Green Health Foods in a Bottle
In the science of color, known as chromatology, green is the color for healing. There
are many shades of green, but the one used for healing is a dark green like the color
of common grass. While our Earth has been called the “blue planet,” because from
the cosmic view it is mostly ocean, from our perspective as landsmen we would have
to call it the “green planet.” No matter what land we journey to on this planet,
from the outback “down under” to the 1 inch Arctic tundra of Greenland, the earth
Another astonishing fact is that the earth grows green even under water! From the
popular macroalgae “seaweed” kelp, to the single cell chlorella – there is plenty
of greenery. In fact, the ancestors of these microscopic green plants were the very
first life forms on the planet 3.6 billion years ago! Did you know that any cereal
grain you can think of, from wheat to oats, barley, corn, rye, millet, spelt, Kamut
and quinoa, when planted will grow grass? In China, elaborate ceremonies were conducted
as early as 2,800 B.C., honoring the cereal grains. Every spring, the Romans celebrated
their goddess of agriculture, Ceres, for whom the name “cereal” is derived, thanking
her for bringing bounty to the earth. What lessons are we to learn from these fundamental,
ancient earth foods? Although you may not be ready to worship them like our ancestors,
certainly when we examine the nutritional content of these plants with their ubiquitous
presence and longevity, they are indeed worthy of a place in our diet.
Wheatgrass – the first popular green The popularity of wheatgrass today is due almost
singlehandedly to the efforts of one woman, Dr. Anne Wigmore. In the 1960s she suffered
from cancer and almost had her leg amputated. Being a stubborn Lithuanian, she would
not let her doctors touch her. She retreated to a solitary life and applied 19th
century techniques learned from her grandmother. She applied common grass to her
wounds and chewed and sucked the grass juice. She recovered and in the 1970s started
a clinic in metropolitan Boston where people. many of whom the medical profession
had given up, came to be treated by this healer with the “wheatgrass” miracle. Many
success stories came out of that Boston brownstone and the word spread quickly. Dr.
Ann initiated other clinics in Chicago, San Diego, Puerto Rico, Australia and India.
She developed indoor gardening techniques that enabled her to grow the wheatgrass
in any kitchen. Unfortunately, her program was not mass market material. Growing
wheatgrass indoors, and the strict regimen required for the desired results, was
too much for fast paced lifestyle and a quick fix mentality. Worse still, special
and expensive juicing machines were necessary to juice the grass. Thus, only the
desperate or the committed pursued Wigmore’s juicing program.
Wheatgrass comes in two forms. The original Ann Wigmore style of 10-day-old grass
grown indoors and the outdoor-grown grass harvested at the jointing stage – about
30 days. The data on wheatgrass mostly exists on the outdoor style and is very favorable.
The indoor grass is rich in sugars and has a strong and sharply sweet bite to it.
The outdoor grass is milder to the palate. For those who wish to grow their own,
the indoor version is the most economical.
The advent of juice powders Many decry the aggressiveness of American merchandising
and complain of its greed and corruption of our values. Although cigarette marketing
is a case in point, it would be unwise to condemn an entire industry for its high
profile “bad eggs.” Most would agree that American merchandising has created some
very valuable additions to out way of life. One if them, in my opinion, is the bottling
of fresh juice powders.
Purism vs. pragmatism Purists may revolt at the concept of using anything other than
fresh juice, but without the benefit of powdered bottled juices, these super foods
could not be introduced to the average consumer and their availability would be impossible
in the case of algae. Usage would revert back to the exclusive club of the desperate
or the very committed, as was the case in the early Ann Wigmore days. Even Victor
Kulvinskas, who is considered by many to be a co-founder of the wheatgrass movement,
is a vocal supporter of powdered green foods.
Kamut & barley grass Along with wheatgrass, kamut and barley grass have developed
as powerful sister grasses that provide a similar nutritional profile to wheatgrass.
Each has an advantage over the other as their producers will quickly point out, but,
as a whole, these super foods are on the same level. Selection should be based on
personal preference according to taste, price and availability. It’s not that different
from choosing tomatoes. You might prefer plum, cherry, vine ripe or organic, and
certainly price and availability will influence your decision. Another option is
to purchase a combination product (more on that later).
Comparison of dried barley grass juice and comon
Food Calories Protein Lipid Sugars Fibers
Grass Juice Powder• 302 45.19 3.2 2.3 - -
Barley Grain 337 8.8 0.9 79.7 0 7
Milk 59 2.9 3.3 4.5 - -
Skim milk 359 34.8 1.0 52.2 - -
Salmon 137 20.5 5.4 0.3 - -
Peanuts 571 26.3 48.2 17.0 1.8
Banana 87 1.3 0.4 21.4 0.5
Spinach 28 3.0 0.4 3.9 0.9
Lettuce 14 1.0 0.2 2.4 0.5
Kamut is famous for being the ancient grain supposedly taken from an Egyptian tomb.
This is probably just a great story, but it does date back to 4,000 B.C. It is the
ancient relative of modern durum (pasta) wheat. The name (pronounced Ka-moot) is
Egyptian for “wheat.” It is an heirloom, non-hybrid grain which means it has never
been cross-bred. Interestingly enough, it is superior to modern hard wheats that
have been bred to “perfection” over decades. Kamut has more protein (17 percent vs.
12 percent), lipids, minerals and even taste.
Research into the nutritional content of cereal grasses began in 1935, when a group
of scientists at the department of agricultural chemistry at the University of Wisconsin
ran a series of experiments. They attempted to learn why milk produced by cows during
the winter, on winter rations, was markedly inferior in nutritive value to milk produced
by cows in the summer,. when they had access to pastures. They began adding grass
juice to the winter milk. Guinea pigs were used because they, like cows, are herbivorous
animals. It was determined that “the growth stimulating factor of grass was distinct
from all the known vitamins.” They tested three grasses – barley, wheat and oats
– in the dried juice form. All were grown in the same field at the same time.
The study showed that: “Barley grass, which was the most effective, produced a growth
rate of 5.3 gm per day from the second to the seventh week of the experiment. The
wheatgrass was only slightly less potent than the barley grass. After seven weeks
the guinea pigs were taken off the supplement and fed mineralized milk alone. Growth
stopped almost immediately. When resumed, once again remarkable growth resulted in
animals receiving barley and wheatgrasses. These results show definitely that the
grasses contain a nutritional factor that is essential for maintenance as well as
growth of guinea pigs.”
More recently, the best research available on the nutritional content of grasses
comes from the Japanese and their work with young barley grass. Dr. Yoshihide Hagiwara,
a researcher and doctor of medicine, is the discoverer and producer of “Green Magma,”
which is spray-dried barley grass juice (Bakuryokusi in Japanese). As we see from
the American research of the 1930s, some of the best results with the guinea pigs
were obtained from barley grass. Hagiwara says that barley contains the most natural
balance of concentrated vitamins, minerals, proteins, and enzymes of 200 different
plants and vegetables he tested. He also examined the nutrient levels at the different
stages of growth – 5 inches, 10 inches, 20 inches high and more. He settled on 10-12
inches as the maximum nutrient value. This would occur approximately at the seed
jointing stage. His grass is spray dried at low temperatures inside a vat, then vacuum
dried and sealed in glass jars. This process ensures enzyme activity.
Dried barley grass juice (Green Magma) has 11 times the calcium of cow’s milk, five
times the iron of spinach, four times the vitamin B-1 of whole wheat flour, seven
times the vitamin C in oranges and an abundance of vitamin B-12, 80 mcg. per hundred
grams (an equivalent amount of wheatgrass contains 20 mcg. of B-12). It has high
concentrations of magnesium and iron as well as bioflavanoids (hormones), polysaccharides,
and polypeptides (low weight proteins).
Chlorophyll is the thing Perhaps the most significant therapeutic ingredient in these
grasses is chlorophyll. It accounts for 70 percent of the solid content of wheat
grass juice. Chlorophyll is the plasma of plants. Green plants take in sunlight and
transform it into food! This potosynthesis is one of the most fundamental processes
in nature. Green plants, algae and certain bacteria use the light energy of the sun
to form carbohydrate food. Not only do these greens nourish themselves and become
the No. 1 food in the food chain, they also produce oxygen, playing a fundamental
role in the biosphere of the planet.
Fifty years ago, scientists proved that chlorophyll is bacteriostatic, meaning it
kills harmful bacteria. It fights strep and staph infections, bad odors in the mouth,
gum disease, and destroys putrefactive bacteria in the digestive tract. It promotes
healing of wounds by stimulating the production of connective tissue, helps ear infection,
adn the list goes on. Famous research scientist E. Bircher called chlorophyll “concentrated
sun power.” He said, “It increases the functions of the head, affects the vascular
system, the intestines, the uterus, and the lungs. It raises basic nitrogen exchange
and is therefore a tonic which, considering its stimulating properties, cannot be
compared with any other.”
One of the reasones chlorphyll is so effective may be its similarity to hemin. Hemin
is part of “hemoglobin,” the protein fraction of human blood that carries oxygen.
Studies done as long ago as 1911 show that the molecules of hemin and chlorophyll
are surprisingly alike. The only exception is that chlorophyll is bound by an atom
of magnesium and hemin is bound by iron. Experiments have shown that severly anemic
rabbits make a rapid return to a normal blood count once chlorophyll is administered.
Although the exact chemical transaction has not been proven, the human body seems
to be able to substitute iron and rebuild the blood. It is as if the anemic patient
has had a transfusion.
Algae — water grown greens Not all vegetables grow in soil. Algae are microscopic
green plants that grow in water and can be cultivated like vegetables. We are probably
more familiear with the marine micro-algae, seaweeds such as kelp and nori. Like
mushrooms, many are toxic and only a few are cultivated for human consumption. Three
fresh water microalgae are available to us: spirulina, chlorella and blue-green algae
(AFA). Like the land-grown cereal grasses, they have similar nutritional profiles,
but as a group they are approximately 70 percent protein as compared with the grasses,
which are about 25 percent protein.
The chicken or the egg...or algae? Algae were the first life-forms on the planet.
When the earth was formed 4.5 billion years ago, the atmosphere had no oxygen and
lots of nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water. Cyanobacteria, the first life forms,
usd solar energy to break apart carbon dioxide and water into carbon compounds and
food, releaseing oxygen in the process. Fossils of these 3.6 billion-year-old photosynthetic
bacteria resemble spirulina.
The largest naturally available algae lake in the world is in Klamath Lake, Ore.
The algae in the lake is called blue-green algae, Aphanizomenon Flos Aquae or AFA
for short. Cell Tech, INc. is the largest of the commercial companies harvesting
AFA from the lake. You won’t find their brand in stores because they distribute it
through multi-level marketing, i.e. a network of commissionable agents. They trademarked
the algae with the name Super Blue Green. Generally it is unfortunate when a natural
food is given a trademark name for a commercial purpose. Kamut (tm) is another case.
But in the case of AFA, this superb food would not otherwise be available to the
public without the benefit of commercial enterprise and secondly, it’s a lot easier
Spirulina and chlorella differ in that they are cultivated in man made ponds. Chlorella
is mostly grown in Asia and the largest spirulina growers are in the deserts of Southern
California (Earthrise) and Hawaii (Cyanotech). These foods represent a new agricultural
technology with the promise of producing more nutrition for the world population
per acre than any other food. These comapanies are not just supplement manufacturers,
Choose between all three algae according to personal taste and experimentation. Nutritionally,
they are all super. Chlorella has the highest chlorophyll of all foods, about 70
percent, which is why they call it chlorella. It is a single cell plant that has
a unique ability to reproduce itself. This chlorella growth factor (CGF) holds the
promise of assisting in the repair and regeneration of human tissue. Its nucleus
contains lots of nucleopeptides and cell growth factors such as RNA and DNA.
Digestion has always been a concern with chlorella because its tough cellulose wall
makes absorption of all these wonderful nutrients difficult. The purveyors of chlorella
have different methods for overcoming the toughness of the cell wall. Yaeyama of
Japan, the world’s largest chlorella grower and pioneer since 1960, uses a patented
jet spray process that cracks the individual cells without damaging the nutrients
Talking about DNA, spirulina has the same physicla spiral shape as DNA! This food
is an immune system booster. Anti-oxidants and phytonutrients are now buzz words
in nutrition circles as they well should be. They are some of nature’s finest secret
ingredients that have the power to normalize, repair and rejuvenate. And spirulina
has an abundance of them: Phycocyanin, chlorophyll, glycolipids, sulfolipids, gamma
linolenic acid and about 10 carotenoids including the best known – beta carotene.
Spirulina has a soft cell wall made up of proteins and polysaccharides instead of
cellulose. Polysaccharides are complex sugars. And it is also a rich source of the
rare essential fatty acide GLA. It also has lots of easy-to-absorb iron and is the
best place a vegetarian can go to get B-12.
One of the most exciting new frontiers for spirulina is its cultivation with specific
nutrient enhancements in the poind. Since algae is more responsive to its environment
than soil-grown vegetables, farmers can increase, for example, the selenium contant
of spirulina providing an excellent bio-abailable for of the mineral in a food. This
is not genetic manipulation at all. Instead, it is advanced certified organic farming
of the ‘90s.
Get them all!
Steve Meyerowitz, aka Sproutman, is the author of five books on health and diet including
Wheatgrass and the Green Foods Revolution.
Find out more from:
Greens+ Original multi-green food powdered product. 800-643-1210. Fax 561 -562-9848.
The Sprout House. Fresh cut wheatgrass mailed next day. Powdered grass and sprouting
seeds. 800-S-P-R-O-U-T-S http://www.SproutHouse.com Email: info@Spro
Ann Wigmore Foundation. Original home of the mother of wheatgrass. Clinic, products
and information. 505-384-1017. http://www.wigmore.org/~wigmore/
Optimum Health Institute. Live-in clinic for wheatgrass therapy. Locations in Austin,
TX and San Diego, Calif. 800-993-4325. 512-303-4817. http:// www.optimumhe
Klamath Blue Green Algae 800-327-1956. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cyanotech, Inc. Large grower of spirulina in Hawaii. 808-329-4677. FAX: (808) 329-3597.
Email: email@example.com http://www.cyanotech.com
Green Foods Corporation. Manufacturer of Green Magma original barley grass powder.
800-777-4430 ext. 434. 805-983-7470. Email: gfc@)greenfoods.com http:// www.greenfoods.com
Pines Wheatgrass. Pioneer in field grown wheatgrass products. Cooperatively owned
by employees. 800-697-4637. Http://www.wheatgrass.com
Green Kamut (tm) Corporation. Pioneer manufacturer of Kamut grown wheatgrass juice
powder. 800-452-6884. Fax 310-498-9529.
Earthrise Company. World’s largest spirulina grower. Industry pioneer. 707-778-9078
fax 707-778-9028. Http://www.spirulina.com http://www.earthrise.com
Cell Tech, Inc. Largest harvester of natural blue- green algae from Klamath Lake.
Multi-level marketing company. 800-800-6069, automated order line. Fax on Demand
fax line for information is 800-565-5092.