In 1995, when working in a general medical practice in Melbourne, Australia, prescribing natural remedies of any kind was considered taboo by the majority of doctors. Medicines were manufactured by Big Pharma, or not at all. It was therefore very unlikely that a "simple" remedy extracted from wheatgrass sprouts could do anything prescribed medicines couldn't.
Yet, the wheatgrass extract I have used numerous times since then has healed a vast number of "incurable" conditions, from venous leg ulcers to topical steroid skin damage. (View a list of conditions.)
But, what if wheatgrass extract could effectively treat a broad spectrum of conditions, quicker and more effectively than commonly used pharmaceuticals - and with no side effects? For instance, molluscum contagiosum, a very common viral skin infection, has defied modern medicine for many years, yet wheatgrass extract usually eliminates the condition after 4 to 8 weeks' treatment, just once a week!
When I first tried using the extract, I was highly skeptical that it could assist any kind of healing. But, to my amazement, it quickly proved itself, then proceeded to effectively treat numerous other medical conditions and injuries - often when pharmaceuticals had no effect.
My first experience of the extract's therapeutic power was when it relieved severe pain of an elderly patient's leg ulcer, in just a few minutes! But, this is a very common, often impossible medical condition to heal with conventional medicines. Now, usually two or three applications of the extract to the ulcer monthly is usually sufficient to completely heal such difficult wounds, completely.
Not surprisingly, I was totally mystified as to how the extract had worked. For instance, how could it heal what were essentially "dead" skin ulcers in the elderly, as well as relieve associate pain? The extract also often works rapidly for a broad spectum of medical skin conditions and injuries. It has even healed "incurable" so-called "autoimmune conditions" such as alopecia (hair loss), and psoriasis.
I pondered for some years over how the extract could achieve so many amazing recoveries, not only of skin, but systemic or "whole body" conditions such as ulcerative colitis. Now, 27 years later, I can present many successful healing examples as well as provide a viable theory about how the extract heals so well, often rapidly. I also need to explain why using "less" rather than "more" of the extract is important. Overuse must be avoided as this can actually slow the healing process. Even so-called "incurable" conditions such as leprosy ulcers and venous leg ulcers respond remarkably well.
Wheatgrass extract contains important bioactive ligands
In 1987, 20 ligands were identified in wheatgrass extract by Rhone Poulenc Laboratories, Paris.
What is a ligand?
The word means "to bind". Within the context of pain for instance, a ligand can be defined as any molecule or atom that binds to a pain receptor then induces the cell's DNA to produce and release a pain-signalling protein such as Substance P. In this way, the receptor signals the brain that a particular area of the body has been injured.
Another example is insulin, which signals and influences the metabolism of cells throughout the body, or, the ligand acetylcholine, which is used by the brain to transfer nerve impulses between muscle cells.
Observations of many thousands of clinical responses using wheatgrass extract, told me that wheatgrass extract must be influencing gene expression via sensory and other cells - on the skin and internally. For instance, some cases of long-standing ulcerative colitis hvae recovered following ingestion of small amounts of the extract. Apparently, this was due to "normalisation" of their intestines' sensory receptors via ligands in wheatgrass extract.
Ligands influence the bioactivity of sensory receptors (e.g. pain, cold, heat etc.) which in turn keeps the brain informed of what is happening throughout the body. In Figure 1, the penetration of the pin on the victim's finger has activated pain receptors which, in a split second, have notified the brain of the pain's location, and its severity. Instantaneously, the brain responds, activating the complex limb movements required to pull the finger away from the sharp object - "a normal response" that we have all experienced.
This "feedback mechanism" is how the body's physiological and physical stability is maintained. Similarly, the ligands (approximately 20) in wheatgrass extract appear to influence "normalisation" of many abnormal or damaged physiological and structural functionalities which ultimately lead to recovery of a wide variety of medical conditions and injuries.
For instance, the Rhone Poulenc tests clearly showed that wheatgrass extract was highly effective in blocking Substance P reaching the brain by almost 100 percent! Even pain relief of second-degree burns can be attained by applying wheatgrass extract to the burn area - even radiotherapy burns). It follows that wheatgrass extract is unable to restore third-degree burns because neurological pathways to the brain have been permanently damaged.
Nineteen other ligands were discovered in the extract capable of inhibiting specific cell-binding from 7 to 100 percent - a broad spectrum of bioeffectiveness indeed. There are many other conditions, topical and systemic, where wheatgrass extract can facilitate or restore functionality or repair damaged tissue.
Since 1995, I have observed many thousands of cases where wheatgrass extract has not only relieved pain, but restored tissue functionality, for example, after radiation therapy, burns and injuries. (View many burns examples.)
How we feel pain and other sensations
Fig. 1. How pain is felt on the skin. Wheatgrass extract can prevent pain reaching the brain by inhibiting or blocking transmission of Substance P, even several days after the incident.
If you accidentally prick your finger with a pin, pain receptors in your skin instantly "report" the pain and its location to the brain (Fig. 1. - red line) via the pain neurotransmitter, Substance P. The brain then responds by rapidly withdrawing the hand from the hot object. However, if wheatgrass extract is applied over the painful area as soon as possible after the injury, it can actually block Substance P transmission so that it reduces or eliminates pain caused by the burn. (View examples of how effectively wheatgrass extract can relieve burn pain.)
Also, application of the extract to the back of the neck of a feverish child or adult has often restored body temperature to normal in ten to twenty minutes. This suggests the presence of one or more ligands in the extract that have influenced the hypothalamus, the area of the brain that controls body temperature (and numerous other functions). Also, clinical observation suggests the extract "normalises" the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) to the point where infertility can sometimes be overcome.
Figure 2 shows how wheatgrass extract might help repair damaged skin due to a pin-prick wound. In a similar way, many other injuries and internal conditions such as gastric ulcers and ulcerative colitis often respond well to the extract.
Fig. 2. How wheatgrass extract likely assists healing of an injury. Many cell receptors are required to notify the brain of hemorrhage, inflammation, pain etc., so that recovery of malfunction or injury can commence. The extract appears to "reconnect" broken or damaged receptors and to restore or "normalise" multiple cell types via a process I refer to as "neuronal re-coupling". (See below.)
Wheatgrass extract influences neuronal re-coupling to assist healing
Since 1995, I have used a wheatgrass extract for effectively treating a broad spectrum of medical conditions and injuries. The extract can also be effective in relieving pain, stopping bleeding and eliminating infection, and assisting recovery of damaged or dysfunctional tissue – externally and internally. It appears that these positive therapeutic responses are made possible by ligands in the extract influencing gene expression of a broad spectrum of cell receptors - internally and externally.
In 2006, wheatgrass extract’s ability to influence gene expression was confirmed by internationally renowned biological scientist, Professor Panos Ioannou – one of the producers of the first human PAC genomic library.
When we met in July, 2004, he had already tested numerous plant extracts, hoping to find one capable of influencing gene expression of abnormal cells in children suffering from the incurable genetic blood disorder, thalassemia.
Professor Iouanou first contacted me while working in his laboratory at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) in Melbourne, on 28th July, 2004. He had stumbled on some of the medical recoveries I had observed using wheatgrass extract and reported online. In particular, he was interested in my theory that the extract appeared to influence gene expression in some of these receptor cells. When I delivered my wheatgrass extract sample to him, he kindly showed me around his laboratory AND opened a refrigerator door to show me his “personal copy” of the human genome!
Panos’ assay was designed to detect fetal haemoglobin (HbF) production in mouse erythroleukemic cells, using a fluorescent protein gene that was used to replace the genes for HbF. The wheatgrass extract was tested on three separate mouse cell clones.
A week later, he reported 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, it strongly influenced gene expression.
He reported: “The wheatgrass extracts have now been analysed and repeated in triplicate to confirm their activity. l'm glad to say that they are inducing gamma globin gene expression in our assay.”
“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.”
"These results,"wrote Prof. Iouanno, "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. [All important potential outcomes.]
"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.”
Sadly, Panos passed away, aged 54, on 18 April, 2005, several months after his terminal cancer was diagnosed. For some reason, Panos’ remarkable discovery was then quietly forgotten, but at least he was able to demonstrate that wheatgrass extract is capable of influencing gene expression.
My theory on how wheatgrass extract heals
Having witnessed thousands of extraordinary "healing" responses to wheatgrass extract, since my first observation in 1995, I have pondered every day since then to explain how it works. After all, how could an apparently "simple" cereal grass extract heal of improve the status of such a broad spectrum of medical conditions and injuries?
This case - (Fig. 3), of psoriasis in an adult male who had been treated for many years with topical steroids helps to answer the question. The drugs, although they may have held his symptoms in check, have actually atrophied or thinned his skin, weakening its protective properties and slowing or blocking its recovery. In fact, numerous dry, scaly, lightly pigmented lesions (red arrows) have spread widely over his chest and back.
The lesions had been present for more than 15 years, and were unresponsive to a variety of orthodox medical treatments such as topical steroids which had been regularly applied for several years - unfortunately, to no avail. In fact, it is more likely they have caused more damage by thinning the skin, damaging its important protective functions and negatively affecting the blood supply. In fact, the brown(ish), dry and flaking skin cells (red arrows) suggest impaired oxygen and blood supply to the area caused by steroid damage to sensory nerves whose function is to maintain constant feedback to the brain. In other words, the cell receptors, for instance those controlling blood supply to the area, become "de-coupled". This results in reduction of blood supply to the affected area resulting in dry, scaly, colourless skin lesions. However, if the steroids are withdrawn, the patient can suffer severe rebound effects such as weeping, pain, skin erosion, and, worst of all, addiction to the drug.
Therefore, treatment should be aimed at recoupling these "damaged" areas with the brain. My long experience with wheatgrass extract clearly shows it is capable of such a task.
This basic concept applies to many other "abnormalities", (including injuries). Here is a good example.
Fig. 3. Chronic psoriasis prior to wheatgrass extract application - the neuronal de-coupling stage.
Fig. 4. Two months later. Note the significantly enlarged and more robust (?re-activated) psoriatic lesions, which are likely due to neuronal re-coupling with the brain, showing restoration of blood supply and "normal" appearance of the skin. Had the patient continued using the wheatgrass extract, his skin would most likely have recovered.
In Figure 4, wheatgrass extract has been applied twice monthly for two months. During this time the lesions have darkened significantly and increased in size, suggesting early recovery. I believe that these changes were due to a degree of "re-coupling", where there has been re-connection of damaged neuronal links between skin cell receptors, (pain, blood circulation and many others), and the brain. Ligands, that we know exist in the extract appear to have played an important role in this process by assisting restoration of gene expression, leading to "normalisation" of damaged cells.
Note that the lesions have not only enlarged, but what was most likely their original dark brown colour has returned, suggesting improved blood circulation which is a good sign suggesting healing. Also, the patient's age (about 60), may be an important factor if his blood circulation is at all compromised.
Finally, compare this case with the 17 year old female below who has suffered psoriasis for several years. Although topical steroids failed her, wheatgrass extract applied once weekly, completely healed her skin in four months. This suggests that wheatgrass extract has restored normal physiological processes, including blood supply, by repairing neuronal de-couplings.
By comparison, most drug treatments for psoriasis (and eczema) such as topical steroids, tend to reduce inflammation but do little if anything to restore the skin's normal anatomy and physiological structure. Instead, we see atrophy (thinning of the skin) which leaves the patient exposed to infection and unpleasant topical steroid withdrawal symptoms if treatment is ceased or reduced.
How does wheatgrass extract help healing?
Wheatgrass most likely heals thanks to ligands - (20 at least) - in the extract which appear to assist the "re-coupling" process - not just for the skin, but for internal conditions as well. For example, in ulcerative colitis. In fact, wheatgrass extract has a positive "whole body effect" that is capable of recovering numerous medical conditions and injuries.
Compared with the patient in Figure 4, the remarkable response of this teenage girl's psoriasis (Fig. 5.) to wheatgrass extract suggests that age is most likely an important factor in the wheatgrass extract's healing process.
Such effective recoveries of complex wounds and of topical steroid damaged skin by wheatgrass extract, suggest repair of "signalling" tissue malfunction or damage, directly to the brain. Also, numerous clinical observations suggest influence affecting the hypothalamic/pituitary/adrenal (HPA) axis which controls the body's hormonal, and many other bioactivities. For instance, the extract has helped many infertile women conceive. It also appears that the extract assists whole body repair by restoring damaged neuronal connections between the brain and adversely affected areas such as skin rash, alopecia and venous ulcers.
For instance, in this case of severe psoriasis. (Fig. 6.)
Just two weeks after wheatgrass extract was applied to the affected area, (Fig. 4.) 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, the patient is young, which might facilitate the healing process.
This case also suggests that the CAUSE of psoriasis might be related to dysfunction of efferent nerves from the brain to "affected" areas. This concept is supported by a number of conditions such as skin disorders, hemorrhage, pain, itch etc. that frequently respond to wheatgrass extract
Why chlorophyll does nothing to keep you healthy
A green-coloured commercial product, "Chlorophyllin", (containing an extract derived from wheatgrass sprouts) was, in the United States in the 1930/40's, found to be effective for healing infected wounds, and helped create the myth that “green” chlorophyll "heals". In fact, if left for a short while, fresh wheatgrass juice turns from dark green to black as the chlorophyll oxidises, losing its bioactivity. Chlorophyllin manufacturers 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 results to chlorophyll, he observed:
Absence of odour in infected wounds.
Acceleration of wound recovery when used as a dressing - particularly for burns.
A drying effect for abscesses, sinus tracts, surface wounds and bone infection.
Having also observed the same experiences many times using a wheatgrass extract (which actually contains no chlorophyll), I can vouch for many of Bowers' observations.
He also reported faster healing of anal fistula, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, bedsores and bone fractures - even gunshot wounds. I have no doubt that his observations were as he described, but there are a few "facts" about wheatgrass healing that need to be corrected.
For example, contrary to Bowers' claims, chlorophyll, although essential for the production of oxygen, is neither capable of healing wounds, nor any other medical condition. Figure 7 below attempts to confirm this statement.