Not just for Cows

Wheat Grass and Barley grass are full of good stuff.

First heard about wheat grass when a friend suffering from cancer was asked to take it by the doctor. Until then I always thought that grass, all kinds, was meant for the cattle alone.

Actually wheat grass is said to be the most nutritious plants available. It belongs to the same category as spinach, kale and broccoli. Wheat grass, alfalfa and barley glass are described as cereal grasses”. They are very good source of chlorophyll. The juice of wheat grass is often described as “liquid chlorophyll”.

Both wheat grass and barley grass are the young shoots of sprouted grains. Or one could describe them as grain plants at the grass stage, taken just after sprouting. They are said to boost health and vitality. Wheat grass, or its juice, helps fight many chronic ailments- from simple anemia to leukemia, from skin rash to cancer, from worms to ulcers.

Way back in the 1940s Charles Kettering of General Motors did intensive research on chlorophyll because doctors has discovered that chlorophyll is a great healer. It is a remarkable substance, which can capture sun’s energy and store it in plants. Chemically, chlorophyll is similar to hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body. This research led to the revelation that wheat grass, among others, was especially rich in chlorophyll.

Also, during the 1940’s Ann Wigmore from Boston made a special study (along Dr.Thomas) of the healing property of many kinds of grasses. She later started the Ann Wigmore Institute in Boston to spread awareness about wheat grass. Wheat grass has just about 10-15 calories per teaspoon and no fat or cholesterol. It contains vitamins A, B1, 2,3,4,5,6,8 and 12;Vitamins C, E and K. A teaspoon of wheat grass contains around 15mg of calcium, 8mcg Iodine, 3.5 mcg Selenium, 870-mcg Iron, 62 mcg Zinc, and many other minerals. Wheat grass also contains three important enzymes that have significant anti-oxidant properties. And it contains 70 percent chlorophyll.

Wheat grass juice is sweet while the juice of barley grass is rather bitter. Actually neither taste is appealing. But both are so nutritious and beneficial that they are fast becoming two of the most widely used supplemental health foods. Wheat grass is considered perfect for dieters, athletes, people on the move and those who want to keep up a healthy immune system.

Wheat grass is available at most health food stores. It can be refrigerated for up to three days if stored in a plastic container or a strong polythene bag. It can be chewed as it is or made into juice. But it should be drunk with in half an hour of extraction. An electric blender should not be used as the rapid blade movement destroys most of its nutritional qualities, particularly the chlorophyll. Special manual juicers are available or it can be crushed on a stone slab. A little water may be added when grinding it and then it should be strained through a fine wire mesh or a clean cloth.

Wheat grass is believed to be a wonderful cleanser and rejuvenator, helping the body detoxify. While it is not a substitute for medicines it helps maintain good health and fight ailments like asthma, inflammation and arthritis. To know more about cultivating wheat grass check www.sproutman.com/wheatgrass.html

If you want to try it, go slow at first, and remember it is a supplement to a healthy diet.

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