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Wheat grass is composed of the young shoots of wheat before stalks form a head with grain. It contains no wheat gluten, and is considered by many natural health professionals to possess healing properties. Wheat grass is, by composition, a superfood. This is due to wheat grass’s heavy concentration of chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Wheat grass is usually consumed either as wheat grass powder or juice. It can be taken orally, or as an effective enema implant for detoxification. Clinical studies have confirmed that wheat grass juice and wheat grass extract do have healing properties. Wheat grass juice has been used clinically to treat ulcerative colitis, aid breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and act as a potent antioxidant.
Wheat grass juice has been clinically proven to heal ulcerative colitis and offers hope to breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy
While natural health advocates have been lauding the healing properties of wheat grass for over sixty years, it is only fairly recently that a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study has been done to scientifically “prove” the effectiveness of wheat grass juice. The April 2002 issue of Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterologyreports that patients who were clinically diagnosed with active distal ulcerative colitis were given either 100cc wheat grass juice or a placebo for a month. Participants kept a diary, while clinicians examined the patients for any changes. Of the patients who fully completed the study, all of them showed a significant reduction in disease activity. Researchers surmised that this was due to the antioxidant properties contained in wheat grass juice.
Breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy were given wheat grass juice to observe if wheat grass juice might inhibit myelotoxicity. Myelotoxicity is bone marrow suppression, where the cells which are responsible for immunity, blood clotting, and delivering oxygen are decreased. Myelotoxicity is life-threatening. The breast cancer patients were divided into intervention and control groups. The intervention group received 60cc wheat grass juice daily, while the control group did not. A full 50% of the control group was not able to complete the study due to “censoring events.” Only 16.67% of the wheat grass juice group was not able to complete the study. While the control group patients were “censored” largely due to white blood cell counts, the wheat grass juice patients were “censored” due to an increase in nausea. These results were enough for the researchers to suggest that wheat grass juice may be able to reduce myelotoxicity, even during chemotherapy.
Wheat grass extract absorbs free radicals and inhibits fat cells in ratsA second clinical study confirms the antioxidant properties contained in wheat grass extracts. The capacity to absorb free radicals (ORAC) was observed, using both aqueous (water-based) and ethanol (alcohol-based) extracts. The most potent wheat grass extracts were those which were 1) alcohol-based, 2) the wheat grass had grown for fifteen days before harvesting, and 3) the wheat grass had grown in soil with nutrients. Not only did this type of wheat grass extract have impressive antioxidant properties, it also significantly reduced fat (lipid) cells in rat liver mitochondria. The ORAC value for both alcohol and water-based wheat grass extract was found to be higher than that of many other vegetables or extracts.
Sources for this article include:
Pubmed.gov. “Wheat grass juice in the treatment of active distal ulcerative colitis: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial,” E. Ben-Arve, et al. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, April 2002: 37(4): 444-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11989836
Pubmed.gov. “Evaluation of the antioxidant activity of wheat grass (Triticum aestivum L.) as a function of growth under different conditions,” S.D. Kulkami, et al. Phytotherapy Research, March 2006; 20(3): 218-27. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16521113
Medical Dictionary. Free Dictionary.com. “Myelotoxic” http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/myelotoxic
Pubmed.gov. “Wheat grass juice may improve hematological toxicity related to chemotherapy in breast cancer patients: a pilot study,” G. Bar-Sela, et al. Nutrition and Cancer, 2007; 58(1): 43-8.
About the Author
This article is provided courtesy of Donna Earnest Pravel, owner and senior editor of Heart of Texas Copywriting Solutions.com. Get free biweekly tips on natural healing and herbs by visiting her blog, Bluebonnet Natural Healing Therapy.
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