Plants have been the source of our medicines for thousands of years. Our modern drugs are largely synthetic replicas of nutritional factors found in plants. Our earliest drugs, asprin, penicillin, and quinine--all came from nature. Even the earliest research of the 1930's identified the young cereal grasses as complete foods. All known nutrients were found including other unidentified ones called grass juice factors.
Grass contains hundreds of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, phytochemcials, anti-oxidants, cellular RNA and DNA all in concentrated form. It all starts in the soil. The earth feeds the plants and the plants feed us. Grasses vary in nutritional content, depending on where it was grown, when, and how.
What's In Grass?
Whole dehydrated grass is 25% protein (meat has 17% and eggs have 12%). We could define grasses as protein foods, but there are other foods like algae with up to 72% protein. Nutrition is not a weight lifting contest. It's not about more protein, but more balance. It's not quantity, but quality and the most important quality factors are variety and balance. Grass is a balanced food containing a broad spectrum of high quality vegetable nutrition.
Grasses are a complete life sustaining food. Based on the studies, if you had to choose one food for survival, it ought to be grass. After all, grasses are the primary food for domestic and wild grazing animals, especially beasts of burden. These dumb animals have long known the truth about grass. We are just coming around now because we have the technological means to compensate for our inability to digest the grass directly. Instead of four compartments in our stomachs, we have juicers and powdering equipment. Blue-green algae, chlorella and spirulina are wonderful and important superfoods that surpass grasses in certain nutrient categories and should be in our diet. But they are more expensive to cultivate than grasses and therefore the cost is high.
Grass is a wonderfully balanced source of nutrients. Excellent for all minerals major and minor, it is especially high in calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as trace minerals such as zinc and selenium. All are important for cardiovascular and immune system function.
Grass has all of the B-vitamins, including the crucial biotin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, an abundance of choline and is a vegetable source of B12. Protein is 2% in fresh wheatgrass juice and up to 45% in barley grass juice powder. An egg, which has long been considered the perfect protein, is 42% protein (dried). Protein in grass is in the form of polypeptides--simpler, shorter chains of amino acids--that enable faster, more efficient assimilation into the blood and tissues. Grass includes at least 20 amino acids, both essential and non-essential. Its spectrum of vitamins is so broad, that in 1939, dehydrated wheat grass was actually accepted by the American Medical Association as a natural vitamin food.
Grasses, along with alfalfa and algae, are the richest sources of chlorophyll on the planet. One third of the planet is covered with grass, including the one-inch tundra above the Arctic Circle. Chlorophyll and the grasses are essential to life on the planet. Green plant cells are the only ones capable of absorbing energy directly from the sun.
Animals absorb sunlight radiation secondarily by plants. If the energy from the sun were to cease, the basic vital functions of all living organisms would gradually slow down, and eventually life on Earth would become extinct. It takes eight minutes for a photon of light to travel the ninety-three million miles from the sun to the Earth's surface. A green plant needs only a few seconds to capture that energy, process it, and store it in the form of a chemical--chlorophyll.
This process of converting light into energy is called photosynthesis. One of the reasons chlorophyll is so effective is its similarity to hemin. Hemin is part of hemoglobin, the protein portion of human blood that carries oxygen.
Studies as long ago as 1911, show that the molecules of hemin and chlorophyll are surprisingly alike. The primary distinction is that an atom of magnesium binds chlorophyll and hemin is bound by iron. Severe anemia is reversed rapidly by chlorophyll administration. It is an important medicine for healing bleeding gums, canker sores, trench mouth, pyorrhea, and gingivitis, even sore throat.
Chlorophyll has the unique ability to be absorbed directly through the mucous membranes, especially those of the nose, throat, and digestive tract. It makes a great mouth wash and an excellent dentifrice, especially in powder form.
Chlorophyll's unique ability to kill anaerobic, odour-producing bacteria is the reason it covers up the smell of garlic, fights bad breath, body odour and acts as a general antiseptic. These bacteria live without oxygen and are destroyed by chlorophyll's oxygen-producing agents.
Dr. Otto warburg, the 1931 Nobel Prize winner for physiology and medicine, concluded that oxygen deprivation is a major cause of cancer. Unlike many drugs, chlorophyll has never been found to be toxic at any dose. Not one of the 9,000 species of grasses that cover our planet is poisonous, unless it was chemically sprayed by a human. Chlorophyll may also provide us with protection from low level X-ray radiation from electronic equipment, TVs, computers, cell phones, etc. Radiation-poisoned lab animals recover when chlorophyll-rich vegetables are added to their diet.
Other Important Nutrients
Chlorophyll is only one of the important pigments in grass. There are other pigments such as carotenoids, alpha carotene and the famous beta-carotene, xanthophylls and zeaxanthin, to name a few.
There is an abundance of these phytonutrient pigments in grass. There are up to 18,000 units of beta-carotene per ounce of grass. This vitamin A pre-cursor has significant immune-enhancing properties including the promotion of T-cells.
High levels of this anti-oxidant nutrient are associated with reduced cancer and cardiovascular disease risks. Another important vitamin and antioxidant abundant in grass is vitamin E.
Grasses have a water-soluble form of vitamin E called a-tocopherol succinate, which stimulates the production of T-cells, antibodies, interleukin2 and interferon among its many immune system functions. This form of vitamin E is very effective in suppressing the growth of cancer cells in-vitro. In addition, it has the ability to increase production of prolactin and growth hormone in the pituitary gland.
Grasses are also abundant sources of quality vitamin K, the blood-clotting vitamin. The body needs it to form the enzyme prothrombin, which creates fibrin that clots blood. It also acts as an antidote for certain poisons. It is more potent than vitamins E and C but when taken together, the synergistic effects are profound. Barley grass has all three in good quantity. It is a preventative for arteriosclerosis and is just as effective as any prescription drug for this disease, without any side effects.
Wheat grass is an abundant, inexpensive source of superoxide dismutase, a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-aging enzyme. superoxide dismutase is a proven anti-inflammatory for arthritis, oedema, gout and bursitis, etc.
Fresh-squeezed wheatgrass is a veritable brew of water, oxygen, enzymes, protein, phyochemicals, cholorophyll, carotenoids, fatty acids and trace minerals, all rushing to revitalize all your cells. It is so charged with electrical energy, you can feel it rushing through you like liquid sunshine transformed into nutritive energy.
Powders vs. Tablets--Dried vs. Fresh
The whole process of growing and juicing grass is made extremely convenient with powdered grass and tablets. While field-grown grass is nutritionally superior it is considered the premier grass for healing. That is what is called energy--the life force. The Chinese call it Chi.
Allergies and Sensitivities
People ask.”If I have an allergy to wheat, can I still take wheat grass”? But, people who have allergic reactions to wheat and wheat products are usually reacting to gluten.
The over consumption of flour products in the diet has over-burdened our systems, forcing our immune system to react to the undigested (foreign) proteins (gluten) with our "allergic" responses. Wheat grass is different than wheat grain. One is a grain, the other a green vegetable. The green vegetable grass contains no gluten. It is no more "allergic" than spinach, kale chard or lettuce. In fact, it contains anti-allergenic factors.
In addition to the liver purging, blood purifying and oxygenating capacity of grass, it coats the colon tissues with soothing, anti-bacteriostatic chlorophyll. Whole leaf wheatgrass powder also provides a high quality vegetable fibre, that’s twice the fibre of bran that maintains regularity.