Injury: Forget the ice. Use wheatgrass

How often we see athletes pressing plastic bags full of crushed ice against pulled muscles, bruises and other injuries - unfortunately, to little or no avail.

Aware that there is a better way to hasten soft tissue injury recovery and ease pain, I wonder why ice is used at all. After all, it has no effect on bleeding, be it from the skin, the nose or from deeper tissues.

Research has shown that ice actually causes inflammation and swelling in the deeper tissues, slowing recovery. (1)

There also seems to be little agreement about how long ice should be applied. (2) In my opinion, it shouldn't be used at all.

Ice, ethyl chloride spray and other coolants may numb the skin and perhaps relieve pain a little, but they do little if anything to assist or hasten tissue recovery.

If these rather primitive methods do little, if anything, to stop bleeding into the tissues and accelerate recovery, why use them at all?

By comparison, wheatgrass extract DOES influence the stopping of deep and surface bleeding and hastens the healing process of soft (and hard) tissue.

Given the substantial amount of lost time due to many sports injuries, wheatgrass extract can significantly assist the recovery process.

How can wheatgrass be more effective than ice?

Let's look at an example. This young footballer received a hefty boot to the head which created a large bruise (hematoma) within minutes. (Left).

I applied a small amount of wheatgrass extract over the injury about five minutes after the incident. No ice or compression was used. It is not necessary because wheatgrass bioactives penetrate the skin, help stop or reduce underlying bleeding and rapidly reduce swelling - often within 24 hours.

On the right is the bruise less than 24 hours later. Note the dramatic reduction in size.

Large hematoma following kick by football boot. Wheatgrass extract applied immediately.
Large hematoma following kick by football boot. Wheatgrass extract applied immediately.
Swelling (hematoma) has disappeared 12 hours after injury.
Swelling (hematoma) has disappeared 12 hours after injury.

Any kind of injury can cause tissue damage. Blood vessels rupture and blood spreads into surrounding tissues causing inflammation and swelling. Pressure build-up then slows muscle, nerve and other tissue recovery.

It is widely known that the most important thing to do for any injury is to stop the bleeding!

Blood in the tissues can do a lot of damage and significantly slow the healing process. The sooner wheatgrass is applied, the sooner the deep and surface bleeding stops, swelling is reduced and blood supply is restored, with rapid recovery the usual outcome.

Too good to be true? I can assure you it's not.

Having used a wheatgrass extract for the recovery of sports and other injuries since 1995, I have no doubt it is a powerful hemostatic agent i.e. it stops bleeding quickly.  Blood noses, open wounds, bruises, sprained ankles, cuts, scratches, abrasions and deep tissue injuries such as corked, torn or pulled muscles - respond quickly to wheatgrass.

But how does it work?

Wheatgrass is an impressive healing agent, and soft tissue injury healing is just one of its benefits.

It's ability to activate the processes required to heal wounds quickly, to stop bleeding and accelerate absorption of blood clot are just a few of the benefits vital to the maintenance and repair of damaged tissues.

The large head bruise shown above illustrates how effectively and rapidly wheatgrass can work.

Read how wheatgrass works.

Some injuries that have responded well to wheatgrass

  • Pulled muscles (hamstrings, quadriceps, calf, loins, back)
  • Groin injuries (osteitis pubis, adductor tendinitis)
  • Blisters, abrasions, wounds, bruises, corks - can heal in a few days, not weeks. Perfectly safe to use on open wounds.
  • Muscle cramps
  • Blood rule - wheatgrass can stop bleeding quickly.
  • Shin splints
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Runners knee
  • Sprained ankle


MacAuley, D. Do textbooks agree on their advice on ice? Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. 11(2):67-72, April 2001.

Dr. Chris Reynolds.

>> Return to Cases & Conditions