What Is WheatgrassMarch 14th, 2012 by Craig Mullins
Also known as couchgrass and agropyron, wheatgrass comes from the common wheat plant when the grass is young, vibrant, and full of green chlorophyll. A member of the triticum aestivum species and family Poaceae (which includes a variety of wheat-like grasses), wheatgrass is commonly found in mild regions of Europe and the United States and can be grown both indoors and out.
When the grass reaches it nutritional peak it is harvested and juiced, producing a dark green liquid known as wheatgrass juice. Harvesting of wheatgrass occurs just before the jointing stage, when the plant is between 7 and 11 inches tall. It’s at this point that the plant has accumulated enough energy to soon experience a massive growth spurt. The energy held in the plant is transferred to the juice, and will oxidize quickly so it’s important to either consume your fresh wheat grass immediately or protect in a sealed container.
Wheatgrass juice is considered a raw and potent living food, and is known to have numerous health benefits. The roots and underground stems of the grass can also be used in herbal remedies. The bio-availability (the extent to which the nutrients can by used by the body) of wheatgrass is extremely high, which is an excellent thing when it comes to improving your health. Because wheatgrass requires 50 times more pressure to juice than other vegetables and fruits, the cellular structures of the grass is pulverized, leaving the nutritional elements in liquid form which is easily assimilated into the body.
A little wheatgrass history… According to www.DynamicGreens.com, from the 1930s through the 1950s, a series of intensive agricultural research studies led by Dr. Charles Schnabel and assisted by Dr. George Kohler, Dr. Richard Graham, Conrad A. Elvehjem and E. B. Hart identified wheatgrass as the finest grass food of all, through direct comparisons of wheatgrass and other well regarded veggies like alfalfa, broccoli and spinach.
Using a group of animals as test subjects, the scientists fed some of the animals the vegetables exclusively, while others were given wheatgrass. They found that the animals that ate only the vegetables began to waste away, while those that had wheat grass continued to thrive. This led to further research which resulted in the discovery of a wide variety of amino acids, vitamins, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, enzymes, and minerals contained within the wheatgrass plant.
The power of wheatgrass is in the chlorophyll, the basis of all plant life.
Wheatgrass juice is 70% chlorophyll, which molecularly speaking is nearly identical to hemoglobin, the red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body. Thusly, wheatgrass juice helps to create a highly-oxygenated environment, encouraging the brain and body tissues to function at an optimal level.
Chlorophyll is an anti-bacterial and can be used both inside and outside the body as a healer. Wheatgrass juice is crude chlorophyll and may be taken orally, or as a colon implant, without toxic side effects.
What else can the liquid chlorophyll found in wheatgrass juice do?
- Improve body tissue health.
- Flush drug deposits from the body.
- Neutralize toxins in the body.
- Help purify your liver.
- Improve blood sugar problems
In the American Journal of Surgery (1940), Benjamin Gruskin, M.D. recommends chlorophyll for its antiseptic benefits. The article suggests the following clinical uses for chlorophyll: to clear up foul smelling odors, neutralize Strep infections, heal wounds, hasten skin grafting, cure chronic sinusitis, overcome chronic inner-ear inflammation and infection, reduce varicose veins and heal leg ulcers, eliminate impetigo and other scabby eruptions, heal rectal sores, successfully treat inflammation of the uterine cervix, get rid of parasitic vaginal infections, reduce typhoid fever, and cure advanced pyorrhea in many cases. [source]
Noting that research in recent years has proven many of the original beliefs about wheatgrass health benefits to be more hypothesis than actual fact, it’s a general consensus that wheatgrass does far more good than bad. If you find that a shot or two per day of wheatgrass improves your overall health, it’s an excellent addition to your diet.
Things we know about wheatgrass:
- 1 fl. oz. of wheatgrass juice is equivalent to 2½ pounds of premium vegetables.
- Wheatgrass is rich in minerals, containing 92 minerals that your body needs.
- It’s a complete protein containing more than 20 amino acids and has higher protein densities than any other food source.
- More than 30 enzymes can be found in wheatgrass juice.
- Wheatgrass juice is high in magnesium, which helps to keep the bowels open, improving digestion.
Further health benefits the wheatgrass community believes (but has not proven) result from drinking high quality wheatgrass juice include:
- Detoxification on a cellular level
- More energy and better sleep
- Stronger immune system
- Reduced inflammation in the entire body
- Lessened appetite cravings
- Improved eyesight and night vision
- Increased mental clarity
- Steadier nerves
- A physical and mental sense of well-being
If you’re interested in making wheatgrass juice a part of your routine, be sure to consult a professional nutritionist or doctor as you would with any sort of dietary and/or lifestyle change. Keep in mind that just like any plant or food, an allergy to wheatgrass is possible so doing your own research is always a good idea.
Has wheatgrass been a part of your life? We would love to hear about both your positive and negative experiences with wheatgrass juice! Sound off in the comments…