Wheatgrass: Nature’s Finest Medicine

by Steve Meyerowitz, ‘Sproutman’

Grass is the world’s most ubiquitous vegetation. There are over 9,000 species of grasses. From the outback down under to the one inch arctic tundra, wherever there is sun, water and soil, there is grass. As a seed, all grasses start from grains like wheat, barley, oat, rye, and rice. Four of the world’s top five crops are grains/grasses. For centuries, farmers have noticed how livestock improved when they fed on the young grasses of early spring. Scientists started studying grasses in the 1930’s in an effort to discover its nutritional mysteries and include it in animal feed. They found that animals could survive on grass alone but, in contrast, failed on other healthy vegetables like spinach and carrots. The agricultural chemist Dr. Charles F. Schnabel started a movement that made grasses available for both livestock and human consumption. In the early 1940’s, you could buy ‘tins’ of Schnabel’s dry grass powder in pharmacies all across North America. Stories about the new health food with "more vitamins than the alphabet has letters," ran in Newsweek, Business Week, and Time magazines. Later in the 1970’s, Dr. Ann Wigmore popularized the use of indoor-grown, fresh squeezed grass juice for the therapeutic treatment of cancer patients who had been pronounced ‘incurable’ after conventional medical treatment. Wigmore had saved her own gangrene legs from amputation with her grass treatments and eventually ran in the Boston marathon. Word about her "Hippocrates Health Institute," and the "miracles" resulting from her wheatgrass treatments spread. Today, wheatgrass juice is available as dry powder and fresh squeezed juice in juice bars and health food stores everywhere.

Although wheatgrass has helped thousands recover from serious illness, it is neither a drug nor a magic potion. It is, instead, the cornerstone of a holistic health restoration program that includes detoxification, nourishment from raw living foods and a revamping of the lifestyle including the mental and emotional conditions that created the ‘dis-ease.’ Unlike drug companies which promote their products with large advertising budgets, grass is not patentable and is unlikely to ever be approved for medical use. Instead it owes its popularity to an underground movement that is made up of thousands of individuals, hundreds of practitioners and a handful of healing resorts who all testify to its healing properties.

Word has even spread to medical doctors who are discovering alternative health treatments. Dr. Leonard Smith, a cancer surgeon in Gainesville, Florida, allowed wheatgrass juice to be given to his patient Gary Garrett because he desperately needed a blood transfusion, but could not because of his Jehovah Witness religion. Smith said: "Gary’s platelet count rose every day for 7 days from 61,000 to 141,000 and the only thing we did differently was administer wheatgrass. That’s phenomenal and it’s fully documented on the hospital record." Smith now juices wheatgrass himself. Dr. Allan L. Goldstein, Ph.D, of the George Washington Univ. Medical Center tested barley grass against three types of prostate cancers. He reports: "Barley grass leaf extract dramatically inhibits the growth of human prostatic cancer cells grown in tissue culture. …It may provide a new nutritional approach to the treatment of prostate cancer." And Dr. Julian Whitaker, M.D., the famous editor of the enormously popular Health and Healing Newsletter, said: "Why take these young grasses? Because you’ll be giving yourself a health elixir unlike anything you’ve ever experienced! The effect these highly nutritious green drinks are having on all my patients, especially my arthritis patients, is nothing short of amazing."

Why Grass Works

As a source of nourishment, grass is a complete food containing over 80 nutritional elements including all known vitamins and proteins. People with wheat allergies, by the way, have nothing to fear from this food. Although grass is grown from grain, it has completely transformed into a vegetable with none of the allergic proteins common to glutenous grains. Grass is non-toxic at any dose, but you may have a reaction to it because it is a potent detoxifying agent. Grass is a powerful liver purger and too much can release too many poisons, too fast. It also cleanses and heals the large intestine, another collection point of toxins in the body. But it is, perhaps most famous for its blood purification. Grass is one of the planet’s richest sources of high quality chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is liquid sunshine made by green plants. Sunlight charges and excites electrons in the chloroplast cells which then store that energy as ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP converts carbon and water into carbohydrates and releases oxygen into the atmosphere. Ultimately, all food on the planet, whether animal or vegetable, directly or indirectly comes from chlorophyll. Scientists would love to duplicate photosynthesis, because it would provide an endless source of food and energy. But even more amazing is that this ‘blood of plants’ is a chemical cousin to hemin. Hemin is part of hemoglobin, the red iron rich oxygen carrying portion of human blood. Wheatgrass juice literally gives you a sunshine transfusion. When you drink it, this enzyme-rich and metabolically active fresh living food, transfers its high vibration to your system, raises your ‘kundalini’ or ‘chi’ and gives you a natural high. It is this energetic lift that enhances your ability to heal. But don’t confuse the high from grass with marijuana. Wheatgrass is hope, not dope.

Which Grass From Where?

You can grow your own wheatgrass indoors and juice it; buy it from a professional grower, a health food or mail order store; buy powder and tableted grass products from natural food and vitamin stores; or buy freshly squeezed juice from a juice bar or natural food store.

In 1931, Charles F. Schnabel discovered that grass achieves its peak nutrition when grown to the jointing stage. This is the point when the plant stops being a vegetable and starts reproducing. This point which for the most part is achieved in 3—7 weeks depending on the growing conditions, enables the prodigious root system of this plant to develop and pull minerals up from the soil. Immediately after jointing, there is a dramatic decline in nutrient content. Almost all bottled grass powders are grown this way. Although the Wigmore style, 10-14 day old greenhouse—grown, fresh squeezed grass juice is the grass of choice used at the healing centers for treating illness, the bottled dehydrated juice powders reign as nutritionally superior. They have more protein than meat, fish or eggs, more beta carotene than carrots, more calcium than spinach and are rich sources of vitamins A, C, and K, chlorophyll, RNA, DNA, antioxidants, nitrosamines and a full complement of amino acids and trace minerals.

How to Use Wheatgrass

This is not orange juice. The intense taste is more akin to juicing garlic than oranges. First time wheatgrass drinkers will find that 1—2 ounces is a lot. Experienced users can drink up to 8 ounces spread out over the day. But therapeutic doses for treating serious illness can require 8—32 ounces per day. Rectal implants via enemas, rubber bulb syringes and colonics are necessary for these amounts. Some people take it only this way and never drink it at all. Powdered wheat, barley and Kamut grass juices (Kamut is a popular variety of wheat) are solely promoted as nutritional supplements, but they also have a therapeutic dosage that is many times more than the serving size recommended on the bottle. Grass also has numerous first aid uses for the skin on burns, cuts, bruises, acne, eczema, poison ivy, and accelerates the healing of all types of wounds. Use it with bandages, poultices or compresses. It has documented results in the treatment of gingivitis and is perfect for mouth and gum problems in general. Filtered grass juice drops in the eyes are soothing for eye strain and tension. Dr. Gary Hall, medical director of the Eye Surgery Institute in Phoenix, Arizona recommends wheatgrass juice for anyone who shows signs of retinal disturbances or has a history of macular degeneration.
© 2000 by Steve Meyerowitz

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.–Walt Whitman

Basic Steps for Growing Grass in Soil

1. Soak 2 cups of grain for 9-12 hours.

2. Sprout for 2 days, rinsing twice per day.

3. Lay seeds on top of 2 inches of soil.

4. Water with a sprinkler or shower.

5. Cover the seedlings.

6. Set seedling tray in a shady spot.

7. Check daily and moisten if necessary.

8. Remove cover when 2-3 inches tall.

9. Expose to light; water daily.

10. Harvest in 9-12 days or when 6-10 inches tall.


Steve Meyerowitz is the author of the new book: Wheatgrass: Nature’s Finest Medicine and is nationally known as the Sproutman. His other books include: Sproutman’s Kitchen Garden Cookbook, Sprouts the Miracle Food, Juice Fasting and Detoxification, Power Juices Super Drinks, Food Combining and Digestion, and Sproutman’s Sprout Chart. To order his books, or get more info on grass you can visit him at www.Sproutman.com

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