Exquisite Wheatgrass Health Benefits, a Guide
What is Wheatgrass?
Wheatgrass is a food product that is made from the young leaves of the wheat plant and the long green leafy blades of wheat are therefore also known as wheatgrass. Its scientific name is Triticum aestivum and it is a subspecies of the family Poaceae. It mostly grows in the temperate climate regions of Europe and the United States. It is available in the form of powdered concentrate or juice.
This product originated over 5000 years ago in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The young blades of wheat were considered sacred by the Egyptians who valued it for its health benefits.
Wheatgrass Health Benefits Compared To Classic Vegetables
Wheatgrass juice is considered one of the best natural medicines. The nutritional content of the juice is compared to that of broccoli and spinach.It has higher vitamin C than orange and twice the amount of vitamin A than found in carrot.
B complex vitamins
Wheatgrass Experiments & Studies and the West
It was first consumed in the West during the 1930s, when an agricultural scientist named Charles F. Schnabel used it in his experimental researchin Kansas which made the plant popular. His primary research was to ascertain the value of different animal feeds to find out which feed would provide best results for livestock. At that time not much was known about the nutritional properties of wheatgrass, but when the cattle grazed on it they showed excellent weight gain and milk production. This led to increase in production of dairy products by more than 30%.After he succeeded in his experiments on farm animals, Schnabel decided to test wheatgrass on humans.
He used wheatgrass that was grown outdoors for his experiments as he needed it to be slow grown for a period of 200 days in winter and spring. He harvested the crop in the jointing stage, which was the stage when the plant would have acquired maximum nutritional value. He then dehydrated it to make it into tablets and powders which could be consumed by both humans and animals.
In 1940 powdered wheatgrass produced by Schnabel were available for consumption in pharmacies all over the United States and Canada. Other renowned scientists who took part in Schnabel’s research were, Dr. George Kohler, Dr. G.A. Emerson and Dr. C. Von Wendt.
Wheatgrass popularization in the US
Anne Wigmore, the founder of the Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston, USA, was another strong advocate in popularizing the consumption of wheatgrass. She introduced the Raw Food Diet and according to her wheatgrass in the diet would help cleansing body toxins and provide nutritional balance in the body.
She also believed the wheatgrass could be used to treat people suffering from serious afflictions. Despite many criticisms, Anne Wigmore’s recommendations and teachings are followed by many healthcare centers.
How To Grow Wheatgrass Yourself
Wheatgrass unlike wheat malt is used fresh or in the freeze-dried form. Malt on the other hand is dried convectively. It is also grown longer than wheat malt. It can be cultivated either outdoors or indoors and the popular method used indoors is to grow it in trays using potting mix. It is harvested when the leaves split when another leaf grows before they start developing gluten. Once these leaves are cut, new crop shoots may form.
Wheatgrass that is grown outdoors is used in tablets and powdered concentrates by dehydrating it first at a low temperature. The wheatgrass juice powder comes in freeze-dried or spray-dried form and has an unpleasant bitter taste and gritty texture. This caused the companies to introduce an effervescent tablet with improved taste which was convenient for consumption.
Wheatgrass Health Benefits, Detoxing and Cancer
There are claims of its great health benefits by its proponents who often consider it a super food. It has even been purported that its consumption prevents cancer. Studies conducted in 2002 provided evidence that wheatgrass may help those suffering from symptoms of ulcerative colitis and also with side effects of chemotherapy for breast cancer patients. It is believed that the chlorophyll in wheatgrass benefits and enhances the production of hemoglobin in blood and helps to purify the liver. It should be noted that most wheatgrass cancer treatment claims are not that well supported.
A shot of wheatgrass juice per day is recommended for stabilizing blood sugar levels. It is also considered a natural antioxidant and helps in the detoxification of the body and improving the immune system. Including it in one’s regular diet can prevent tooth decay problems. It is even believed to have anti-ageing benefits.
Wheatgrass Powder and Wheatgrass Juice
These days, it is mostly consumed in the powdered form, tablets or as a juice. Wheatgrass juice is a very popular health drink available in juice bars and healthy or organic food restaurants. It is often found in popular food diets as well. Wheatgrassis the very good modern health dream, a wholesome food product that enriches and protects the body in the best way possible.
Wheatgrass Health Benefits?
Wheatgrass is widely considered one of the finest medicines in nature today. It is a staple for most health nuts and fitness freaks. It is most popularly consumed as freshly squeezed juice or as freeze-dried powder which is then mixed with water to make juice or can also be added to tea or other beverages. To improve on its bitter taste it can be taken with some sugar or honey and for those who cannot stomach the taste at all there are tablets available. Not many people are aware of it but there are lotions, sprays, gels and creams containing wheatgrass that are available in drug stores and regular stores too.
Wheatgrass Vitamins and General Nutrition
Apart from chlorophyll like most green plants, it contains minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, zinc, manganese, selenium, enzymes and amino acids. It has nearly all the major vitamins required by the human body such as vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin K and most of the B complex vitamins (B1-thiamin, B2-riboflavin, B3-niacin, B5-pantothenic acid, B6-pyridoxine and B12-cobalamins). It is gluten free as it is cut when the leaves are very young, before the grains start forming.
Wheatgrass Health and Body
Wheatgrass has a very wide spectrum of health benefits and many curative properties as well, some of which have been scientifically proven. For instance, studies conducted in 2002 pointed to evidence that wheatgrass may help those suffering from symptoms of ulcerative colitis and can also battle the side effects of chemotherapy for breast cancer patients.
It also has nutritional properties that can prevent cancer as it keeps the blood clean and oxygenated with a high red blood cell count. It is a very powerful naturally occurring detoxifying agent and can remove heavy metals from the body. It neutralizes toxins in the body and removes them. It even strengthens the immune system especially building immunity against cold and flu so it is good to have it on a daily basis during winter.
Wheatgrass Digestion and Other Health Benefits
A shot of wheatgrass juice in the morning on an empty stomach can suppress appetite and prevent overeating as it contains most of the nutrients the body requires and so naturally the body does not hunger for any extra food. It is a great stimulant to increase blood circulation and the amount of oxygen in blood.
The juice can be applied on the face and neck instead of oral consumption and that would do the trick as well. It effectively increases the functions of the heart, lungs, intestines and uterus. Daily consumption of wheatgrass benefits digestion greatly. It acts as a natural antacid for indigestion and heartburn and even remedies ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome.
Experts say that it can be used to treat arthritis as the chlorophyll in it fights inflammation and pain of joints. A cotton cloth soaked in 6 ounces of the juice must be placed over the affected joint and covered with plastic. It is an excellent deodorizer as it can remove bad odors from the body and also get rid of bad breath.
Gargling with wheatgrass juice will protect teeth from tooth decay, ensure healthy gums and remove toothache. It is better than using a harsh mouthwash.
Topical Use and Skincare With Wheatgrass
Juice or creams of wheatgrass can be used to heal skin wounds because of its property of regenerating cells faster. It helps to revitalize skin and give a healthy complexion. It can clear acne, blemishes and scars on the skin (if consumed regularly for 7 to 8 months at least), moisturize dry skin and even fight eczema and psoriases. Washing the body with wheatgrass juice and warm water for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinsing off with cold water will take care of most skin related afflictions. Similarly it is very effective in treating sunburns.
Wheatgrass juice for detox and hygiene
It is well known for its ability to detoxify and revitalize the liver. It works great to stabilize blood sugar levels hence it is instrumental in handling diabetes. Drinking or inhaling wheatgrass helps to clear sinuses as it is effective in breaking down the mucus in the nose. The chlorophyll content increases the supply of oxygen in the body enabling faster cell regeneration and therefore reducing fatigue experienced by the body. Pyorrhea of the mouth can be treated by keeping soaked wheatgrass on the affected area in the mouth or by chewing the leaves and spitting out the pulp.
A wheatgrass implant or enema works wonders in cleaning and healing colon walls and internal organs. Applying the juice to hair can prevent premature graying and leaving it on the scalp for about 15 minutes will help rid dandruff. The juice can be used as a douche in feminine hygiene. For slight eye irritations rinsing the eyes with a mixture of strained wheatgrass juice and water will work wonders. It also reduces high blood pressure by opening up blood capillaries.
Wheatgrass benefits are many and diverse. It’s a plant species definitly worth its place in your diet.
© 2015 Sam Shepards