Wheat grass / Wheatgrass / Barley grass

Wheat grass / Wheatgrass / Barley grass

Ann Wigmore is probably the founder of this treatment plan. She died at the age of 95 in a fire. Her treatment is usually combined with other alternative treatments.

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Wheat grass & Barley Grass

Grass is the world's most ubiquitous vegetation. There are over 9,000 species of grasses. From the outback "down under" to the 1-inch arctic tundra, wherever there is sun, water, and soil, there is grass. All grasses begin as grains such as wheat, barley, oat, rye, and rice. Four of the world's top five crops are grasses. For centuries, farmers have noticed how livestock health improves when they feed on the young grasses of early spring.

In the 1970s, Dr. Ann Wigmore popularized the use of indoor grown, freshly squeezed grass juice to treat cancer patients who had been pronounced "incurable" after conventional medical treatment. Wigmore had saved her own gangrenous legs from amputation by using her grass treatments and eventually ran in the Boston marathon. Today, wheatgrass juice is available both as a dry powder and as freshly squeezed juice in juice bars and health food stores everywhere.

Health benefits

As a source of nourishment, grass is a complete food containing all known nutritional elements. People with wheat allergies, by the way, have nothing to fear from this wheat food. Although the grass is grown from grain, it metamorphoses completely into a vegetable with none of the allergic proteins common to glutenous grains. Grass is non-toxic in any dose, but you may react to the results of its detoxifying power. Grass is a powerful purgative for the liver, and too much can release too many poisons too quickly.

Wheatgrass also cleanses and heals the large intestine, another collection point of toxins in the body. But it is, perhaps, most famous as a blood purifier. Grass is one of the planet's best sources of high quality chlorophyll. Ultimately, all food on the planet, whether animal or vegetable, comes directly or indirectly from chlorophyll. Even more amazing is that this "blood of plants" is a chemical cousin to hemin. Hemin is a component of hemoglobin, the red, iron-rich, oxygen-carrying portion of human blood, Wheatgrass juice literally gives you a sunshine transfusion.

When you drink it, this enzyme-rich and metabolically active, fresh, living food transfers its high vibration into your system. A 1-ounce shot of this liquid chlorophyll leaves you with a "buzz." Eastern philosophy might say it raises your kundalini or chi, giving you a natural high. It is this energetic lift that enables grass to enhance your body's ability to heal.

Freshly squeezed wheatgrass juice is available at juice bars and health food stores. You can grow the grass at home and juice it yourself, but only certain machines will extract the liquid from its woody pulp. If you don't want to grow it yourself, you can purchase professionally grown grass, which makes it a lot easier. And if you do not want to buy a juicer, you're in luck, since you can buy it frozen, freeze-dried, or powdered in most health food stores.

Barley and wheat belong to the same family. As grain or grass, they are difficult to distinguish, and nutritionally they are also similar in many ways. Asians consume more barley than wheat. The Japanese medical doctor and researcher Yoshihide Hagiwara pioneered the use of barley grass and invested much of his profits in scientific research. Universities in Japan and the United States have researched the leaf extract from barley grass and discovered a broad range of chemicals that support the immune system, including antioxidants, cellular growth factors, antiinflammatory and anti-ulcer agents, and DNA repair factors. In one 1998 study, barley grass leaf extract dramatically restricted the growth of human prostate and breast cancer cells grown in tissue culture.

Wheatgrass Juice

Wheatgrass (baby wheat) juice is an extremely important body cleanser and natural food. Since Dr. Ann Wigmore rediscovered the nutritional qualities of wheatgrass juice in 1960, the juice has helped hundreds of thousands of people around the world overcome serious health problems. However, wheatgrass juice is not a panacea. If you continue to consume processed foods, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, burned foods and other toxic substances that have made you ill, a few millilitres of wheatgrass juice each day won't make much difference. Instead, try consuming a predominantly (or entirely) raw food diet, with wheatgrass juice. You will probably experience a world of improvement.

What's in wheatgrass juice? Over 100 elements have been isolated and scientists have concluded that it is a complete food. Only 7kg of fresh wheatgrass is the nutritional equivalent of 159 kg of the choicest vegetables. The solid content of wheatgrass is approximately 70% chlorophyll, and the chlorophyll molecule in wheatgrass is almost identical to the haemoglobin molecule in human blood. The major difference is in the central atom: iron in blood, magnesium in wheatgrass juice. Scientists believe that chlorophyll is the natural blood-building substance of all plant-eaters and humans. In fact, in animals with severe induced anaemia, chlorophyll has been found to have the same fast blood-building effects as iron.

Why is wheatgrass juice good for humans? Chlorophyll in wheatgrass juice has been found to increase the functions of the heart, vascular system, intestines, uterus and lungs. Wheatgrass juice also disinfects, and it can reduce the effects of radiation.

Wheatgrass juice contains liquid oxygen, which promotes clearer thinking and acts as a natural antioxidant. The abscisic acid in wheatgrass juice helps halt cancer cells' growth hormones.

Wheatgrass juice also helps eliminate toxins stored in the body such as hardened mucus, crystallized fatty acids, fat deposits, calcification and solidified decaying faecal matter.

As we know, selenium is vital to help purge the body of toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Because of the age of the Australian continent, most Australian soil is deficient in selenium. For this reason, many farmers routinely supplement their stockfeed with selenium. Wheatgrass juice (and garlic, seaweed and onions) all provide concentrated sources of selenium.

Wheatgrass juice helps heal ulcers and respiratory infections. It increases resistance to X-rays and helps restore our natural blood alkalinity. Wheatgrass juice removes bad breath and other body odours (try chewing some after eating garlic or onion), reduces itching, soothes sunburn, disinfects, tightens loose and sagging skin, and alleviates dandruff. Because wheatgrass juice is an extremely powerful food you don't need to drink a lot. Start by drinking just 30ml per day on an empty stomach, and juiced in a proper slow-turning wheatgrass juicer. Drink the wheatgrass juice immediately! Oxidation destroys much of any juice's value within minutes. Always dilute the wheatgrass juice with water at least 1:1. (The juice, taken neat, can stress the kidneys.) Wait at least 30 minutes before eating any food or drinking any liquid.

If you find that you can drink 30 ml comfortably, begin to consume 60 ml, or even more, every day. (If you have too much you'll become nauseated.) If you find that even as little as 30ml causes you discomfort though, don't drink it -- just do enemas and implants.

Wheatgrass juice may be used throughout your body. Try it as a conditioner after your shampoo (no, it won't turn your hair green!).

How to Grow Wheatgrass

Start with organic wheat grain (available at your health food shop). If organic wheat grain is not available, commercial wheat grain (the same wheat grain that most breads are made from) will work well.
Soak for 12 hours (summer) or 24 hours (winter).
Drain off water. Allow to sprout for 12 hours (summer) or 24 hours (winter).
Place paper in bottom of wheatgrass planting tray. Planting trays must have holes in bottom for drainage.(*)
Place top-quality soil (available from your nursery) in tray to even depth of 25-50 mm.
(Optional.) If you'd like to add minerals to the soil, get rock dust from your nursery or quarry. Mix a handful with the soil in each tray.
Distribute sprouted seeds evenly over the soil. Make sure that seeds aren't smothering one another.
Soak seeds and soil thoroughly with water.
Place tray in a dark place (20øC-30øC temperature for 2-3 days). A shady spot is sufficient if tray is covered with a hessian bag, blanket or towel, but don't use plastic. The humidity created will cause mold to form. Expect a few mice -- they love sprouted wheat!
Uncover. Water thoroughly again. Leave in shade (not complete darkness) until mature. Water whenever soil begins to feel dry.
During cooler months, when the night temperature is consistently below 15øC, you'll find that wheatgrass will grow much faster inside your (heated) home.
Don't worry if some mold forms on the soil - it's inevitable in Australia's coastal climate. When you harvest, harvest above the level of the mold.
Harvest with scissors when mature. You can either chew and swallow the juice and spit out pulp or get a proper slow-turning wheatgrass juicer. Blenders and other home juicers don't work -- they simply chop and oxidize the grass. The body can't digest chopped grass.
The grass will regrow and it can be harvested again. However, second growth is much weaker.
Recycle mat of soil and grass and start again.
If you have skin cancers, moles, warts or growths, place wet wheatgrass pulp on them, and cover with bandages. Change the pulp and the bandages every few hours. You'll probably notice improvement within a day or two.

If you have sinus or bronchial problems, try snorting a spoonful of juice up each nostril daily for a few days. It won't feel great, but you'll probably find that you can breathe easier! Place wheatgrass juice (diluted) in an eye cup and bathe your eyes. Your eyes will probably become much shinier and your eyesight may improve.

Enemas and Implants

We strongly recommend water enemas followed by wheatgrass juice implants. We know, of course, that enemas aren't natural. You certainly don't see wallabies in the bush doing enemas! Likewise, you don't see wallabies in the bush eating refined sugar, white bread and burned foods, drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco and taking drugs.

All of these poisons gradually build up in our colons, creating a thick, hard toxic scum that adds dead weight to our bodies, causes us to feel stressed and ill, and prevents the proper absorption of nutritious foods. So, we do water enemas and wheatgrass juice implants until we feel as well as we want to feel, and then we don't have to do them anymore!

Start with an enema bag.(*) Do enemas with body temperature water repeatedly until the water runs clear -- until all of the loose faecal matter is removed. Rest for 15-20 minutes. Then, empty any remaining water from the enema bag and place 90 ml of undiluted wheatgrass juice in the bag. Allow the wheatgrass juice to enter your colon. Gently massage your abdomen, moving the wheatgrass juice through the colon.

Most of the wheatgrass juice will be absorbed within 20 minutes. Usually two implants per day (spaced at least an hour apart) are sufficient. If you're in pain, though, you can relieve the pain by doing implants as often as every hour until the pain dissipates. Wheatgrass juice implants purge the colon and liver and nourish the body by being absorbed into the bloodstream through the colon. Just inside the rectum (where the juice is inserted) lies the haemorrhoidal vein, which enters into the portal circulation. The portal vein receives liquids, minerals, nutrients and toxins from the colon and transports all of these directly to the liver where they are either used or eliminated from the body. Since a portion of the wheatgrass juice is thus absorbed into the system, it works on the entire length of the colon, not only on the lower bowel.

Women might also like to try wheatgrass juice as a vaginal implant. Don't use your enema bag, though! Instead, buy a baby syringe and place 60 ml of undiluted wheatgrass juice in the vagina. Allow it to be absorbed. You may find, like hundreds of female Hippocrates students, that the vagina will then eliminate a white sticky fungus -- Candida albicans.

So what does all this about wheatgrass juice and raw foods mean to you? Simply this: if you'd like to feel better -- younger -- less stressed -- more energetic -- lighter -- try a diet high in raw foods, plus wheatgrass juice, for at least one month. Remember, though, that you may experience brief discomfort as a result of toxins being released into your bloodstream and out of your body. Persist! You will soon enjoy superior health. If you have queries about Dr. Ann Wigmore's 100% Vegan Wheatgrass and Living Foods Program, please phone us. Good health to you!


Ronald Bradley (BA, MA, USA) is the Founding Director of Hippocrates Health Centre of Australia. Mudgeeraba 4213, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Tel: 07-5530-2860.

(*)(Large, imported high-quality planting trays, enema bags and baby syringes are all available from Hippocrates Health Centre.)

Article copyright Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients.

FOUNDERS FILE: The Story of Ann Wigmore

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

Despite our historic love affair with grains and the worldwide abundance of grasses, no culture has ever cultivated the drinking of grass juice until the latter half of the 20th century. The popular consumption of fresh squeezed wheatgrass juice is due largely to the efforts and genius of one woman, Ann Wigmore.

Sickness and adversity lead to innovation

Born in Lithuania in 1909, Ann Wigmore had a rough beginning. She started out by being born prematurely. Then she was abandoned because she was a sickly baby and a burden to her parents seeking a new life in the United States. Her grandmother, a self-taught naturalist, rescued and restored Ann to normal health. She learned a lot about healing by watching her grandmother heal wounded WWI soldiers with herbs and weeds. But at age 16, she still had no schooling and couldn't even write her name! At the urging of her grandmother, she left for the United States to get a proper education and reunite with her estranged parents. She wanted to do well and adopted the American lifestyle, including a typical American diet. Eventually, this resulted in colon cancer. Then a terrible automobile accident shattered both her legs. Gangrene set in and the doctors recommended amputation. She refused, and against her own father's wishes was sent home.

My homecoming was not a happy one. Neither my father nor my mother would come near me, and only with the help of my uncle would l find something for breakfast.

Ann knew there was a better way. She returned to her previous "peasant" diet of vegetables, grains, seeds and greens and restored her health by doing what she saw her grandmother do. She picked wild weeds and greens and applied them to her feet. This was not the desperation of a diseased mind but the result of her grandmother's teachings about the healing powers of grasses and weeds. Ann developed a ravenous appetite for anything green. She nibbled on grass and sucked out its juice. She sat for hours in the warm summer sun watching the greenish-blue ring or the "creeping death" as her uncle sorrowfully called it rise up her legs. Winter was approaching and there would be no more fresh grass. What to do?

I asked God for direction. He supplied an exciting solution: the use of grains to grow greens right in the kitchen.!

One day, to her surprise, the little white dog who gave her so much needed love and affection started to lick her legs. This was the one part of her body he never touched! "My first thought was for the animal's safety," said Ann, "I impulsively raised my ann to move it away, when the injunction of my grandmother came to mind so distinctly I could almost hear her voice: `Instinct-guided creatures, left to themselves, do not make mistakes."

That puppy was the first indicator of Ann's recovery. Rest, sun, wild herbs, weeds and kitchen-grown grasses rejuvenated Ann's health. She knew she was not going to die. The doctors informed her father that she was apparently out of danger. According to Ann, "This infuriated him, because he couldn't accept that he was wrong in his decision to have my feet removed." It was several months before her feet were completely healed and she returned to the hospital for an examination. The doctors "made no comment when X-ray films showed that the bones had knitted firmly, said Ann. Years later, Ann Wigmore ran in the Boston Marathon.

Living foods for living bodies

Ann tested her indoor grasses on her animal friends. Wheat became her favorite grass because the animals chewed more of it and it was sweet tasting, easy-to-find and inexpensive. To further her studies, she even adopted a sick, cancerous monkey. Ann nursed the monkey back to good health with creative techniques and live food recipes including sprouted seeds, fermented nut and seed "yogurt," and rejuvelac, a cultured sprouted wheat drink. These, along with wheatgrass, would later become the cornerstone of her Living Foods Diet.

Though she knew she had stumbled on something very valuable, she had no practical way of making it widely available. Most people would not eat their front lawn, no matter how sick they were! There had to be a better way. Then, at a local yard sale, Ann picked up an old cast iron meat grinder on the chance that it might grind the grass. With small modifications, such as the addition of a stainless steel straining sieve, this grinder became the first wheat grass juicer. It was a real innovation because commercial vegetable juicers could not at all manage the ligneous fiber of grass. This made possible her program whereby anyone could grow grass in their kitchens and extract the juice in their homes.

Ann began delivering fresh wheatgrass juice to bedridden ill and elderly people in her Boston neighborhood. Then in 1958, she turned an old mansion on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston into The Hippocrates Health Institute. It was founded on the principle of Hippocrates, the Greek father of modern medicine, who along with his Hippocratic oath, is often paraphrased as saying: "The body heals itself. The physician is only nature's assistant." Dr. Ann, as she was fondly called after she became a doctor of divinity, believed that the body can act as its own physician given the proper tools -- living foods. "Living foods for living bodies, dead foods for dead bodies," said Ann.

Many were healed by wheatgrass

Although Dr. Ann was neither a marketer nor a scientist, Hippocrates Health Institute, situated in the heart of Boston, attracted many celebrities and researchers who helped confirm and give testimony to the healing powers of grass. Among these Were Dr. Chiu-Nan Lai, Dr. G.H. Earp Thomas, Renee Taylor, Dennis Weaver and Dick Gregory. Even Yoko Ono purchased wheatgrass for juicing in her home. People came from all walks of life and all comers of the world, usually as a "last resort" with the hopes of beating cancer or some other degenerative disease.

Vibrating with health and vitality, Ann Wigmore is constantly on the run. Reaching out to all that are open to hear what she has to say, she emphasizes through her program that anyone can live a healthier, happier and more fulfilling life.

-- Dennis Weaver, actor, 1984. Ann had two visitors who were enormously helpful in promoting her work. One was Viktoras Kulvinskas, who helped Ann establish the Hippocrates Health Living Foods Program. The other was Eydie Mae Hunsberger, who had breast cancer. Her surgeon told her, "You have an 80 percent chance to live one year and a maximum life expectancy of five years." Eydie chose a lumpectomy that removed the cancerous tissue. But her cancer spread to other parts of her body. Depressed and frightened, she looked everywhere. She ended up at Dr. Ann's door in 1973. After two weeks on Dr. Ann's program, Eydie was confident she was going to beat cancer. Two years later, with no trace of cancer in her body, she wrote How I Conquered Cancer Naturally, which was very successful and brought many people to Dr. Ann's door.

Dr. Ann has a long list of stories and testimonials from guests who improved their health with the help of wheatgrass. Wheatgrass and its sister, triticum barley, have by testimony helped guests with ailments such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, gastritis, stomach ulcers, pancreas and liver troubles, asthma, glaucoma, eczema, skin problems, constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, colitis, fatigue, menstrual problems, arthritis, athlete's foot, anemia, bad breath/body odor, and burns. In addition, wheatgrass has served as a wonderful first aid for red eyes, wax in ears, congested nasal passages, bleeding gums, tooth pain, sore throats, and inflamed mucous membranes.

Ann tried to spread the word about wheatgrass to the U.S. government. She even went to Washington, D.C. But the political/nutritional climate of the 1970s was stubbornly closed-minded. She had a much greater reception from foreign governments and spent many years launching Living Food programs and research abroad. She visited some 20 countries on her world tour and was especially honored in India, Sweden, Finland and Canada. Ann learned that sickness disregarded all international borders.

Let us make a concerted effort to remedy the global problems by correcting the physical and mental imbalance in each of our lives...The industrialization of our society has created an artificial lifestyle in which humans are being led further and further from the basic truths inherent in nature and the...interrelatedness of all creation. My life has been and continues to be dedicated to the wellness of all humanity.

- Ann Wigmore, 1909-1994

In February of 1994, Ann Wigmore died of smoke inhalation in the middle of the night from a fire that destroyed the Boston home of the original Hippocrates Institute. She was nearly 85. Although she has passed on, her work continues through the efforts of the many lives she's touched. Her single clinic in Boston now has offspring in six locations in the United States alone and others in Australia, Sweden, Finland, and India. Her discovery and teachings have changed the lives of millions.