The medicinal parts are the fruit wall, seed shell, and outer layers of the endosperm.
Flower and Fruit
The inflorescence is a 4 to 18 cm long, 4-sided, double-rowed awnless spike (occasionally with an awn up to 16 cm long). The spikelet has 2 to 6 flowers, 2 to 4 of which are sterile. Each spikelet has 2 glumes at the base, is approximately 10 mm long, blunt, keeled at the tip with a blunt or acute tooth. The flowers are surrounded by 2 bracts; the first is bulbous and coriaceous, the second is smaller and membranous. There are 3 stamens and an ovary with 2 featherlike styles. The fruit is a yellow, red, or brown orbicular to elongate oval caryopse.
Leaves, Stem, and Root
The herb grows up to 1.5 m high. The leaves are arranged in two rows, are parallel-veined, and 5 to 15 mm wide. The leaf base clasps the stem, the ligule is short with a ciliate eyelet. The stem is thin-walled, hollow, and glabrous at the nodes.
Asia, North America, and Europe
Wheat bran is the fruit wall, seed shell, and outer layers of the endosperm of Triticum aestivum. Wheat germ oil is the fatty oil derived from cold-pressing the embryo of Triticum aestivum in a filter press.
Not to be Confused With
Wheat bran is sometimes confused with rye bran; wheat germ oil with other oils such as sesame oil.
Wheat Bran, Wheat Germ Oil
Actions & Pharmacology
Compounds: Wheat Bran
Glucans: starch (15 to 20%), cellulose (30 %)
Heteroglycans (10%): complex arabinoxylans, to some extent water-soluble
Fatty oil (2%)
Glycolipids (0.5%): particularly acyldigalactosyl glycerols
Steroids (0.3%): sterol esters
Alkyl resorcinols (0.1 to 0.2%): chiefly with C21- or C17-side chains
Effects: Wheat Bran
Wheat bran is laxative in effect through expanding polysaccharides, which, through an increased level of fullness pressure, stimulate intestinal peristalsis and markedly shorten the transition time. At the same time, a measurable bonding of bile acids and their elimination from the enterohepatic circulation takes place. In addition, a significant reduction of postprandial lipid levels is exhibited. The topical application of the drug as a bath additive for injured or irritated skin (due to the carbohydrates and proteins it contains) leads to milieu changes in the epidermis and thus to a reconstitution of the callous layer.
Compounds: Wheat Germ Oil
Fatty oil: triacylglycerols (60 to 75%), diacylglycerols (to 4%): chief fatty acids linoleic acid (50 to 65%), oleic acid (15 to 22%), palmitic acid (7 to 18%), linolenic acid (5 to 8%)
Phospholipids (9 to 14%)
Glycolipids (0 to 2%): particularly acyldigalaktosyl glycerols
Free fatty acids (1 to 2%)
Steroids: sterol esters (2.5 to 3%), particularly those of beta-sitosterol and campesterol
Tocopherols (vitamin E, 0.2 to 0.3%): particularly alpha-tocopherol (share 60 to 70%), as well as beta-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, alpha-tocotrienol, beta-tocotrienol
Carotinoids (0.15 to 0.25%)
Effects: Wheat Germ Oil
Wheat germ oil protects and nurtures the skin, is a laxative and reduces lipids. It is a valuable dietetic because of the high level of polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E.
Indications & Usage
Folk medicine internal uses include constipation. Externally, bran has been used for itching and inflammatory dermatoses (as a bran bath).
Used to treat night sweats.
Flatulence, constipation, itching, and menorrhagia are indications for use in Indian medicine. Efficacy for constipation and dermatoses seems plausible, but efficacy for the other indications has not been sufficiently proved.
Wheat Germ Oil
Used as a dietary agent because of the high level of polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E.
Precautions & Adverse Reactions
Wheat Bran and Wheat Germ Oil
No health hazards are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages.
Mode of Administration
Whole drug preparations are for internal and external use.
- Capsules: 500 mg, 770 mg
As a laxative, the dose is 15 to 40 g 1 to 2 times daily, taken with meals and plenty of liquid. For a full/partial bath: minimum 0.34 g aqueous extract to 1 L water
Chinese Medicine Daily Dosage
9 to 15 g drug
Wheat Germ Oil
Mode of Administration
Soft gelcaps or oil for internal and external use.
Store tightly sealed in a cool place.