About the Author
Ann Wigmore dedicated her life to teaching others the health benefits of natural foods. She spent years experimenting to find simple, healthful, and inexpensive ways to grow and prepare nutrient-rich foods. Wigmore wrote more than 15 books, including The Wheatgrass Book and Be Your Own Doctor.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Other Avery books by Ann Wigmore
BE YOUR OWN DOCTOR
THE HEALING POWER WITHIN
THE HIPPOCRATES DIET AND HEALTH PROGRAM
RECIPES FOR LONGER LIFE
THE SPROUTING BOOK
Wheatgrass juice is fast becoming the most popular “new” health and diet food in America. In actuality, however, this sweet green juice pressed from young wheat plants is not new—it was first applied to human health by Ann Wigmore, founder of the Hippocrates Health Institute, over thirty years ago. Since then, more than half a million glasses of wheatgrass juice have been consumed at the Hippocrates Institute in Boston alone!
Ann Wigmore has used wheatgrass juice on a daily basis for three decades. At the age of seventy-five, she is the epitome of health and vitality. She is constantly on the go, lecturing, traveling, and writing—often about wheatgrass juice. For as she points out in this book, fresh wheatgrass juice is an ideal food for anyone who wishes to prevent illness and improve his or her health.
While wheatgrass juice is rapidly increasing in popularity, many people lack an awareness of its proper role in a healthful lifestyle. The Wheatgrass Book is the most complete and authoritative guide to the subject of using wheatgrass juice for maximum benefit. The fresh juice of young wheat plants is a storehouse of natural vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, enzymes, and life energy. In this book, you will learn how wheatgrass juice helps to nourish every cell of the body, and cleanse them of toxins. It is perhaps the safest and most effective way to healthfully supplement your diet.
During the last sixteen years I have had the privilege of administrating several popular wholistic health centers in the United States and Europe. As executive director of the Hippocrates Institute, I have witnessed many complete reversals of symptoms. I attribute these to the remarkable regenerative power of wheatgrass juice and live foods (the uncooked sprouts, greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds that are part of the Hippocrates Diet and Health Program).
A few years ago, with the encouragement of India’s former prime minister, Morarji Desai, and the assistance of prominent physicians such as Dr. G. Datey, M.D., Ann traveled to India to establish a number of healing camps, where she administered wheatgrass and live foods to hundreds of sick and malnourished men, women, and children. She has published dozens of articles reporting the amazing rate of recovery experienced by many of these people.
In the United States, the effectiveness of wheatgrass and live foods in preventing illness has been praised by Dr. Arthur Robinson, the director of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. In 1978 at the Linus Pauling Institute, Dr. Robinson completed a research project in which wheatgrass and live foods were fed to mice with squamos cell carcinoma. In Dr. Robinson’s words, “The results were spectacular. Living foods [including wheatgrass] alone decreased the incidence and severity of cancer lesions by about 75 percent. This result was better than that of any other nutritional program that was tried.” Dr. Robinson is presently conducting a research project involving Hippocrates Health Institute guests.
Over the years, many guests at the Hippocrates Institute have requested that Ann write a concise book about wheatgrass juice. I am happy to say that The Wheatgrass Book has been worth waiting for. It is filled with practical information about growing and using wheatgrass. In addition, this book summarizes the most interesting medical research on wheatgrass juice. I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading The Wheatgrass Book as much as I have, and I’m sure that your first refreshing drink of wheatgrass juice will be your start toward a more satisfying and healthful lifestyle.
The Wheatgrass Way to Super Health and Beauty
We walk over it, lie down on it, mow it once a week during the summer, and knock little white balls into holes cut in it, but the thought of eating grass seems absurd. Unless you happen to be the winner of the Kentucky Derby, or Aunt Nellie’s prize heifer, you probably have never entertained the thought of chewing on a bunch of grass. And if you haven’t visited the Hippocrates Health Institute, chances are that you have not tried wheatgrass juice.
In this book I hope to persuade you to consider using wheatgrass and its juice as food, medicine, and an overall tonic for various ailments. Whether you suffer from chronic fatigue, sinusitis, ulcers, or a more serious illness like cancer, wheatgrass chlorophyll extracted from seven-day-old wheat sprouts may help you even where other medicines have failed. Of course, nothing can replace a sound diet, exercise, and a positive attitude in keeping you in top shape. But wheatgrass can give you energy and strength to help you gain better control of your health.
Chlorophyll, the green juice of grasses, has been valued since biblical times. Grass has been used as a folk medicine remedy by many people around the world. During the First World War, I began to learn about its remarkable healing properties. My grandmother used grasses to heal wounded soldiers in the European village where I was born. I came to America to live with my parents while I was still a child. It wasn’t until about thirty years later, during the early 1950s, that the memories of my grandmother’s use of grasses and other plants resurfaced as a result of personal health problems.
I began my own experimentation with wheatgrass and other grasses on animals. Wheatgrass proved to be the fastest and easiest variety of grass to grow. The wheatberries used to grow it were (and still are) inexpensive and easily obtained. Moreover, wheatgrass turned out to be favored by my pets. It worked miracles for their well-being (I will show you how you can use it to help your pets live longer and in better health in Chapter 8), yet I still doubted its usefulness for human health. So I expanded my study of grasses, focusing on wheatgrass in particular.
I contacted my friend and associate Dr. G. H. Earp Thomas for his expert opinion of the potential usefulness of wheatgrass for human health. A soil and plant scientist, Dr. Thomas had prior knowledge of grasses and chlorophyll. Yet after a few weeks of chemical analysis and library research, he was quite surprised to find that wheatgrass contained many vital nutrients which he felt could serve as regenerative and protective factors in human health. According to his findings, fresh wheatgrass juice was theoretically capable of sustaining human health and life for weeks or even months at a time. Dr. Thomas also came across some research papers written by Dr. Charles Schnabel, who advocated the use of young wheat and other grasses in animal and human nutrition. Schnabel estimated that fifteen pounds of wheatgrass was equal in protein and overall nutritional value to three hundred and fifty pounds of ordinary garden vegetables. I will speak more about the nutritional content of wheatgrass in Chapter 5.
The real proving ground was my own body, which was sickly and weak after twenty years of living and eating as an average American. A few weeks after I started chewing and juicing young blades of fresh wheatgrass, and eating fresh sprouts and greens, a festering case of colitis that I had suffered with for months began to improve. The problem, which is particularly difficult to remedy with conventional medical treatments, eventually cleared up entirely.
My energy level soared and I felt well again. I knew that wheatgrass was a powerful invigorator of the body. To prove to myself that it would also help others get well I began delivering fresh wheatgrass juice to a number of bedridden ill and elderly people in my neighborhood. I was amazed at the results. In a matter of weeks, all of them were able to get out of bed, and they became more active than they had been in years.
I’m sure that much of the degeneration and illness we suffer from today is brought on by the lack of vitality and life in the food we eat. Most food that Americans eat is overcooked and half-dead (for example, 100 percent of the enzymes in food are destroyed by cooking). Beverages are loaded with sugar, alcohol or stimulants that create an illusion of energy which fades quickly as the day wears on. In contrast, the nutrients in wheatgrass and raw foods such as sprouts, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and Hippocrates Diet preparations made from them, are not destroyed by cooking or processing. These living foods can restore vigor and energy to an ailing, tired body.
For years, at the Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston, we have been witnessing a transformation in our guests—they arrive worn out and run down, and return home vitalized and full of pep.
An analysis of blood samples drawn from more than two hundred Hippocrates guests before and after the two-week program gave scientific support to our observations. Performed at the Arthur Testing laboratory by Thelma Arthur, M.D., the study showed that within two weeks of following the Hippocrates live food Diet and drinking wheatgrass juice, the blood is detoxified and the immune system is strengthened. Both of these changes lead to more energy and an improved ability to combat and reverse illness.
Wheatgrass is not only healthful, it’s easy to grow and easy to use. With a handful of wheatberries, some water, a tray filled with an inch of topsoil, and a cover, you can grow your own wheatgrass in just seven days—at a cost of about ten cents a tray. If you can’t grow the grass yourself, you can probably buy it locally from someone who does, because there are wheatgrass and sprout growers in almost every major city in the U.S. and abroad.
A tray of wheatgrass yields about seven to twelve ounces of juice (depending upon the size of the tray). Once you get some juice (about one to four ounces at a time will do) all you have to do to get its health benefits is drink it. Some people enjoy the taste, but even if you dislike it at first, you will love the way you feel within a few minutes—and for hours later.
In addition to drinking wheatgrass juice, there are dozens of other ways you can benefit from it. For example, wheatgrass juice can be used as a scalp treatment for lusterless hair, or as a cleanser, astringent, and tightener for all types of skin. Several drops in each nostril will help to clear blocked sinuses, and a few ounces in your bath water or rubbed into your skin will stimulate healthy circulation and give you a warm glow. But that’s not all. True to my childhood memories of wounded soldiers becoming well through the use of grasses, wheatgrass helps heal cuts and bruises faster, and draws poisons out from deep inside the body so they can be eliminated.
Who can benefit from using wheatgrass? Anyone. Whether you’re overweight or underweight, have a tendency towards anemia or are afraid of cancer, wheatgrass can help. In this book I will show you how you can use wheatgrass for cleansing and healing your body, improving your diet and appearance, and preventing illness.
In addition I will share my discovery of the wheatgrass fast, a shortcut to better health and weight loss that combines wheatgrass and chlorophyll-rich “green drinks” with special cleansing techniques. Finally, you will also find some delicious recipes that are popular favorites at the Institute. Have you heard of a Grasshopper? Wait until you try your first Wheatgrasshopper (see here)!
One question I’m often asked is, “Do I have to change my diet totally in order to benefit from wheatgrass?” Of course not. However, I do feel that for the best possible results you should follow the Hippocrates Diet of raw, living foods as closely as you can. I also recommend that you use fresh wheatgrass rather than dehydrated or tablet forms. These serve as a good source of dietary fiber, but they carry with them little of the life force (enzyme power) found in fresh wheatgrass juice. In fact, at the Institute we suggest that you juice wheatgrass immediately after you cut it, and drink or use it right after you juice it, thereby getting the maximum benefit of its enzyme life forces.
From the juice bars of California to the health spas of New York, wheatgrass is fast becoming one of the most widely used supplemental health foods. After years of experience of working with wheatgrass, it is my feeling that if you begin to use fresh wheatgrass juice on a regular basis, you will gain a bounce in your step, a better physique, an improved complexion, and a sparkle in your eyes. And it is my hope that your use of wheatgrass juice will help to move the medical establishment toward more research on this valuable nutritional and health aid.
Green Power From Wheatgrass
The greatest service to any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.
Wheatgrass can help you get more from your life—more energy to be active, more confidence in your ability to stay healthy, and more hours alert and awake each day to accomplish your goals in life. I am assuming you are reading this book because you feel there is room for improvement in your health. Maybe you get worn out easily, wake up tired or in pain, or can’t manage to drop those ten extra pounds by the end of the spring anymore. In any case, you’re probably right: there is room for improvement in your health and wheatgrass juice could be your route to a healthier, happier life.
Millions of Americans, young and old, are drained of their energy by the end of a day, despite the fact that most of them walk less than two blocks and sleep eight to ten hours. Many middle-aged people accept the loss of youthful energy as an inevitable product of aging. I used to feel that way, but that was before I discovered wheatgrass and raw foods.
Do we have to settle for less energy at any age? I haven’t, and you don’t have to either. Long-lasting fatigue is abnormal and is largely caused by a poor diet. Modern life demands a great deal of energy which cannot be adequately replenished by a nutritionally imbalanced diet. While a certain amount of fatigue after a long day of work is normal, when a night’s rest doesn’t leave you perfectly refreshed and recharged, there is a problem. If you wake up looking and feeling as tired as when you went to bed you are not getting what your body needs from your diet—or you are getting too many things you don’t need and they are blocking your flow of energy. Wheatgrass can help you restore a high energy level in two ways. First, by fulfilling nutritional deficiencies, and second, by removing wastes that clog your cells, blood, tissues, and organs.
Each of us is the keeper of over ten trillion little batteries called cells. Like flashlight batteries, our cells hold a charge of electricity. In order for this charge to be strong and steady we need to have a steady supply of the proper nutrients, especially the high-quality minerals, vitamins, enzymes, and amino acids contained in wheatgrass juice. With the addition of wheatgrass and raw foods to your diet, your cells will store a maximum electrical charge, and you will have plenty of energy. At the same time, wheatgrass will help to release excess fats, mineral deposits, and proteins that are trapped in the organs of digestion and elimination, and in the blood, thus saving you energy that would otherwise be spent in your body’s struggle to cleanse itself.
WHEATGRASS CAN LENGTHEN YOUR DAY