Quote of the Week:
"You're in pretty good shape for the shape you are in."
- Dr. Suess
|Cultivated since ancient times and known by its botanical name of hordeum vulgare, barley grass is grown by soaking the seeds in clean water until they sprout and grow bright green shoots of approximately 10 inches long. These shoots are then harvested even before they are able to produce the barley grains The health benefits of the young shoots are typically derived either as juice or tea. Barley grass tea is made by placing about a teaspoon of the powdered grass into a glass of cold or room temperature water. The powder may also be added to other cold tea mixes. This beverage should not be taken hot as its beneficial enzymes are destroyed in high temperature. Barley grass tea contains glutamic acid, methionine, vitamin C, valine, calcium. It is also abundant in the following vitamins, minerals and amino acids: beta-carotene, betaine, biotin, boron, copper, iron, lutein, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamine. Barley grass tea also has nutritionally significant amounts of alpha-linoleic acid, oryzanol, potassium, selenium, zinc, superoxide dismutaste (SOD) and vitamin E. Due to the presence of these nutrients, barley grass tea has become known as a formidable immune system booster. It helps the body withstand attacks from bacteria and viruses that abound in the environment. The potential of this drink in preventing cellular damage has also recently come to light. It has been found that the grass contains a substance called P4D1. This constituent has been proven to aid in repairing the DNA in the cells. It also has been shown to help in countering the harmful effect of free radicals and other toxins, thus contributing to the prevention of carcinogenesis, aging and cell death. P4D1 in the grass also has potent anti-inflammatory properties due to its ability to help protect the immune system cells. More recently, Korean researchers have discovered yet another plant chemical present in barley grass called lunasin. This substance is recognized for its ability to stop skin cancer cells from multiplying. Upon further studies, the scientists also discovered that lunasin was also able to stop the growth of breast cancer cells. As such, barley grass tea may be a significant anti-cancer partner. Barley grass tea also has high levels of chlorophyll, the substance that gives the plant its vivid green color. Chlorophyll helps to alkalize the blood, thus bringing the body's acid and alkaline ratio into balance. Most processed foods found in people's diets are high in acids, and cells cannot adequate function and stay healthy if the acidity-alkalinity balance in the body is upset. Too much acidity in the body wreaks havoc on cellular health, leading to many of today's modern diseases. Thus, it may be considered a vanguard in ensuring that the root cause of many illnesses - excessive acidity in the body - does not gain a foothold in an individual. Nursing women may want to consider avoiding barley grass as it may stop lactation. Also, people taking blood-thinning medication may want to avoid barley grass as its high vitamin K content may counteract the intended effects of the medication. While barley grass tea does not contain all of the health nutrients needed by the body for growth, repair and well-being, it is acknowledged to be one of those that come closest to being the ultimate repository of all these nutrients. As such, it is not far-fetched to see barley grass as being involved in many more discoveries and breakthroughs in the area of preventing, treating and ultimately curing diseases and ailments.