“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 Twenty First 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 grass for the their animals.
Today, grass is the world’s most widespread form of vegetation. There are over 9,000 species of grass found across the planet, covering more than 25% of all earths land mass. You will find grass wherever there is 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 powerful members of ancient Egyptian society used wheatgrass on a regular basis, 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 find 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 eat also 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 discover of the wonder of chlorphyll, in the laboratory, war had broken out across Europe and in the small county of Lithuania, a young girl named Ann Wigmore watched as her grandmother treated soldiers with it and later used wheatgrass to treat 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 the nutritional mysteries. They tested all types of vegetable and meat based feeds and found that animals could did not only survive on grass but thrived on it, but, 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 prior to the commencement of the jointing stage. Being an agricultural chemist, the focus of his 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 the most indepth study of its time proving the nutritional value of grasses and how the nutritonal 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 devleopment 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.
Scientist were amazed to find that 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 failed rapidly 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. 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 lieu 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 richest 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 provided. Other benefits, however, could not be attributed to known nutrients.
In the early 1940’s, Dr. Charles Kettering (former chairman of the board of General Motors) donated money for the study of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll was studied intensively by medical doctors (there are currently over 40 articles written up in medical journals about the healing effects of chlorophyll.) These 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 (with the exception of 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 powerful healing foods known to man. Dr. Thomas found that an ounce of wheatgrass in a gallon of fluoridated water would turn the fluorine into 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 negative 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 natural raw living foods. She shared wheatgrass with several sick friends and along with her, 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 illness, it is neither a drug nor a magic bullet. Here at Creative Health Institute, (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 guests take in substantial quanities of wheatgrass along with raw living foods and take the time address their lifestyle physically, spiritually and their mental and emotional state they can create an immune system that will not be as greatly affected by illness We invite you to join us on the wonderful journey of health and happiness.
Love & blessings,
“Until man duplicates a blade of grass, Nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge.” – Thomas A. Edison