Wheatgrass is the young grass of Triticum aestivum, commonly known as the wheat plant. Wheatgrass is either dried into powder or can be freshly juiced. It contains chlorophyll, amino acids, minerals, vitamins and enzymes. It is suitable for both animal and human consumption.
Wheatgrass was introduced to the Western World in the 1930s as a result of experiments conducted by Charles F. Schnabel. His wheatgrass was grown outdoors in Kansas. Wheatgrass grows with 200 days of slow growth which is in the winter and harvested in early spring.
When harvested, it is considered to be at its reproductive stage. It is at this stage that it's considered to give its maximum wheatgrass health benefits. He was an agricultural chemist who used fresh cut grass to nurse dying hens back to health.
His attempts were successful and the hens who recovered began to produce more eggs than the healthy hens. This spurred Schnabel to begin drying and powdering grass for his friends and family to help improve their overall health.
Schnabel promoted the idea of wheatgrass for animal and human consumption. Large companies such as Quaker Oats and American Dairies, Inc. invested millions of dollars into the research, development and production of wheatgrass.
By 1940, Schnabel’s powdered grass was on the shelves of drug stores throughout the United States and Canada.
Wheatgrass can be grown at home or bought at health food stores. It is available as fresh produce, tablets, powder, wheatgrass supplements and frozen juice. If grown at home, wheatgrass can be dehydrated and made into powders and tablets for human or animal consumption.
The average daily dosage of wheatgrass recommended is 3.5 grams in powder or tablet form. If consumed fresh-squeezed, a serving is 30 ml once daily and should be taken before meals, on an empty stomach.