Wound healing: Positive effects from wheatgrass juice

Effect of Triticum aestivum juice on wound healing in rats.

Singh, J., Sethi, J. Yadav, M., Sood, S., Gupta, V. Intl. J. Nat. Prod. Sci. 2011; 1: 15-20.

Background: We might not think much about the process that takes place when we have a small cut or burn. A healthy body will heal itself in a few days. But many people who have poor wound healing (e.g. type 2 diabetes, immunocompromised) or major wounds or burns need to receive additional support to healing quickly and properly. Therefore, researchers are constantly looking for ways to augment or speed up the body’s natural wound healing process. Previous reports have suggested that the juice from wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum) can help. The current study examined this in a laboratory setting.

Laboratory Study: Researchers created two types of experimental wounds in anesthetized rats, namely surgical incisions and thermal burns (hot wax). The wounds were created in such a way as to carefully control the size and extent of the wound. The wounds were then treated in one of three ways: No additional treatment (control), wheatgrass juice applied to the wound, or an antibiotic ointment called Framycetin. The wounds were then measured for 9 days after the initial burn. Surgical wounds showed signs of healing in all cases (smaller wound size) but healing was significantly faster in the groups treated with wheatgrass juice or the antibiotic ointment compared to control. Likewise, granulation tissue (the tissue that needs to form during normal healing) was thicker and healthier looking (under microscope) in the treated animals compared to control. In the animals that sustained burn wounds, two untreated animals developed severe blood infections and died. This did not occur in the wheatgrass juice or the antibiotic ointment groups. The speed of wound healing was faster in the wheatgrass juice and the antibiotic ointment groups compared to control animals.

Conclusion: Wheatgrass juice, when applied directly to surgical or burn wounds, can speed the healing process. This may be of special relevance in patients who are allergic to antibiotic ointments or in countries where antibiotics are too expensive for routine use. Wheatgrass juice may provide an equally effective alternative to topical antibiotics.