News Articles - Wheatgrass and Green Barley - 100% Organic Super Foods
Wheatgrass, Growth Factors and the Grass Juice Factor
Dr. Chris Reynolds.
I would like to follow on from my last newsletter and discuss my ideas about the Grass Juice Factor in a little more detail. Through various scientific and clinical studies and my own modest contribution, we know of many healing properties of wheatgrass. After all, it must be one of the most useful and effective home remedies available and is a boon to any health practitioner who is prepared to try it.
But, even though it has been extensively analysed and studied, we don't yet know how or why it works so well. The Grass Juice Factor was first discovered in the 1930’s. Although its substantially positive effects on growth and fertility were recognized at the time, the molecule or molecules responsible have never been identified.
Now, cereal grass has been shown to stimulate the release of human growth hormone and prolactin from anterior pituitary cells, the gland at the base of the brain that controls the body's hormonal system, which influences growth and numerous other physiological and biochemical functions of the body. It also has powerful antioxidant effects.
Human growth hormone stimulates growth factors that are responsible for numerous physiological and immunological processes in humans and animals. For example:
Immunomodulation ("normalisation" of
damaged cells and tissues)
In ageing, they help delay frailty, muscle atrophy, relative obesity, and increased frequency of fractures . All of the above effects have been observed and recorded by medical scientists and practitioners. My own research and broad clinical experience using a wheatgrass extract suggests the presence of multiple growth factor activity such as Insulin-like Growth Factor 1, (demonstrates many of the effects mentioned above), Fibrocyte Growth Factor (wound healing) and Hemangiopoietin Growth Factor (stimulates bone marrow blood-producing activity and new blood vessel growth).
In other words, it appears the Grass Juice Factor is more likely a group of biologically active precursors (chemical compounds that lead to other, usually more stable products) rather than a single molecule. These precursors may in some way stimulate various growth factors (there are many), which could in turn explain why wheatgrass has such a broad spectrum of activity.
The point is that although one can't ignore the nutritional benefits of wheatgrass, I strongly believe that the most important elements in wheatgrass are the small, as yet unidentified biologically active molecules that give you, me and millions of others continuing good health. My extract contains lower concentrations of nutritional elements, but it still works. For example, take the “rush” that many people get immediately they take wheatgrass. This also occurs with the extract. One would not expect a nutrient to work that quickly, so there has to be some other biological active(s) responsible. I believe it is the rapid absorption of these biological actives through the mucous membrane in the mouth that, because they enter the bloodstream almost instantaneously, there is a rapid boost to the body’s immunity and ultimately many other benefits. That's why you need to hold wheatgrass in whatever form in your mouth for a minute or two to obtain maximum benefit.
Wheatgrass - food for thought as well as for a healthy body.
Dr. Chris Reynolds.
The truth about wheatgrass
Ever notice your dog or cat eating grass? Well, people are doing it, too, growing wheatgrass to harvest with scissors, cram through a juicer and guzzle in drinks, either as straight shots (that’s right, in shot glasses) or as drinks mixed with cider, pineapple juice, ginger and such.
At the Mind’s Eye Juice Bar at the Ashland Food Cooperative, a morning rush of wheatgrass fanciers bellies up to order shots at $2 ($3 for a double) — or such cocktails as "Thai Grass," which combines wheatgrass with garlic and ginger, or the "Number One," which is wheatgrass with a 12-ounce chaser of fresh juiced carrots. "El Verde" is 12 ounces of celery or cucumber juice with a shot of wheatgrass juice for $4.50. Customers can add apple, carrot or beet for another buck.
Sitting beside the juicer is an espresso machine. Who wins? It’s close, but the juicer gets the bigger workout.
"We go through 10 of the big flats of wheatgrass a day, and you get about 10 shots per flat," says Donavon Weber, co-owner of Pyramid Juice, which owns the juice bar and markets sprouted wheatgrass and juice in the region. The stuff is considered a supplement, not a food, so it is not regulated or required to be pasteurized, she adds.
"More and more, when people travel, they scope out where they can find it. It has to be fresh," says Weber, who adds that wheatgrass helps her chronic liver disease.
Quaffing a shot, Indra Herrett of Ashland says, "I don’t do it all the time. Just when I’m feeling slow, groggy, congested, like today. It clears me up, gives me energy and makes my head work."
"It gives me energy and is a great source of vitamins, minerals and enzymes," says Arthur Coulton of the Applegate. "My wife uses it for her cancer and it seems to help."
A handout at the juice bar says wheatgrasslowers blood pressure, increases oxygen in blood, cuts toxins, improves blood sugar balance and relieves constipation.
In fact, the mild, slightly sweet grass is chock full of vitamins, minerals and enzymes, says Medford nutritionist Christy Morrell, who recommends the vivid green fluid to patients and has used it for 20 years herself.
"Grain has the ability to pull 92 of 102 minerals out of the soil, and you’re concentrating all that energy," says Morrell. "The antioxidant (in wheatgrass) is the biggie. It slows down cell aging and the generation of carcinogenic cells. I’ve seen amazing things with it, including hair going from gray back to natural color."
Not everyone is as eager to jump on the wheatgrass bandwagon, however.
"Some of the claims made for wheatgrass include antioxidant protection, support of the immune system, cholesterol reduction and a good nutrition source," notes the Web site of the Columbia University Health Promotion Program. "However, no research has been done that studied people drinking wheatgrass, so none of these claims can be proven.
"Wheatgrass juice may provide some vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals — but in miniscule amounts. In the laboratory, a few studies have shown antioxidant activity of some components of wheatgrass, but it’s not for certain if the results would hold up with humans."
Fanciers of the grass face a few potential hurdles. Nausea and diarrhea can be a side effect if wheatgrass is overdone. And some people are sensitive to wheat, although barley and many other grasses can be substituted.
To preserve its evanescent qualities, Pyramid flash-freezes organic wheatgrass juice into 1-ounce cups and sells them as six-packs to grocery and health-food outlets. Its Super Green Juice contains wheatgrass juice, along with juice of barley, spinach, parsley, mint and pineapple juice.
A small carton of sprouted wheatgrass sells for $1.29 at the Ashland cooperative, where it’s billed as "a true superfood — one ounce of juice equals the nutrients in 2.5 pounds of vegetables." It’s also available at some Medford grocery stores and restaurants.
John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland.E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does it have to be green to be good for you?
Back in the 1940's, chlorophyll was king and, if you read the marketing spin about the benefits of wheatgrass, it still holds sway as a key healing agent that does everything from increasing oxygen levels to cleansing the blood. Or even more outrageously "helps keep the colon healthy by destroying disease causing bacteria." In reality, other than playing its extremely important role in photosynthesis, there is probably only one claim that can be made about this molecule and that is, "It's green."
Hailed as a great healer, there was no shortage of research funding to prove that chlorophyll could clean and heal infected wounds. For instance, in 1947, US Army Lieutenant-Colonel Bowers reported on the use of "water-soluble derivatives" of chlorophyll in over 400 cases. He noted several major effects:
1. Loss of odour associated with infected wounds
He also mentions faster healing of anal fistulas e.g. as in Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, bedsores, bone fractures, gunshot wounds and so on. In some cases, legs were saved from "inevitable amputation".
The author was “convinced that chlorophyll is the best agent known for use in the treatment of suppurative diseases, indolent ulcers or wherever stimulation of tissue repair is desired..” Although I am not familiar with war-caused injuries and infections, I can certainly vouch for many of the healing observations the colonel made as I have observed them many times in clinical practice. In particular burns, fractures, anal fistulas, bedsores and infected wounds - and I could add many of my own original medical uses to the list.
But was it the chlorophyll or the "water-soluble derivatives" that did the job? Almost certainly the latter was the case. You see, chlorophyll is a very complicated molecule that degenerates very quickly. It is also very expensive to synthesise, so to produce a "chlorophyll" product would cost a fortune and be inaccessible to most people.
Then and now, the research was done with a substance called "Chlorophyllin" which, due to an added copper ion that kept the wheatgrass mixture green, was no more than a food colourant - approved by the American FDA. But then it was found that chlorophyllin had remarkable healing properties. Ever since, chlorophyll has been attributed with healing properties, some of which I have already mentioned.
However, the wheatgrass extract I use is brown and laboratory tests show it contains no chlorophyll! Yet it can achieve many if not all the same healing miracles we see with chlorophyllin. Why? I am almost certain it is because of the Grass Juice Factor. This powerful growth and fertility factor exists not just in cereal grasses, but in many other plants in varying amounts such as green peas, cauliflower, peanuts, carrots (orange not green) and turnips. Perhaps one reason for Japanese longevity is a high level of the Grass Juice Factor in seaweed that is widely consumed in Japan.
So, no. Eating green is okay because of the GJF, but so are many other non-green foods. The factor itself is, as I have mentioned many times, most likely a natural immunomodulator or "normaliser" of damaged cells. The implications for this in advancing medical knowledge and for natural healing are potentially immense.
Food for thought?
Well, that's all for 2005 folks. I would like to thank everyone who has kept me busy with questions, discussions, comments and suggestions this year. Thank you also to everyone who signed up for my newsletter. You've made it a record year for new subscribers and interest in my website has been exponential.
The very best to everyone for the Christmas season and a Happy New Year to
Dr. Chris Reynolds.
Wheatgrass also energises the elderly
These effects are often ascribed to chlorophyll, various nutrients and biological actives present in the juice, but we don't really know how they come about. Let me give you some idea of how powerful wheatgrass can be.
More than 10 years ago, when I first started discovering therapeutic uses for wheatgrass, a very frail patient in his 90s showed me in quite a dramatic way what wheatgrass can do. Suffering from emphysema, heart failure, diabetes and various other ailments, Alan had been essentially bed-ridden for six months. His main physical activity for the day was to make his way with considerable difficulty to the kitchen for breakfast with his beloved wife, inhale oxygen by mask for ten minutes, then head back to bed. This minor activity would exhaust him and for most of the time, he would just sleep.
I had been successful cleansing and relieving the pain he suffered from a leg ulcer and healing his broken, tissue-paper thin skin with wheatgrass. Now, because someone had mentioned that wheatgrass can give humans (and horses) quite an energy boost (I wasnt taking it myself at the time but was soon to realise my mistake), I thought perhaps it might help Alan in some way. I suggested to his wife that he give him a teaspoonful about 5 mls. daily and I'd drop in the next day and see how he was.
What happened next was without doubt the most amazing phenomenon I have ever witnessed in my 30 year medical career.
The following day, Alan met me at the front door looking bright, cheerful, dressed to kill and far healthier and robust than I had ever seen him. Completely stunned and bemused by this transformation, I suggested he head back to bed. Too late, he had already called a taxi and was heading off to have lunch with his old mates, which he did!
Unfortunately, because he was so frail, his increased energy and mobility led to a number of falls, so I had to stop the 'medicine'. Before long, he once again lapsed into his previous moribund state, and sadly, passed away two months later.
Since then, I have observed similar responses in a many elderly people, and one in particular myself. At 64, after ten years taking my daily wheatgrass extract, I'm still running around playing football and cricket with the kids like a 20 year old. I don't get puffed, and, I should be ashamed to admit, I don't exercise.
The question then remains, How does it work? Is it coenzyme Q10? Is it the Grass Juice Factor, or some other biological active that in some way quickly restores and maintains high energy levels? No one really knows, but given recent research findings in Melbourne, I have some pretty good ideas.
But more of that next time.
Shot of wheatgrass
Smoothie King, 6600 Delmar Boulevard, University City, 314-862-9700
BY MIKE SEELY
Wheatgrass may look and taste like lead-based paint, but consider the following litany of science-based mythology: Regular wheatgrass drinkers look better, live longer, are more fertile, smile brighter, heal quicker, are more energetic, have purer blood, rarely get sick, improves your sex life.
Why? Simple: chlorophyll. Famously referred to by Dr. E. Bircher as "concentrated sun power," chlorophyll, per a very handy list of attributes and factoids found at www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com , is the basis of all plant life, and therefore serves as a fine dietary backbone for humans who seek purity and immortality. Chlorophyll is why herbivorous animals live long, long lives, and wheatgrass' main component (70 to 80 percent) is -- duh -- chlorophyll.
Dr. Ann Wigmore knows the power of wheatgrass. A cancer sufferer in the '60s, Wigmore refused to see traditional doctors and instead ingested a steady diet of wheatgrass juice and applied the green liquid to her wounds as an antiseptic. Fully recovered by the '70s, Wigmore opened a Boston clinic based on the "wheatgrass miracle," which has spawned copycats around the globe.
Moreover, wheatgrass is also often given to supposedly sterile cows and bulls in a last-ditch effort to get them to get down. The trick has resulted in many a haystack mounting. Wheatgrass purifies the liver and flushes drugs out of the system right quick. Gargling wheatgrass has also proven to be more effective than industrial-strength mouthwash in the war on plaque.
Too good to be true? Yes -- except for the taste. Your first sip of wheatgrass will resemble the worst thing you've ever ingested, intentional or otherwise. It is literally as though you've taken the shavings from your lawn mower, liquefied them and consumed them. Typically served in a one- or two-ounce plastic cup, it ain't no shamrock shake -- but nothing this efficient is.
Lest this description intimidate you, think of wheatgrass as the much, much healthier brother of tequila. You might wince after a shot of either, but you know you're getting maximum bang for the buck. It's high time you overrule your taste buds and let the rest of your body cash in.
For the full article, go to http://www.onmilwaukee.com/buzz/articles/fitnessbuffet2.html
Here are extracts from an article on wheatgrass published by OnMilwaukee.com - click above link to read the whole article.
I spent a month at Ann Wigmore's Hippocrates Health Institute back in the mid 70's. Wheatgrass juice definitely gives wonderful benefits...and I have found that I benefit most from it (and find it easiest to tolerate) when I am on a pure diet and have been for a while.