Buckwheat – not so harmless...

Although seen as a harmless and tasty, gluten-free alternative to wheat in the West, buckwheat (a member of the sorrel, dock and bindweed rather than the grass family) is a major allergen in Korea and Japan.

It appears that sensitisation may happen through inhalation rather than ingestion of the buckwheat. Canadian researchers have reported allergic reactions in people who use buckwheat pillows – they are believed to provide better support for the head and neck than feather pillows, to improve back and neck pain and allow users to sleep better. Interestingly, in Korea, buckwheat is also used for pillows as it is thought to improve both health and intelligence.

Courtesy of the Anaphylaxis Campaign’s Outlook www.anaphylaxis.org.uk 01252 542029

First published in December 2008


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