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Wheatgrass Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

By Sasha de Beausset Aparicio, MSc

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Wheatgrass is the name of the early stages of growth of the wheat plant. If the plant is grown in a natural environment in which the wheat has been planted in autumn, the wheatgrass usually grows between winter and spring. But it can also be cultivated in artificial conditions in which the proper age of harvest of the plant is usually reached faster.

Wheat started to be consumed at this stage of growth since 1930 were when a famous doctor made efforts in raising the popularity level of the benefits of this plant, after a series of experiments conducted by him.

The nutritional advantages of the plant were discovered during these experiments, which started with the usage of wheatgrass in animal diets. The effects were astounding, in some cases the benefits were as large as doubling the growth and production of animals and animal products like eggs and milk.

The beneficial effects it had on the human body started to be confirmed during the early 60’s, but the production of canned products based on the plant already started since the 50’s. It is usually consumed in fresh form, but the plant can be dried and ground into a fine dust, but it loses some of its properties after it has been processed.

The most efficient way of consumption is fresh juice made only from the plant with no other additives. Also, the soil in which the wheatgrass has grown seems to play a critical role in the structure of the plant, hydroponically grown individuals appeared to have a lower concentration of beneficial substances than the ones grown in the soil.

Wheatgrass Functions & Benefits

Wheatgrass seems to contain a high variety of nutrients and vitamins, and also a high amount of chlorophyll known for possible beneficial effect upon the red cells, helping the body accumulate oxygen faster. The red cells have a similar structure with the chlorophyll ones.

One of the most known effects the plant has is stimulating the production of red cells, which improve the overall absorption of nutrients and the rate they travel to the areas of the body needed. Studies showed a very high increase in the number of the cells, almost double, short after the plant has been introduced in the diet of the patient.

High quantities of antioxidants contained inside the plant can help with the degeneration of the cells and strengthen the state of weakened bodies; it is a very good natural energy booster during treatments and everyday life. It can be very useful as a preemptive treatment for cancer, and during its treatment, especially after chemotherapy, it helps the body recover faster. This makes it very useful during recoveries after medical interventions.

The plant acts as an antiseptic inside and outside the body. It can be very useful as a detoxification agent that can help with the overall healthiness or can assist with already existing illnesses, depending if there are any toxic compounds present. And also it can be used in treating lacerations, burns, opened wounds, and other afflictions at skin level, it can help clean the area and with healing the tissue.

Wheatgrass has also properties against fungal agents and bacteria; it can help in the treatment of illnesses developed by them, like Candidiasis. It also helps with improving the state of edemas.

The enzymes contained inside the plant can be very beneficial in improving the ones the body has, making them much more efficient in keeping the body stable during the changes it goes through. For the enzymes to take effect, the wheatgrass or the products derived from it should be consumed raw, cooking it or processing it through high variations of temperatures kill the enzymes.

Digestion issues or illnesses of the digestive tract can be treated using wheatgrass based products, as it has the property of stabilizing the level of bacteria, acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, and regulates the acidity levels.

The benefits of wheatgrass do not stop at its consumption; studies have shown that the plant can act as an air purifier and ionizer if kept growing inside the room as a decorative plant. This can improve the sleep quality and at the same time create a pleasant atmosphere through visual aspect and specific fresh scent.

The effects the plant has upon the body are multiple and astounding, but the most interesting fact is that it can be grown by almost anyone in the comfort of their home. And so people can benefit from the effects this plant has at any time of the year, it grows very fast, and it requires very little attention. It is a very good replacement for fresh vegetables during the winter when there are not many alternatives to a diet composed from them.


In the case of dosage high above normal, headaches and drowsiness are common. Usually, the body needs time to get accustomed to the new introduction of the plant in the diet, which can cause certain psychological negative reactions.

Being a detoxification agent, there are cases in which the body can react very strange during the diet, especially if the health level before it was low. When the wheatgrass starts to act as the substances take effect, symptoms of sicknesses are quite common until the body begins to stabilize.

Having antiseptic properties it should not be mixed with similar medication before asking the opinion of a doctor, there is a possibility of a counter reaction, so if under treatment a specialized opinion should be sought after.


Wheatgrass is usually found in the specialized natural products market, as most people usually grow it themselves. But there can be exceptions, depending on the structure of the local market. Fresh plants are sometimes found in special bags that are kept in certain conditions in the vegetable area of local stores, but those are very rare as it has a low period in which it can be kept properly for consumption.

Usually, products derived from it can be found much easier, but through processing, a lot of the beneficial properties are diminished. For growing, grains can be found at the seeds shop for farms and home plants.