Wheatgrass is generally considered a nutritious addition to any diet. It has been used in a variety of manners such as detoxification, treating skin conditions like eczema, and blood purification. Various pros and cons are associated with using wheatgrass during pregnancy. Wheatgrass is available in most health food stores and juice bars.
Wheatgrass is a part of the Poaceae family. It is generally grown indoors and outdoors in areas of Europe and the U.S. A single plant can produce grass for up to three years. It is available in powdered and grass forms, but juice is considered the best form. Consuming 1 to 4 oz. of wheatgrass daily is recommended for healthy maintenance. Any more than that can cause nausea. More studies need to be conducted to prove its efficacy. Always consult a physician when implementing a new supplement such as wheatgrass into your diet, especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
The "Wheatgrass diet" was invented by Lithuanian immigrant Ann Wigmore. She stated that dogs and cats ate it when sick, so it carried medicinal properties that could cure various diseases. She was sued twice by the Massachusetts Attorney General, partially because she had no medical certification to validate her claims, so she retracted them. However, her diet is still followed by millions as of 2010.
Wheatgrass is rich in chlorophyll, the component that makes plants green. According to the American Cancer Society, some people compare chlorophyll with human hemoglobin, which carries oxygen through the blood, so theoretically, consuming chlorophyll raises blood oxygen levels. It has also been used as a detoxification method to rid the body of excess bacteria and waste matter. In a study conducted in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology in April of 2002, scientists clarified that wheatgrass may have an anti-inflammatory effect, and could reduce symptoms of ulcerative colitis. More studies need to be conducted to further support or refute claims.
The American Cancer Society warns against using wheatgrass while pregnant because the soil has to be kept very moist, increasing risk of mold and bacterial growth, which can damage the fetus. Some cases of allergic reaction, including hives, swollen throat, and nausea and vomiting, have occurred within minutes of consuming wheatgrass. Steve Meyerowitz, author of "Wheatgrass: Natures Finest Medicine," states that in high doses, wheatgrass acts as a purgative, which can imbalance crucial nutrients in a pregnancy.
Dr. Chris Reynolds, a general practitioner in Australia, states that grown in the right environment, wheatgrass can cause beneficial immune responses in both mother and child. It also aids in the digestion process. The chlorophyll might aid in preventing tooth decay, keeping hair healthy, reducing blood pressure levels, removing toxins from the body and maintaining blood sugar levels.