ARGUABLY, Dr. Ann Wigmore, of Boston, United States, popularised the use of wheatgrass in Alternative Medicine a few decades ago when, as reported, she fasted almost exclusively on wheatgrass juice to cure GANGRENE in one of her legs which her doctors wished to amputate. Gangrene is a mass of dead cells. Because it is life threatening and may spread like cancer, doctors always amputate a gangrenious limb. Gangrene is caused by reduced blood and oxygen flow to the affected part of the body. This suggest that, in many people with poor blood circulation, especially diabetes, the cells are dying slowly while they are still alive. Dr. Ann Wigmore discovered in her garden one day that sick cats came to eat a type of grass which healed the illnesses. She, too, began to eat this grass and her Gangrene was cured. And that began her crusade of popularizing the use of wheatgrass in herbal medicine. She distributed more than one million copies of fifteen books which she wrote on the curative powers of raw food diet and grasses, especially those which, like wheatgrass, are rich in chlorophyll, and lectured in more than 35 countries. (She died at the age of 85 from smoke inhalation in a burning house). As a child in her country, Lithuania, she had watched her father heal the injuries of World War 2 soldiers with wheatgrass juice.
Wheatgrass is a powerhouse of vitamins A, B, C and E and Chlorophyll, which accounts for about 70percent of its content. A great alkalizing and detoxifying agent, it expels toxins, heavy metals and carcinogens from the blood and the cells. It stimulates slow thyroid glands, thereby boosting metabolism, reduces the bad cholesterol (LDL), increases the good one (HDL), dilates blood vessels to lower high blood pressure and raises blood levels of Vitamin C and Glutathione. Glutathione, one of the body’s three basic antioxidants, is concentrated in the liver, the body’s chief detoxifying organ. Since many degenerative diseases, if not all, are now linked to subnormal liver, it seems reasonable to conclude that wheatgrass can play a huge role in the detoxification process in health and in disease conditions. In fact, many studies suggest it can prevent some forms of cancer and improve the well-being of the victims of cancers in the liver, colon, stomach and intestine.
For energy seekers, wheatgrass may be of help. With more Vitamin C than orange and two times more Vitamin A than carrots, wheatgrass boosts production of red blood cells as well, leading to improved oxygenation and energy production.
Wheatgrass got its nickname of THE SUPER FOOD OF THE 21st CENTURY perhaps because it contains 98 of the 102 elements found in the soil. These include Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, essential enzymes and 19 of about 23 amino acids, liver enzymes, Chlorophyll, its star feature.
Chlorophyll is the blood of the plant, with the same chemical structure as haemoglobin of the human red blood cell (carbon, hydrogen, Nitrogen and oxygen), except that Magnesium binds the structure in Chlorophyll while iron binds it in haemoglobin.
When chlorophyll-rich foods are consumed the body converts plant blood to human blood. A 2004 study reported in the journal of INDIAN PAEDIATRICS reported that wheatgrass intake reduced the need for blood transfusion in hospitals.
Wheatgrass boosts immunity, supports digestion, fights inflammation, combats fatigue by revitalising the Adrenal glands, rids the body of odour, prevents tooth decay, clears sinus congestion, cleans the liver, improves skin health, curbs hangovers, is a mood enhancer by fighting stress and depression, eases menstrual pains, inhibits radiation, controls blood sugar balances, is a fertility booster and supports weight management. Wheatgrass is better taken on empty stomach or with food, not after a meal.