The popular view of wheatgrass is that it is primarily a nutritional supplement.
I would have to disagree.
Wheatgrass is, without doubt, a powerful healing agent, and its benefits have little if anything to do with nutrition.
Wheatgrass has been used therapeutically for centuries. In the 1930’s it enjoyed an explosive resurgence of interest and became widely known as a low cost, effective healing agent for example in post-operative wound healing and the treatment of burns. Almost invariably, these therapeutic properties were put down to the effects of chlorophyll, which, at the time had become flavour of the month, appearing in numerous products including toothpaste. The biochemical analysis of wheatgrass was comprehensively determined and the various components were attributed with “therapeutic” properties. E.g. vitamin K. However, there were other observed benefits such as enhanced fertility, often quite rapid growth stimulation and improved health in test animals that could not be explained. Thus developed the concept of the ‘Grass Juice Factor’, a water soluble substance that has to this day not been identified.
This is known to exist not only in wheatgrass, but in all the cereal grasses: rye, oats, barley etc., in peas, cabbage and many other plants. However, the highest concentrations (observed clinically) appeared to be in the cereal grasses. Now, although popular opinion has it that chlorophyll and other components may be responsible for healing, I have a rather different view.
Since 1995 I have used a wheatgrass extract for successfully treating thousands of patients for numerous ailments such as wound healing, burns, psoriasis and many other conditions. However, the extract contains no chlorophyll, so we need to seek another reason.
Aware that chlorophyll could not be responsible, I thought perhaps it might be due to the mysterious Grass Juice Factor which appeared to be responsible for high fertility and growth rates in laboratory animals. But how could this account for the often remarkable anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, hemostatic (stops bleeding) and connective tissue softening properties?
When I first began using wheatgrass extract in my clinic, I found myself observing extraordinary healing phenomena on every normal working day. Phenomena I had never seen in 25 years of orthodox medical practice. For example:
A young woman was carried into my office by her partner. She had caught her foot in a tramline and sprained her ankle. The pain and swelling was so bad, she could not walk. She certainly had a grossly swollen and unmovable ankle. Under normal circumstances, I would have applied ice, pressure bandages, given her a pair of crutches and told her to rest overnight and report back the next day for an X-ray. Instead, I applied some wheatgrass extract mixed in a base cream to the swollen tissue. Within about 20 minutes, she was able to limp out of the office without crutches, and her pain had eased. The next day, the swelling had almost disappeared and she was walking with minimal pain.
Normally, such an injury would have taken a week or more for the patient to regain crutch-free mobility, let alone be pain-free.
This may not sound too remarkable, but when you have been treating patients for many years, you get a fairly good idea of what to expect. In this case, I was astonished at the rapid rate of recovery. Subsequently, many such cases came my way, and I achieved similar results. It still never ceases to amaze me how rapidly so many patients with soft tissue injuries respond with rapid reduction of swelling and pain, with minimal if any skin discolouration the next day. This suggested that in some way, wheatgrass was able to stop bleeding and swelling around the joint as well as reduce or eliminate pain, and that whatever bioactive(s) might be responsible, appear to be absorbed rapidly through the skin and penetrate deeply into the tissues beneath.
I am fairly certain these are all healing phenomena that are well beyond the dreams of most doctors, hence their so often viewed “Too good to be true” response I have received from so many over the years.
At the time, I wondered why I had never heard of wheatgrass being a “healing” agent. I had also never heard of anyone drinking wheatgrass as a “health” drink. But here I was, seeing open wounds healing rapidly without infection. Burns also never became infected, and pain often disappeared within hours of application of the extract.
So, I did my apprenticeship the hard way, naturlally thinking I had made a major discovery. I recorded many anecdotes of my “healing” experiences, thinking I had discovered a “new” and amazing therapeutic agent.
What I didn’t know was that it had all been done before – in the 1930’s, when the colour green and cereal grasses were the centre of a natural therapy fad in the United States and Canada. But not entirely. I had recorded many ways to heal with wheatgrass in addition to what was available in the literature. Something original to add to the healing benefits of wheatgrass.
But the biggest puzzle remained and haunted me day in, day out..
How did it work?!
In other words, something in wheatgrass was “normalizing” damaged, injured or infected tissue.
Wheatgrass, for some conditions at least, clearly appears to be a better healing alternative than anything the pharmaceutical industry has to offer.
Dr. Chris Reynolds.