Wheat grass, Does it Have Health Benefits or is it Just Hype?

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A friend recently contacted me about the health benefits of Wheatgrass.  Since I really knew nothing about this I decided to make it the topic of today’s blog so that I could research it further.

Proponents of wheat grass make some pretty amazing claims. 

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-cancer
  • Detoxifies
  • Repairs chemotherapy damage
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Stimulates thyroid correcting obesity
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Increase energy

 

Inflam1o3

If you read the claims, wheatgrass is a wonder drug.  I’m not convinced personally.  I am not anti-wheatgrass, I just don’t have the information to make an informed decision.

There are a few early studies showing that wheatgrass juice may have a beneficial effect on ulcerative colitis, but more clinical studies need to be done.

There is a double blind study showing that it can reduce the myelotoxicity of chemotherapy for some.  Others in the study had to stop taking wheatgrass juice because it increased the nausea.

 

Antioxidant

Wheat grass for an antioxidant does make sense.  One of the best antioxidants there is, vitamin C, is concentrated in wheat grass.  Vitamin C is the go to vitamin for post chemotherapy and radiation.  The effects of simple x-rays can be somewhat mitigated by increasing the dose of vitamin C post x-ray.

The claims about wheatgrass changing hair back to its natural color if consumed daily should be taken with a large dose of scepticism.  There are a number of herbs that do indeed assist in this, and wheat grass may be one of them, but, given the number of people that consume wheat grass juice daily, I would expect to see a lot less gray hair amongst them.

Side Effects

One of the more humorous side effects of taking intense doses of chlorophyll is that it can actually turn your skin and hair green.  The following list of side effects comes from a pro-wheat grass website Wheatgrass.org

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Hair loss
  • Change in stool color and consistency
  • Change in body odor
  • Eczema

This is a fairly daunting list of side effects. 

One very important fact to retain is that those with wheat sensitivities should not take wheat grass.  It is after all a form of wheat.  It has also been known to increase allergies. 

If you are going to try any supplement don’t just jump in with both feet.  Try it and see how you react personally.

So, not a lot of studies, or a lot that basically say the same thing.  There are a lot of wild claims.  Still, as an Herbalist I have heard and made a few wild claims in my time.  I really get ticked off by skeptics who will write something off without proof or having tested it themselves.  Due to this, I will find a healthy wheat grass distributor and try it myself.  Once I have given it a fair trial, I will get back to you on the results.  Stay tuned

 I will update my Facebook page and Twitter account regularly as well

 

 Reference Websites:

http://www.mnn.com/health/fitness-well-being/stories/are-the-benefits-of-wheatgrass-overblown

http://www.hippocratesinst.org/wheatgrass/benefits-of-wheatgrass

http://www.greenhealthcanada.com/Benefits_of_Wheatgrass.html

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/wheatgrass/AN02108