A Brief History of Wheatgrass

The medicinal value of wheatgass has been known about for more than 5000 years.

“Wheatgrass juice is the nectar of rejuvenation, the plasma of youth, the blood of all life. The elements that are missing in our body’s cells – especially enzymes, vitamins, hormones, and nucleic acids can be obtained through this daily green sunlight transfusion”. – Viktoras Kulvinskas, Author of Survival into the 21st Century

Throughout the history of wheatgrass, it has been recognized for its beneficial health effects. Mankind has always known that livestock showed improved health and vigor when they feed on the young grasses of early spring. Herdsmen have moved their livestock across every continent in search of the best grazing grasses for their animals.

Today, grass is the world’s most widespread form of vegetation. There are over 12,000 species of grass found across the planet, covering more than 25% of the earth land mass. You will find grass wherever there is the sun, water, and soil. Grass has truly become recognized as the staff of life with four of the world’s top five crops being grains/grasses.

The use of wheatgrass can be traced back more than six thousand years, to ancient early Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations.

Five thousand years ago, Egyptians were using wheatgrass for health purposes. The Priests, Pharaohs, and influential members of ancient Egyptian society used wheatgrass regularly, believing that it improved their health.

Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Babylonian Empire, and builder of the Hanging Gardens reigned from 605 BC – 562 BC., reportedly restricted his diet to grasses and attributed the health benefits of this magnificent chlorophyll rich plant to the improvement of his physical and mental health.

Almost two thousand years ago, during the first century A.D., we found a Jewish sect known as the Essene’s using wheatgrass as a healing food. From their holy book The Gospel of Peace, translated by Edmund Bordeaux Szekely, we read:
“We may also eat of the tender blades of grass that the strength of the Earthly Mother may enter into us. But chew well the blades, for the Son of Man has teeth unlike those of beasts, and only when we chew well the blades of grass can the Angel of Water enter our blood and give us strength. Eat, then, Sons of Light, of this most perfect herb from the table of our Earthly Mother, that your days may be long upon the earth, for such finds favor in the eyes of God.”

WELCOME TO WHEATGRASS SCIENCE IN THE 20TH CENTURY
In 1915 Dr. Richard Willstätter’s pioneering work on natural products; especially chlorophyll was honored with the 1915 Nobel Prize in chemistry. His founding of the healthful link between the chlorophyll in plants and the hemoglobin in our blood was the start of scientific research into how close the composition of chlorophyll and human blood are. He showed that chlorophyll molecules bonded in in a very similar way as the iron molecule in hemoglobin. Close to the time of Dr. Willstätter’s work and discovery of the wonder of chlorophyll, in the laboratory, world war I had broken out across Europe. In the small county of Lithuania, a young girl named Ann Wigmore watched as her grandmother treated sick and wounded soldiers with grass poultices as well as having them drink the juice of the grasses. Later in life, Ann drank wheatgrass to manage her own colon disease.

In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s scientists, including Charles Francis Schnabel were studying grasses and green leafy vegetables and unlocking their nutritional mysteries. They tested all types of plant and meat based feeds and found that animals did not only survive on the grass-based feed but thrived on it, in contrast, their health failed when they were fed other healthy vegetables, including green leafy vegetables.

In 1931 Charles Francis Schnabel an American school teacher and agricultural chemist who is kindly referred to as the “father of wheatgrass” discovered that wheat and barley grasses reached their nutritional peak at or just before the commencement of the jointing stage. Because he was an agricultural chemist, the focus of Schnabel’s studies were based in developing feeds for livestock, which would help them recover more quickly from sickness, grow faster, and increase fertility. His research proved to be the most in-depth study of its time, demonstrating the nutritional value of grasses and how the dietary values changed through different stages of the plant’s life.

Struck by the power of wheatgrass, Charles Schnabel started promoting his discoveries to feed mills, chemists and the food industry. Two large corporations that are still with us today (Quaker Oats and American Dairies) invested millions of dollars into funding further research. Joined by others, such as biochemist George Kohler, his passion inspired a body of scientific research and much of his research finding served as the basis of Dr. Ann Wigmores development of wheatgrass therapy.

The “Wheatgrass Juice Factor”

In the mid-1930s, at the University of Wisconsin, Dr. George Kohler and his colleagues were studying the differences in the nutritional value of cow’s milk produced at different seasons of the year. Although they thrived on summer milk, experimental rats and guinea pigs failed to grow and eventually became sick and died when fed winter milk. The higher nutritional value of the summer milk was found to be due to the grasses eaten by the cows in the spring and summer. Thus began research on the “Grass Juice Factor”, a water-soluble extract of grass juice which was responsible for this growth effect.

Most of the individual vitamins that we know about today were identified during the 1930s by scientists working to identify all the nutritional factors necessary for growth and reproduction in humans and domestic animals.

Scientists were amazed to find, when they added green chlorophyll-rich foods to the diets of test animals, the growth and health effects of cereal grass and the “Grass Juice Factor” were far our stripping any other type of supplementation. By the late 1930s, dehydrated and dried cereal grasses were available in several forms for use as a human and animal food supplements.

After many years of research and testing, the scientists at the University of Wisconsin determine the highest levels of the “Grass Juice Factor”, was found in cereal grass (wheatgrass), young white clover, peas, and cabbage.

At the University of California at Berkeley, Dr. Mott Cannon and his colleagues found that guinea pigs health rapidly failed when fed a stock ration plus high levels of all the then-known nutrients. When the researchers added standard food supplements such as liver extracts, wheat germ, and brewer’s yeast to the animals’ diets, the guinea pigs remained sick and often died. The addition of grass or grass juice brought about dramatic recovery and restimulated growth in these animals.

In 1935, Danish researchers discovered vitamin K, the “Koagulation vitamin”. Because this nutrient was difficult to isolate in large quantities, cereal grasses were used in place of purified vitamin K—both for research and for medical therapy.

In 1938 Folic acid was identified, being named after the green leaves, or foliage, which proved to be its most abundant source. Scientists knew they were on to something as they observed the health and growth benefits that the known vitamins and minerals in the cereal grasses provide. Other benefits, however, could not be attributed to known nutrients.

In the early 1940s, Dr. Charles Kettering (former chairman of the board of General Motors) donated money for the study of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll was studied intensively by scientist and medical doctors (there are currently over 70 articles written up in scientific and medical journals about the healing effects of chlorophyll.) These scientist and medical doctors found that chlorophyll was a great healer.

In 1940, in the American Journal of Surgery, Benjamin Cruskin, M.D., recommends chlorophyll for its antiseptic benefits. The article suggests the following clinical uses for chlorophyll:

“To clear up foul-smelling odours, neutralize strep infections, heal wounds, hasten skin grafting, cure chronic sinusitis, overcome ear inflammation and infections, reduce varicose veins and heal leg ulcers, eliminate impetigo and other scabby eruptions, heal rectal sores, successfully treat inflammation of the uterine cervix, get rid of parasitic vaginal infections, reduce typhoid fever, and cure advanced pyorrhea in many cases”.

Through the 1940s and 1950s, scientist continued to research the potential of cereal grasses and their effect on humans and animals. Expanded research led to their finding that cereal grass was shown to contain factors which support the growth of lactobacilli and other beneficial intestinal bacteria, block the development of scurvy, stop the formation of histamine-induced and peptic ulcers.

OTHER UNIDENTIFIED HEALTH FACTORS IN CEREAL GRASSES
By 1950, all the nutrients now considered essential to the human diet (except for selenium) had been identified. But researchers continued to describe green food “factors” which could not be correlated with any known nutrient.

I see a world without sickness…a world in complete harmony and in perfect physical, mental, and spiritual balance by following nature’s laws of cause and effect. – Ann Wigmore

In the late 1950’s early 1960’s Ann Wigmore “re-discovered” wheatgrass and was able to cure her own ‘untreatable’ colon cancer. She also had been a terrible accident which had crushed her legs, gangrene set in and the doctors wanted to amputate her legs. Ann had made friends with Dr. Earp Thomas, who believed that wheatgrass was one of the most potent healing foods known to man. Dr. Thomas found that an ounce of wheatgrass in a gallon of fluoridated water would turn the fluorine into the harmless calcium-phosphate-fluoride compound. Used in wash water, it adds softness to the face and hands. It stops bleeding, eases itching, and helps in wound healing. Dr. Thomas further discovered that fruits and vegetables contaminated by sprays were thoroughly cleaned and the harmful food transformed by wash water with a wisp of wheatgrass placed in the water.

As Ann spent untold hours with her mentor, Dr. Thomas and as she learned more and more about the medicinal effects of grass, she decided to heal herself of her disease and her injuries. She began drinking fresh wheatgrass and eating wild and natural raw living foods. She shared wheatgrass with several sick friends, and along with herself, each recovered from their sickness.

Drinking wheatgrass should not be considered a one-stop cure-all. Although wheatgrass has helped hundreds of thousands of people recover from serious illnesses, it is neither a drug nor a magic bullet.

As of 2019, Creative Health International, (CHI) wheatgrass is grown on the premises and serves as one of our nutritional cornerstones in our full body detoxification and rebuilding health process. We believe that when our students and guests take in substantial quantities of wheatgrass along with raw living foods and probiotics, they quickly overcome their health challenges. When we have them take the time to address their lifestyle physically, spiritually and their mental and emotional states, they can create an immune system that will not be as much affected by any illness.

I invite you to join us on the beautiful journey to health and happiness as you make drinking at least 2 ounces of wheatgrass daily as apart of your living a healthy lifestyle.

Love & blessings, Bobby

“Until man duplicates a blade of grass, Nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge.” – Thomas A. Edison

Author: Robert Morgan Certified Naturopath

Robert C Morgan - "Bobby" is the past Health Education Director at CHI. A certified Naturopath, Iridologist, Energy Practitioner, Colonic Therapist, Master Raw Live Food, Chef, Author, International lecturer, Teacher and Cancer "Surthrivor". Bobby is dedicated to continuing to carry out the work of Creative Health Institute, the vision of Dr. Ann Wigmore and all of the souls who have dedicated their lives to love peace, and natural health.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.