by Tom Billings
The following is an edited version of material posted to the
veg-raw e-mail list in April 1997. It is in response to questions concerning wheatgrass.
Q: How significant is the high nutrient/chlorophyll content
of wheatgrass juice, given that one drinks so little of it?
Q: Chlorophyll is available in green vegetables. Why use
wheatgrass as a source rather than green vegetables?
Q: How important is wheatgrass in a raw vegetarian diet?
Answers: Wheatgrass juice can be considered a
"concentrated" food because of the high nutrient content. Ann Wigmore claims 1
ounce of wheatgrass juice is equivalent to 2 pounds (number might not be 100% accurate) of
fresh, green veggies.
You can also view wheatgrass as a natural alternative to
supplements. Some raw fooders are very anti-supplement, while others use them. Personally,
I find that particular argument to be boring, as I consider it an individual matter.
Another way to look at wheatgrass is as a live, medicinal
herbal juice. I always found it somewhat humorous when Ann Wigmore spoke against the use
of (medicinal) herbs, while simultaneously promoting the use of wheatgrass juice - a
medicinal herb. (Note: I have great respect for Ann Wigmore, no disrespect is intended
here.) What is the strongest way to take herbs? Answer: as raw, fresh juice.
In my opinion, the primary advantage of truly fresh
wheatgrass juice - juice made from raw, live, soil-grown wheat grass, is the apparent high
level of life force energy that it contains. It is one of the few truly fresh foods
available (sprouts are another). The grass is alive and growing right up to the time it is
juiced, and hopefully you are drinking it within a few minutes or so of juicing. Most of
us get our green veggies from markets, and they were picked days ago and refrigerated -
losing vitality the whole time. (It is an even worse situation for fruit, which may be
picked weeks before you eat it, and in some cases, held in cold storage for months -
losing vitality the whole time.) In contrast, one can grow wheatgrass indoors, and enjoy
it when it is truly fresh.
I would not say that wheatgrass is essential for all raw
fooders. Experience at Hippocrates, the Ann Wigmore Institute, Optimum Health Institute,
and other places show that is is very helpful in assisting healing/recovery from serious,
sometimes supposedly "terminal" illness. However, that does not mean everyone
must use it. If you have serious health problems, then wheatgrass juice should be
seriously considered. There are many raw fooders who do not use wheatgrass, and who enjoy
good health. Also, there are even a few raw fooders who make the bizarre claim that
wheatgrass juice is "toxic". (Sarcastic comment: one wonders what those people
have been drinking!)
My suggestion would be to try it and see if it agrees with
you. Consumption of small amounts is the normal usage (as it is highly cleansing, many
people cannot tolerate large amounts at one time). If you find it agreeable, you can vary
the amount you consume to find the appropriate "dose" for you.
Finally, wheatgrass juice is more than just chlorophyll and
nutrients. It is a truly live food, loaded with life force energy. If your primary
interest is chlorophyll, you can get an adequate supply from consuming green vegetables
(celery, parsley, etc.), or, if you want supplements, any of the green powders (such as
dried barley grass, spirulina, etc.)