Basics of wheatgrass healing

Dr. Chris Reynolds. M.B.,B.S. Click pic for CV.
How I stumbled on wheatgrass extract's remarkable therapeutic properties

In 1995, when I was working in Melbourne, Australia as a general practitioner, to prescribee a 'natural' remedy in preference to a more "appropriate" pharmaceutical, was considered taboo. So, when I was asked to test a rye grass extract that apparently closed an "unhealable" wound on a horse in 4 weeks, after 9 months unsuccessful veterinary treatment, (Figs. 2 and 3), I assumed it was just a "quack remedy", dropped the sample into my bag and forgot about it.

Fig. 1. Alan's venous ulcer the day after first wheatgrass extract application. The crust (scab) has completely disappeared.
Fig. 1. Alan's venous ulcer the day after first wheatgrass extract application. The crust (scab) has completely disappeared.

Soon afterwards, I visited Alan, a retired, 80 year-old horse-racing bookmaker, to help relieve the severe pain he had suffered from a deep, non-healing leg ulcer, (Fig. 1.) for more than two years. The wound had been cleansed and dressed by domiciliary nurses several times a week for two years - but this did little to ease his pain. In fact, his prescribed pain killers were essentially ineffective. When Alan begged me for "a stronger medicine" (such as a narcotic), the risk of addiction was to high, so I had to refuse him.

Then, I had an idea.

Recalling the photos of the horse's fetlock wounds that veterinary surgeons had failed to heal after 9 months' orthodox treatment, (but were healed by the wheatgrass extract in three weeks), (Figures 2 and 3), - with Alan's permission, I carefully applied his wound with the cream, dressed it and promised to return the next day.

The next morning, Alan's cheerfulness put me off balance. He was also out of bed walking with ease - pain-free, then told me he had slept soundly for the first time in a year. Then, when I removed his bandage to check on the wound, the thick scab that was there the day before, had disappeared as shown in the photograph. (Fig. 1.) The wound was now covered with a thin, but dry and and completely sealed, transparent layer of  tissue. There was no leakage at all.

As no other medication had been applied to the wound, I had no choice but to attribute the positive changes to the wheatgrass extract. My journey into healing and relieving pain with the wheatgrass extract had begun. The biggest challenge though would be to work out how it worked. How it relieved Alan's pain when no other treatment had, and numerous other remarkable healing properties the extract would reveal in due course. Now, after 26 years working with the extract, I am still finding "new" conditions that respond remarkably well to its "hidden" therapeutic properties.

Wound on horse leg
Fig. 2. A deep, infected fetlock wound unresponsive to 9 months veterinary treatment.
wheatgrass extract heals wounds quickly
Fig. 3. After 3 weeks wheatgrass extract treatment, the wound has healed and is covered with hair.

But how could a "simple" herbal cream seal over such a deep, long-standing wound - overnight, and eliminate the pain he had suffered for two years?

Searching for answers

Ever since, I have sought an explanation to HOW the extract could possibly heal not only chronic leg ulcers, but numerous other medical conditions and injuries, many of which are presented on this website. For example, in Figure 4, a minor second degree burn, which might have been painful or have become infected is painless a few hours after application of the extract - when it could have been painful for a week or become infected if treated by standard mehods.   

Fig. 3. Wheatgrass extract recovers second-degree burn pain and swelling in minutes. Note also that the stud could be readily inserted soon after application.

Fig. 4. Wheatgrass extract relieves a first-degree burn pain in a few minutes. Note: The ear stud was re-inserted several minutes after application of wheatgrass extract.

Before wheatgrass extract was applied, the patient's skin was reddish-blue, blistered and swollen - then five minutes after application, the swelling has almost disappeared. Pain had completely disappeared 2 hours later. Also, the blister surface has remained intact, protecting the wound from infection. But, how did the burn  recover so rapidly?

Case No. 2. (Fig. 5.) Severe, deep radiation burns on the skin can take days or weeks to recover and for the pain to ease. To my knowledge, there are no medicines capable of easing the suffering of these patients after treatment. However, wheatgrass extract has quickly relieved this patient's pain by applying it lightly over the irradiated areas. Preferably this should be done before and after the treatment, then once daily.


Fig. 5. Severe 2nd degree radiotherapy burns that wheatgrass extract healed in 2 weeks.  

Note that there has been rapid healing of this severe radiotherapy burn after just 2 weeks of daily application of wheatgrass extract. Also, there is no inflammation visible, and the skin has completely healed. The patient is also pain-free. Such rapid recovery is unusual following radiation treatment. (Read full story. )

The following (short) list of wheatgrass extract healing cases depict only a small fraction of the numerous conditions I have seen successfully treated by wheatgrass extract, since I began using it in 1995. Viz:

Famous scientist makes key wheatgrass discovery
Prof. Panos Ioannou

"Gene expression is the process by which a gene gets turned on in a cell to produce a particular type of protein - such as a neurotransmitter."

Having used the extract successfully for about 5 years for treating numerous medical conditions and injuries, (Examples: Topical Steroid Withdrawal, Omphalocele). it seemed that wheatgrass extract might be facilitating the "re-connection" of disconnected sensory receptors with the brain. For example this patient with reflex sympathetic dystrophy, when application of a minute amount of extract with a toothpick to her severely darkened and painful forearm, fully restored blood circulation, almost instantaneously. It appeared that the extract was in some way capable of influencing gene expression sufficiently to activate this phenomenon.

After observing numerous, remarkably functional and broad spectral responses, (examples of which appear on this site) I was convinced that something in wheatgrass extract must be influencing gene expression by affecting a broad spectrum of cell receptors. In 2006, my theory was confirmed by internationally renowned biological scientist, Professor Panos Ioannou – (the leading co-creator of the first human PAC genomic library).

We met on 28th July, 2004, when I delivered him some wheatgrass extract at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne. Having discussed a number of my therapeutic successes with wheatgrass extract, he decided to test the extract to see if it did in fact influence gene expression.

In fact, at the time, Panos was searching for plant extracts that might be capable of increasing fetal haemoglobin (HbF) production by erythroleukemic cells in three separate mice (murine) cell clones. To my surprise, a few days later he informed me that "the wheatgrass extract had induced fetal hemoglobin in three separate murine (mouse) cell clones" and, unlike the hundreds of other plants he had tested, "the extract strongly influenced gene expression". (See Fig. 14.)


Fig. 14. Professor Iannou reports: “Our measurements suggest a 3-5 fold increase in the production of fetal hemoglobin by the wheat grass extract. This is a substantial increase and could certainly provide an explanation why some thalassaemic patients may derive significant benefit from it.”


The Professor continued: "These results, albeit in vitro, increased the possibility that the beneficial effects of freshly juiced wheatgrass noted by Marwaha, et al. [an Indian hematologist], may have been due to the induction of gamma-globin chain synthesis leading to greater fetal hemoglobin content in the red cell (via the influence of gene expression); this would result in less redundant alpha-globin chains in the red cell, less Heinz body formation, and greater red cell stability with less red cell destruction."

According to Professor Ioannou, these were all important properties that could potentially assist thalassemic patients.

He continued: "Clearly, this hypothesis needs further study, but it holds the promise of some very exciting and simple therapeutic possibilities that may preclude the need for repeated blood transfusions.”

Panos. aged 54 and in his professional prime, succumbed to cancer on 18 April, 2005, and his important discovery about wheatgrass extract was unfortunately put aside. Nonetheless, he had proven that wheatgrass extract can influence gene expression. Also, with at least 20 ligands present in the extract backed by numerous clinical observations demonstrating their broad spectra of therapeutic effects, it appeared to work by re-activating dysfunctional receptor cells, enabling them to reconnect with the brain.

Clearly, a game-changing discovery.

Dr. Chris Reynolds.

(See how wheatgrass works for numerous medical conditions and injuries.)

The chlorophyll myth

In the United States in the 1930/40's, a green-coloured commercial product, 'Chlorophyllin', (containing an extract derived from wheatgrass sprouts) was found to be effective for healing infected wounds. Unfortunately, this 'clinical observation' helped create the myth that 'green' chlorophyll 'heals', when in fact, if it's left for a short while, fresh wheatgrass juice turns from dark green to black as the chlorophyll in it oxidises, and loses its bioactivity. Manufacturers of the "Chlorophyllin" product solved this problem by adding a green copper salt to the mix and calling it 'sodium copper chlorophyllin'.

In 1947, US Army surgeon Lieutenant-Colonel Bowers reported remarkable healing of wounds by applying them with Chlorophyllin. Although he incorrectly attributed the healing to chlorophyll, he noted:

Absence of odour in infected wounds. (Suggesting the juice somehow kept the wound sterile.)
Acceleration of wound recovery when applied before applying dressings - particularly for burns.
A drying effect for abscesses, sinus tracts, surface wounds and bone infection.

Having also observed numerous similar recoveries using the wheatgrass extract, I can vouch for Bowers' observations. For instance, faster healing of anal fistulaCrohn's diseaseulcerative colitisbedsores and bone fractures. Also, although chlorophyll is essential for the production of oxygen, it does not heal wounds or cure medical conditions. Figure 6 attempts to dispel this widespread, but misleading myth.


Chlorophyll is not capable of transmitting oxygen in the blood stream
Fig. 6. Why chlorophyll is incapable of transporting oxygen through the body.
Ligands in wheatgrass extract appear to re-activate dysfunctional cellular receptor cells

Because the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is anatomically and functionally separated from the blood–cerebrospinal fluid barrier, brain uptake by most pharmaceuticals is not possible.

By comparison, wheatgrass extract, via peripheral ligand-binding to receptor cells, appears to signal and influence the brain directly, to which the brain responds. For instance, inhibition of the pain receptor, Substance P, can effectively and rapidly reduce or eliminate pain.

Ligands are molecules that influence the DNA in cell receptors where they release neurotransmitters that transmit a broad spectrum of sensoral messages such as pain, pressure, taste, vision and touch, to the brain, which then responds appropriately. For example, in Figure 7, Substance P is transmitting pain. However, laboratory tests prove that wheatgrass extract can block transmission of Substance P, the body's main pain transmitter, up to 98 percent. This response has been reported by numerous patients, athletes, sport trainers - even some doctors and nurses.

Furthermore, in 1991, Rhone Poulenc Laboratories, Paris, detected at least 20 ligands present in wheatgrass extract. For instance, they revealed 98% inhibition of Substance P,  which likely explains why wheatgrass extract can be so effective in relieving the pain of injuries, ulcerative colitis, gastric ulcers and many other conditions.

How wheatgrass probably heals

28 years' observing many thousands of effective healing responses by wheatgrass extract have suggested that ligands (at least 20 being known to exist in wheatgrass extract), restore de-coupled links between cell receptors and the brain, for example in bone marrow, intestines, skin and many other tissues. Also, numerous clinical observations suggest the extract influences gap junctions to help disperse and accelerate its biological influence, as in this case of reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Here, the patient's seemingly "dead", darkened forearm, responded instantaneously by turning white immediately following application of a minute amount of wheatgrass extract to her apparently lifeless, darkened skin. This phenomenon was likely due to rapid neuronal re-coupling activated by ligands in the extract.

*Discovered by Rhone Poulenc Laboratories. Paris. France.

 Fig. 7. How pain is felt.

Figure 7 shows how pain cell receptors signal the brain via the neurotransmitter, Substance P. The patient responds instantaneously by drawing the hand away from the source of pain - a pin prick. This suggests influence by the hypothalamus (in the brain) that controls body temperature and other functions. (Fever also can be reduced quite quickly by applying a little wheatgrass to the back of the patient's neck.)

Furthermore, infertile women hoping to conceive have often succeeded by taking a small dose of the extract daily, and persevering. It appears that the extract can 'normalise' the  hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) which is essential for conception to occur.

In Figure 8, we see how wheatgrass extract probably assists recovery of injuries. Even a small injury can lead to complex tissue damage with bleeding and damage of nerves, skin, muscles and blood vessels etc. Ligands in wheatgrass extract appear to reactivate dysfunctional cell receptors that consequently re-couple with the brain to facilitate the healing process. (Responses vary depending on the patient's age, state of health and many other factors.)

Fig. 8. How wheatgrass extract probably heals a wound. (1,2) Damaged skin causes "de-coupling" of cell receptors to the brain. (3,4) Ligands in extract re-store DNA's ability to  "re-couple".
Fig. 8. How wheatgrass extract probably heals a wound. (1,2) Damaged skin causes "de-coupling" of cell receptors to the brain. (3,4) Ligands in extract re-store DNA's ability to "re-couple".
The importance of "re-coupling" for healing skin and other conditions

Leprosy, particularly of the hands and feet, continues to defy medical treatment, with many sufferers ultimately requiring amputation of affected areas. To date, effective drug treatment has been virtually ineffective. For instance, all treatments for this patient's ulcer that had been present for nine years, failed. However, after just six monthly applications of wheatgrass extract, the wound on his infected foot healed completely. (Fig. 9.) Six other cases (existing for 5 to 10 years) also healed within four months. Interestingly, leprosy specialists in India assured me that healing was virtually impossible. (View cases.)

Then, in Figure 10, we see remarkable healing of an "unhealable" spider bite.

Fig. 4.  'Unhealable' leprosy wound present 15 years in 60 year old female heals after 4 once a monthly applications of wheatgrass extract.  (View 6 more cases)
Fig. 10. Also, this severe spider bite that failed to heal after 9 years of orthodox medical treatment, completely healed after regular wheatgrass extract application in 7 months. 

Similarly, in Figure 11, we see positive changes in the patient's psoriatic lesions just 2 months since the extract was first applied. These lesions failed to respond to a variety of applications, including 15 years of topical steroids, which have severely thinned and damaged the skin's complex structure and many protective and other functional cells. Clearly, after 2 months' treatment (twice monthly) with wheatgrass extract, the lesions have significantly darkened and enlarged. Possibly this is a negative result, but it is more likely the wheatgrass extract has "re-coupled" many cell receptors in the affected region, to the brain - but skin damage was so severe it was not possible to complete the healing process.


Psoriasis. Effect of wheatgrass extract on chronic psoriasis.
Fig. 11. Psoriasis. Present 10 years. The lesions on the left are dry, insipid and lack vitality. However, after two months wheatgrass extract application, the lesions on the right are now deeply coloured and enlarged, suggesting restoration of blood supply (and many other reparative changes) to the affected area due to "neuronal re-coupling". 

Probably, "re-coupling" of sensory receptors from the periphery (skin), to the brain has restored numerous physiological functions in the skin-damaged areas, such as blood supply and lymphatic drainage. (Red arrows) It is also likely the patient ceased using the extract, thinking that the darkening and enlargement of the skin lesions could be negative signs.

To me, treatment should be directed towards "re-coupling" steroid-damaged areas on the skin with the brain, rather than do more damage with steroids. This can usually be achieved by stopping all medications and using only wheatgrass extract once or twice weekly. It may take several months, but if the patient can bear the steroid withdrawal symptoms, the skin can recover completely.

This basic principle of wheatgrass extract usage is important because it applies to the treatment of many other medical conditions and injuries - internal and external. For example, in Figure 10,  this supposedly "incurable" spider bite wound had defied medical treatment for nine years, has  healed rapidly after wheatgrass extract treatment.

It appears to me that these "negative" changes are the result of peripheral cell receptors losing  contact with the brain, i.e."de-coupling". This in turn leads to inadequate blood supply reaching  the area, which in this case is causing skin dryness, cracking etc., and "lifeless" pallid lesions. Other steroid-caused symptoms, such as weeping skin, pain, erosion and infection are also common, but can be overcome by perseverance with topical wheatgrass extract.

Also, the 17-year-old girl in Figure 12 had suffered from psoriasis for three years, but topical steroids failed her. By comparison, wheatgrass extract applied once weekly, repaired her skin completely in four months. This was probably due to wheatgrass extract restoring numerous physiological processes such as blood supply, cell receptors etc., to the brain - via 'neuronal re-coupling' where there has been remarkable recovery of dysfunctional cell receptors.

Most drug treatments for psoriasis (and eczema) such as topical steroids, can reduce inflammation, but can do nothing to restore the skin's damaged structure and multiple functions. In fact, they do more damage and expose the skin to infection and often expose it to severe topical steroid withdrawal symptoms.

Compared with the patient in Figure 11, the remarkable response of this teenage girl's skin to wheatgrass extract, suggests that age is an important factor for predicting the patient's likely response to it.

Fig. 12. Peri-umbilical psoriasis in a 17-year-old female, present 2 years. Unresponsive to topical steroids and numerous other treatments. Healed by wheatgrass extract in 4 months with once weekly application.
Fig. 12. Peri-umbilical psoriasis in a 17-year-old female, present 2 years. Unresponsive to topical steroids and numerous other treatments. Healed by wheatgrass extract in 4 months with once weekly application.
Wheatgrass extract removes plaques, restores skin in 2 weeks
Fig. 13. Severe psoriasis unresponsive to medical treatment responds remarkably well to wheatgrass extract.
Fig. 13. Severe psoriasis unresponsive to medical treatment responds remarkably well to wheatgrass extract.

Just two weeks after wheatgrass extract was applied to the affected area, (Fig. 13.) there has been remarkable recovery of the patient's skin after two applications. The large areas of thick plaque have almost disappeared, revealing normal skin underneath. This suggests there has been a rapid "re-connection" (re-coupling) between the psoriatically damaged skin area and the brain which has then responded to help restore the patient's skin to normal. Also, in this case, the patient is young, which could also help expedite the healing process.

This case also suggests that psoriasis might develop due to dysfunction of cell receptors near the skin surface. This concept may also be the cause of other conditions such as skin disorders, hemorrhage, pain, itch etc. that often respond well to wheatgrass extract