Wheatgrass refers to the freshly sprouted leaves that come from the common wheat plant. Wheat is a cereal grain most often used to make flour. However, wheatgrass can also be made into a juice or added to smoothies to improve the immune system and boost overall health.1
Wheatgrass Juice Uses and Health Benefits
Wheatgrass is packed with nutrients and extremely potent. Wheatgrass juice is what’s considered a “complete” food, meaning that it contains a large amount of nutrients that the body needs. It comes packed with amino acids like alanine, glycine, leucine, arginine, and many others.1 Other nutrients found in wheatgrass include calcium, iron, magnesium, and various vitamins.2
Among wheatgrass benefits, it’s believed to help the body eliminate waste, kill harmful bacteria in the gut, and treat conditions like cancer, joint pain, infections, diabetes, and anemia.2 It may also help boost metabolism, lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar, and improve energy.3 Individuals undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer may also benefit from wheatgrass supplements to help control the chemotherapy side effects.2, 3 Other wheatgrass juice uses include for:
- Excessive Sweating (Hyperhidrosis) - Wheatgrass juice can help flush toxins from the body, helping control excessive sweating.
- Ulcerative Colitis - Internal use of wheatgrass is said to help benefit the digestive system along with conditions like ulcerative colitis.
- Gangrene - Oral use of wheatgrass juice is believed to help treat gangrene.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - Wheatgrass may help with various digestive issues like diarrhea, peptic ulcers, and IBS.
- Toothache - Wheatgrass may also help treat various dental conditions like tooth decay.
More research is needed to determine the full range of wheatgrass juice benefits.
Wheatgrass Juice Side Effects and Precautions
In most cases, wheatgrass is considered safe. However, individuals with celiac disease, gluten intolerances, or wheat or grass allergies should avoid wheatgrass. Wheatgrass side effects can include nausea, constipation, headache, fever, upset stomach, and anorexia.2, 3, 4
Since wheatgrass is usually sold fresh and made into juice from the fresh plant, there’s risk of purchasing wheatgrass contaminated with mold or bacteria.2,3 Because of this risk, it’s best for pregnant and nursing women to avoid wheatgrass. Wheatgrass juice should not be used as a substitute for prescription medications. Talk to your doctor if you have a serious medical condition, and discuss any other herbs or medications you’re taking to avoid possible interactions.