About Wheatgrass


Wheatgrass Healing

A Brief Scientific Review

Over the years I have collected a lot of scientific and other information about wheatgrass therapy - clinical trials, reviews, anecdotes, testimonials etc. Even though a lot of research dates back to the 1930's and 40's through to the present day, chlorophyll has captured the imagination of numerous scientists since its structure was determined much earlier by German scientist Richard Willstatter in 1913. I think it could be fairly said that the history of wheatgrass or cereal grass healing could be attributed to chlorophyll. As I have said a number of times on these pages, I strongly doubt that chlorophyll has any place in human wellness or healing at all.


An excellent example of chlorophyll research is a review article called 'Biological activities of chlorophyll derivatives' by S.A Chernomorsky, Ph.D. and A. B. Segelman, Ph.D. published in New Jersey Medicine in 1988. Inter alia, these researchers discuss the "anti-inflammatory, wound healing, and malodour-reducing properties of chlorophyllin". For all intents and purposes, chlorophyllin is a derivative of chlorophyll.


From clinical observation of many patients using my wheatgrass extract, I can vouch for a number of the remarkably effective healing outcomes they describe:


1. Addition of chlorophyll in low concentrations to fibroblasts, (Connective tissue cells that make and secrete collagen proteins. These assist wound and injury healing both inside the body and on the skin) resulted in a "rapidly increased growth rate" - 40 percent in fact - and marked increases in the rate of cell division. Both these processes are vital to speeding up the healing of wounds. Other trials using animals with induced skin wounds and burns resulted in faster healing rates (approximately 25%) than other agents tested. In addition, several studies showed marked healing efficacy by chlorophyll derivatives in human burns, chronic skin ulcers, dermatoses (skin conditions e.g. psoriasis, eczema) and gingivitis.


2. Chlorophyllin inhibited the growth of bacteria that commonly infect wounds, such as Staphylococcus aureus. This was shown in experimental animals, in tissue culture in the laboratory, and in one trial of more than 400 hospital patients with suppurative (infected) wounds, regeneration of subcutaneous tissue and regrowth of the overlying skin that was significantly superior to several other healing agents.


3. Chlorophyll and chlorophyll derivatives (a). stimulated production of hemoglobin and erythrocytes (red blood cells) in anemic animals - up to 83 percent increase in hemoglobin in one study (b) caused increased white blood cell counts in animals whose white cell production had been suppressed by x-irradiation.


4. Anti-stomach ulcer effects in animals.


5. Very large doses of the chlorophyll derivatives were fed to various animals, and "no animals were found to exhibit signs of toxicity".


6. Finally, chlorophyll-based compounds were under study as useful anticancer, antiatherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and anti-psoriasis drugs.


However, what I found most interesting was the authors' comment that "It is tempting to speculate that at least one common general underlying molecular mechanism may account for the biological activities of chlorophyll derivatives." They then talk about how this mechanism could involve the binding of one or more of chlorophyll derivatives or "substances" (for example, with the skin, the wall of the intestine, the mucous membrane in the nose and mouth) to form "complexes" that alter in some way perhaps, or, in my view, most likely, the underlying immune status of the tissue it is affecting.


My feeling is that the main "chlorophyll derivative" is not in fact a chlorophyll derivative at all, but the yet to be characterised "Grass Juice Factor" that I have mentioned here a number of times before. You may think I have a thing about the "Factor". Well, I do, because if my assumption is proved correct, then the focus on chlorophyll could be re-directed towards what I consider to be the real challenge in healing - helping the body to heal itself by stimulating its immunity either at point of contact with topical wheatgrass, or systemically by ingestion.


Wheatgrass. Food for thought, not just nutrition!

It Does Not Have To Be Green To Be Good For You

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 observed several major effects, notably:

  • Loss of odour associated with infected wounds
  • A stimulating effect on tissue formation when used as a dressing particularly for burns
  • A drying effect in the case of abscesses, sinus tracts, surface wounds and osteomyelitis (bone infection).

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".


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 it was the latter.


I came to a similar conclusion many years ago simply by observing numerous healing phenomena in clinical practice and knowing that the wheatgrass extract I use 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 eating green is okay because of the GJF, but not because of chlorophyll. 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, possibly via growth factor activation. The implications for this in advancing medical knowledge and for natural healing are potentially immense.


Food for thought?


Dr. Chris Reynolds. M.B.,B.S.