulin in patients with the polycystic ovary syndrome, thereby improving ovulatory function and decreasing serum androgen concentrations, blood pressure, and plasma triglyceride concentrations."
Some Additional Health Claims About Buckwheat Tea
On the internet, a number of websites claim that buckwheat tea can aid in weightloss and improve digestion. Other online sources state that buckwheat tea can reduce blood sugar levels and also lower cholesterol. I have not been able to find any articles published in peer reviewed medical or scientific journals that establish buckwheat tea's effectiveness as a weightloss aid. As for the claims that it lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels, the only scientific studies have been on mice and this may not be the case with humans whose diets and metabolisms are very different. So far the only published research that I have come across suggests that buckwheat tea may be of help for people suffering from certain specific conditions as outlined above.
What Does Buckwheat Tea Taste Like?
The good news is that buckwheat tea has almost no taste. In fact it is very bland, though it does have a bit of a tart taste which may become more noticeable if you use a lot of it or if you let it steep for a long time. If you don't like the taste you can easily max it by adding lemon or by mixing the buckwheat with more flavorful teas such as green tea.
How Do You Make Buckwheat Tea
Making buckwheat tea does not require any special recipes or steps. You make it just like you would any other tea. If you buy it in packets, simply steep the envelope in a cup of hot water. If you buy the leaves in bulk, you can put them in a small metal tea ball or in a strainer and then run the hot water through them.
As with any tea, you have to make sure that you let it cool off enough so you can drink it without burning your tongue or mouth.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Questions & Answers
Question: How do you use raw buckwheat seed to make tea?
Answer: I would not use raw buckwheat if I were you. Your best bet is to buy buckwheat tea bags. They are very cheap, especially if you buy them from a Chinese food store.
Doug Bradford on December 03, 2017:
This sounds like something I should try.
Robert P (author) from Canada on March 03, 2017:
As with all things, moderation is best.
Carol on February 27, 2017:
How any cups a day would be safe to drink? I love this stuff! First was given to me at my nail salon, so my friend their bought it for me!
Daxie on February 07, 2017:
I had this tea when visiting China and my first thought was that it was quite yellow, and smellled like Oreo cookies. I really liked it.
Robert P (author) from Canada on November 06, 2016:
Thanks for your question. I have not been able to find a precise answer to how many carbs are in buckwheat tea. We know that buckwheat itself is high in carbs, but of course when you drink any tea you are drinking a diluted version of the substance so I would expect that the tea would not contain as many carbs as eating buckwheat whole. The actual amounts of carbs transferred to the water and drunk with the tea will vary depending on many factors including the length of time that the tea was allowed to steep as well as the amount of buckwheat tea used in the first place.This site https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/buckwheat/#Ca... says that buckwheat scores low to medium on the glycemic index so should not cause unhealthy spikes in blood sugar levels. I hope that this helps.
bekah on October 28, 2016:
How many carbs are in a cup of buckwheat tea?
Janellegems on October 04, 2016:
Great Hub. This is valuable information stating the health benefits of buckwheat tea. I did not know this. Thanks for sharing.
Robert P (author) from Canada on June 23, 2012:
It is my understanding that buckwheat tea does not have any significant amounts of caffeine.
Sal Fabregas on June 18, 2012:
Does buckwheat tea have caffeine, if so, how much compared to regular coffee