Botanist's Glossary

Soft Wheat - Triticum aestivum

  • Description
    • An annual herbaceous plant, soft wheat (Poaceae family) is also called common wheat. It produces terminal spikes packed with scaly flowers that mature into "bare" fruits: the wheat seeds. Ground soft wheat gives a flour that can then be sifted (more or less) to make wholemeal or white bread.
  • Traditions
    • Wheat is an excellent tonic and would be included in the food of people recovering from serious illnesses. It was also used in the form of "refreshing" herbal teas for people with a fever. It was used externally in softening poultices. Wheat flour watered down with egg white has long been reputed to be a "cleansing mask" for the face.
  • Properties
    • Wheat oil with nourishing and regenerative properties is extracted from the germ. We also use the aleurone, a peripheral layer of the wheat grain, which is very rich in minerals and the B group of vitamins, to strengthen the epidermis. The proteins are also beneficial since they have a conditioning effect on the hair.