Buckwheat Allergy Test
Latin name: Fagopyrum esculentum
Source material: Whole seed
Common names: Buckwheat, Beechwheat, Fagopyrum, French wheat, Garden buckwheat
Buckwheat is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Buckwheat Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Although it is cultivated around the world, buckwheat is a particularly common crop in Iraq and China. Consumption is mostly centred on Asian countries, with Japan being one of the largest markets, partly due to the popularity of buckwheat noodles, or ‘soba’.
Despite the name, buckwheat is not actually a type of wheat, nor is it a true cereal at all. Rather than sharing an ancestor with grasses, the closest commonly known plant related to buckwheat is actually rhubarb. It is however used in a similar way to wheat and other cereals, and provides a useful alternative for people allergic to wheat and similar crops.
Buckwheat flour is used for bread and other baked products. The seed is processed to make noodles and is used in soups, cakes and biscuits. The grain can produce edible sprouts and excellent beer. The leaves are also edible, either raw or cooked.
It is high in fibre, minerals, vitamins and essential amino acids, especially lysine. It also contains rutin, which is believed to improve cardiovascular health by dilating the blood vessels, reducing capillary permeability, and lowering blood pressure.
Buckwheat is used internally in the treatment of high blood pressure, gout, varicose veins, chilblains, and radiation damage. It is best used in conjunction with vitamin C, since this aids absorption. A poultice made from the seeds has been used for restoring the flow of milk in nursing mothers. An infusion of the herb has been a treatment of erysipelas (an acute infectious skin disease). A homeopathic remedy has been made from the leaves and used in the treatment of eczema and liver disorders.
Buckwheat Allergy Test: Allergen Description
Buckwheat is a very potent allergen, causing both food and inhalant allergy.
Several allergens present in buckwheat have been characterised, including among them two albumins, a Globulin-like legumin, a vicilin-like protein, and a trypsin inhibitor.
A number of other proteins have been isolated but not characterised.
Buckwheat Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
An extensive cross-reactivity among the different individual species of the genus could be expected.
Cross-reactivity between buckwheat and natural rubber latex has been reported; therefore, allergy to fruits and vegetables that cross-react with latex should be considered in patients who are proven to be allergic to buckwheat
Immuno-chemical cross-reactivity between the globulins from buckwheat and indigo seeds has been documented.
Cross-sensitisation of poppy seed with buckwheat has been reported.
There is some allergenic similarity between buckwheat and cashew, and also English walnut.
Buckwheat Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Buckwheat has been recognised as a common food allergen in Korea, Japan, and other Asian countries, but not in Taiwan. In these countries, buckwheat may frequently induce sensitisation or symptoms of food allergy or inhalant allergy in sensitised individuals.
Despite being a potent allergen when ingested or inhaled, Buckwheat has been increasingly popular, in particular as a health food, in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Researchers have suggested that allergy to Buckwheat will become a larger problem as a result of its increased use in the food processing industry.
Inhalation of even very small amounts of Buckwheat allergen can initiate severe allergic symptoms, including gastrointestinal distress, urticaria, Quincke oedema (angioedema), dyspnoea, rhinorrhoea, wheezing, asthma, rhinitis, anaphylaxis and shock.
Pulmonary haemosiderosis as a result of non-immediate Buckwheat protein hypersensitivity has been reported.