Wheatgrass is the young grass of the wheat plant and grows in temperate regions throughout Europe and the United States. It’s a concentrated source of nutrients whose above-ground parts, roots, and rhizome are used to make a medicinal preparation. Nutritionally, wheatgrass is said to contain 98 of the 102 earth elements. It has twice the amount of Vitamin A as carrots and has a higher Vitamin C content than oranges. It contains the full spectrum of B vitamins, as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium and potassium in a balanced ratio. Wheatgrass is a complete source of protein, supplying all of the essential amino acids about 17 types of them and about 80 known enzymes. It has about 20% of total calories coming from protein. This protein is in the form of polypeptides, simpler and shorter chains of amino acids that the body uses more efficiently in the blood stream and tissues. [pullquote]Wheatgrass has around 70% of chlorophyll content which is why it’s often dubbed as ‘Liquid Sunshine’. It also has a highly energizing and alkalizing effect.[/pullquote]
Wheatgrass was introduced in 1930 by the US chemist Charles Schnabel and since then is known as a powerful detoxifier, especially of the liver and blood. It also is supposed to help neutralize toxins and environmental pollutants in the body. This is because wheatgrass contains beneficial enzymes that help protect us from carcinogens, including Superoxide Disumates (SOD), that lessens the effects of radiation and digest toxins in the body. After the introduction of wheatgrass, it has been used to treat many conditions, but scientific evidence is far too few to support their effectiveness.
Disorders That Can Be Treated Through Wheatgrass
.Acidosis: Its alkaline minerals are essential for cleaning out the tissues and maintaining the alkalinity of the blood, making it effective in combating acidosis.
.Alzheimer’s Disease: This is one of the very few juices that can actually remove heavy metals from the system. Regular consumption may help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
.Anemia: The high grade content of iron in wheatgrass juice makes it a great blood builder, increasing red blood cells count. It regenerates and reactivates the red blood cells and supplies fresh oxygen to the body.
.Anti-inflammatory: The high alkalinity properties makes it the perfect choice of food for people suffering inflammatory ailments, like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
.Anti-oxidant: The high anti-oxidant content helps neutralize free radicals and oxidation that find their way in the body. It helps reduce the harm caused by air pollutants like carbon monoxide or cigarette smoke.
.Athletes foot: The anti-bacterial effect of wheatgrass juice helps to relieve the itchiness caused by athletes foot. Soak your feet in a small bucket with distilled water pre-mixed with two ounces of the juice.
.Bad breath (halitosis) and body odor: The ability of this green juice to detoxify the lymphatic system and gastro-intestines, makes it a wonderful help in reducing or eliminating bad breath and body odor.
.Body building: Wheatgrass juice contains a long list of amino acids that are the building blocks of protein. It is reported to contain almost 50% protein (almost three times more than that of beef). So, forget protein powder, instead, incorporate this miracle juice into your daily routine.
.Cancer: The fine chlorophyll and beta-carotene obtained from wheatgrass juice is beneficial in fighting and preventing cancer. A variety of flavonoid compounds found in this grass are powerful anti-oxidants and anti-cancer agents. Studies have indicated at least a 40% risk reduction in cancer development.
.Candidiasis: The anti-bacteria effect of wheatgrass creates an unfavorable environment for yeast and bacteria. Regular consumption of this juice will help to prevent further yeast and bacterial growth.
.Detoxify: Consuming this wonder juice regularly for detoxifying of the lymphatic system. It also helps eliminate encrustations and fecal matter in the intestines and colon for a healthier gastro-intestines.
.Diabetes: The ability to regulate blood sugar level makes this green juice a suitable drink for diabetics.
.High blood pressure: The proteinous compounds in the high quality chlorophyll from wheatgrass has been found to be beneficial in lowering high blood pressure.
.Immune system: Drink 1-2 ounces of wheatgrass regularly to build your immune system.
.Tooth decay: Gargle wheatgrass juice to prevent tooth decay, relieve toothache, treat bleeding gums and control pyorrhea (infection and loosening of tooth sockets).
.Weight control: Because the nutrition in wheatgrass juice is so complete, it relieves your body of cravings, thus reducing the need to overeat.
.Wounds: Pour two ounces of wheatgrass juice into a small bucket of distilled water. Use this water to dab generously on wounds, itchiness and sores; and experience great relief with accelerated healing.
Wheatgrass is also used for cancer and arthritis in alternative treatment programs because of its high chlorophyll content and some people think that chlorophyll might fight cancer and arthritis. Wheatgrass has around 70% of chlorophyll content which is why it’s often dubbed as ‘Liquid Sunshine’. It also has a highly energizing and alkalizing effect.
Wheatgrass juice is a very popular health drink. However, the downside is that you have to juice it and take it within 15 minutes on an empty stomach. In foods and beverages, wheatgrass extracts are used as a flavouring component. Most people don’t eat the wheatgrass by itself because it’s hard to digest, so fresh leaves are crushed and squeezed to make wheatgrass juice.
Wheatgrass leaves also can be dried and made into tablets or capsules. It can also be mixed with water and used as an enema to ‘cleanse’ the digestive system. People following a raw food diet often include raw wheatgrass in order to protect its enzyme content which would be destroyed by cooking. It is known to contain chemicals that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory (swelling) activity, which might be helpful for ulcerative colitis. It also contains a chemical that seems to kill bacterial infections.
Studies on Wheatgrass
.A study of patients with active ulcerative colitis– a severe inflammatory bowel condition- demonstrated earlier remission in subjects taking 100ml wheatgrass juice daily for a month. It’s possible that the fibre oligosaccharides have a beneficial effect on gut health.
.A preliminary study in a small number of Israeli women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer showed some small benefit in maintaining red blood cell production in those taking 60ml of wheatgrass juice daily. However, 20% of the 30 women assigned wheatgrass juice had to stop taking the drink because of nausea, so overall the results are too small to demonstrate a proper clinical benefit.
. An Indian study of people with the blood disorder thalassaemia needed fewer blood transfusions after drinking 100ml of wheatgrass juice a day over 3 years, but the mechanism for this benefit is unknown.
History Behind The Grass
The wheatgrass diet was developed by Boston resident Ann Wigmore, who immigrated to the United States from Lithuania. Wigmore believed strongly in the healing power of nature. Her notion that fresh wheatgrass had value came from her interpretation of the Bible and observations that dogs and cats eat grass when they feel ill. She claimed that the wheatgrass diet could cure many diseases.
Is Wheatgrass Safe?
Although wheatgrass is considered safe, some people have reported side effects after using it, especially in high doses. They have ranged from mild (headaches and nausea) to more serious allergic reactions (hives and swelling of the throat). Because wheatgrass is often consumed raw, there is also the rare chance of bacterial contamination from the soil.
The benefits of drinking shots of wheatgrass juice has not been adequately proven by science. But there is a wealth of knowledge suggesting and justifying all the amazing health benefits the tiny grass plant can offer. Drink a few shots of healthy wheatgrass to test it out yourself and see how it works for you. If you face any reactions, consult your doctor. Just don’ go overboard and drink it throughout the day, as it may cause adverse reactions.