The Grass Juice Factor
Researchers have described many of the biologically active substances in wheatgrass, but have yet to ascertain the exact nature of the elusive 'Grass Juice Factor'. It is known to be present in all the cereal grasses and a number of other plants such as peas, cabbage, spinach and white clover. In cereal grasses, the Factor reaches its highest concentration in the young grass sprouts and diminishes as the plant ages.
The Grass Juice Factor demonstrates remarkable growth and fertility effects in experimental animals. In one study, pigs were fed cereal grass supplements for seven weeks and gained weight rapidly. Weight gain stopped almost immediately when the supplements were withdrawn and substituted with a mineralised milk diet only. When cereal grass was reintroduced, rapid weight gain resumed.
Clinical and research evidence shows this 'Factor' to have, among other properties, a powerful effect on the regeneration of damaged skin and improvement in health in general. Since 1995, Dr. Chris Reynolds, an Australian family physician and our Founder, has observed numerous healing phenomena when using wheatgrass sprout extract for a broad spectrum of medical conditions. These include wound-healing, burns, fractures, soft tissue injuries, anal fissure, molluscum contagiosum and more. Clearly "something was happening" that begged explanation.
These findings prompted Dr. Reynolds to propose a possible physiological mechanism that might explain at least some of his observations. Researchers had already described numerous biological actives in cereal grasses, but none of them seemed to explain the broad spectrum of conditions that responded to wheatgrass. Nor did they explain the sometimes astonishing rate that healing occurred.
Clearly, wheatgrass was facilitating the body's natural ability to heal itself.
With burns for instance, initially, pain was relieved soon after application. Then, overnight, a new surface became visible over the open burn that appeared to seal it and isolate it from the surrounding germ-laden air. No antibiotics were required, and healing was rapid and uncomplicated from that point on and scarring minimalised. Having treated burns for some 25 years, he was in no doubt that wheatgrass significantly enhanced the natural healing process compared with orthodox methods of treatment.
How does it work?
Clearly, something was happening with patients' immune systems. In some way, they were being enhanced, faciltated and apparently strengthened. Wheatgrass was also often working for auto-immune conditions such as acne rosacea, psoriasis and in some cases multiple sclerosis. These and many other observations led him to believe wheatgrass was acting as an immunostimulant or immunomodulator. In other words, it was helping the body to "normalise" tissue damaged by its own immune cells. These normally assist the healing process, but in autoimmune conditions they lose their normal functionaility and turn against the body.
Extensive review of cereal grass research revealed numerous references to the healing effects of chlorophyll, the much touted molecule that supposedly has an important role in physical healing. Dr. Reynolds, by observing thousands of wheatgrass "healing episodes" was able to duplicate many of the clinical results researchers had shown in the past such as burns recovery, wound and fracture healing and many other conditions.
But there is no chlorophyll in the extract he was using!
So what was actually causing these phenomena? Dr. Reynolds' guess? The Grass Juice Factor.
But what is it? How do we identify it?
Well, scientists have been trying to do just that since the 1930's. One possible explanation could be that the Factor influences Growth Factor activity. There are many types of growth factor in the body that are responsible for cell growth, recovery, repair and many other functions. One of their major functions is control of the immune response and the immune status of the individual. They are also responsible for tissue repair and the production of blood elements by bone marrow and other blood producing cells.
Other research suggests that wheatgrass influences gene expression by speeding up the rate and levels of enzymes and other protein production by the DNA in the cell nucleus.
An example of gene expression influenced by wheatgrass
Several years ago in Melbourne, at a prestigious research laboratory, DNA technology developed for the Human Genome Project was used to determine the rate of production of a specific biological substance (fetal hemoglobin) of our wheatgrass sprout extract. Many herbal substances had been tested, but the wheatgrass extract exceeded all expectation.
The importance of this discovery is that it brings us closer to discovering exactly what the Grass Juice Factor is, and possibly, how it works. (View article)
Everything old is new again
Back in 1940 in the American Journal of Surgery, Benjamin Cruskin, M.D., recommended chlorophyll for its antiseptic benefits. The article suggests the following clinical uses for chlorophyll: "to clear up foul-smelling odours, neutralize streptococcal infections, heal wounds, hasten skin grafting, cure chronic sinusitis, overcome ear inflammation and infections, reduce varicose veins and heal leg ulcers, eliminate impetigo and other scabby eruptions, heal rectal sores, successfully treat inflammation of the uterine cervix, get rid of parasitic vaginal infections, reduce typhoid fever, and cure advanced pyorrhea in many cases."
Instead of "chlorophyll", think "Grass Juice Factor." It makes scientific sense.