How Long Does it Take Wheatgrass to Detoxify the Body?

Written by: Pard Bharaj

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Time to read 10 min

Image of Pard, the Author

Author: Pard Bharaj

I am a dedicated researcher with nearly a decade of experience in investigating health best practices. 

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle, especially if you have existing health conditions.

Introduction: 


Wheatgrass is derived from the young shoots of the wheat plant, and is well known and researched for having an impressive nutritional profile as well as an extensive list of health benefits. Its high chlorophyll content is particularly valued for its ability to detoxify the body, and enhance overall well-being.


In recent years, wheatgrass has gained popularity in detoxification. Many health enthusiasts (including myself) incorporate wheatgrass juice or powder into their daily routines, believing it helps cleanse the body of toxins and improve vitality.


This article will explore "how long does it take wheatgrass to detoxify the body", as well as what toxins it could remove and how to enhance this process. We will look at relevant scientific wheatgrass detoxification studies, and provide practical insights for those looking to incorporate wheatgrass into their detox regimen.

Article Summary and Key Takeaways:


  • Immediate Effects: Increased energy and better digestion can occur within a few days.
  • Long-Term Benefits: Clearer skin, improved liver function, and overall health enhancements typically take 1 to 3 months.
  • Toxins: May help to remove heavy metals (such as lead, cadmium, and mercury), free radicals (unstable molecules causing oxidative stress), processed food toxins (artificial additives and preservatives), environmental pollutants (toxins like benzene and toluene), and pesticides and herbicides (harmful chemicals from non-organic foods).
  • Initial Detox Symptoms: May include headaches, fatigue, and nausea.
  • Factors Influencing Detox: Health status, metabolism, diet, hydration, and exercise.
  • Recommended Dosage: Start with small amounts, gradually increasing to 1-2 ounces of juice or 1-2 teaspoons of powder daily.
  • Enhancing Detoxification: Incorporate other detoxifying herbs and superfoods, eat organic foods where possible, exercise regularly, stay hydrated, ensure adequate fibre intake, get sufficient sleep.

What Toxins Does Wheatgrass Help Eliminate? 


Here are some of the key toxins that wheatgrass is believed to help remove:


1. Heavy Metals:


Wheatgrass is known for its high chlorophyll content, which may assist in the detoxification of heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and mercury. It is generally believed that chlorophyll can bind to heavy metals, aiding in their removal from the body through the digestive tract. However, more research is required to fully confirm these findings and understand the mechanisms involved.


2. Free Radicals:


The antioxidants present in wheatgrass, including vitamins C and E, flavonoids, and phenolic acids, play a crucial role in neutralising free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress and damage to cells, potentially leading to chronic diseases. Research indicates that the antioxidant properties of wheatgrass help reduce oxidative stress, thus protecting the body from cellular damage. Several studies support these claims, that wheatgrass can effectively combat free radicals .


3. Toxins from Processed Foods, Pesticides and Herbicides:


Modern diets often include processed foods that contain artificial additives, preservatives, and other chemicals. Wheatgrass helps combat the accumulation of these toxins by potentially enhancing liver function. Some studies report that wheatgrass extract significantly improved liver enzymes' activity, facilitating the detoxification process. However, further studies are needed to establish a definitive link between wheatgrass and the detoxification of processed food toxins.


4. Environmental Pollutants:


Air pollution exposes us to harmful toxins such as benzene, toluene, and other volatile organic compounds. Chlorophyll in wheatgrass may support the body’s detoxification pathways by aiding in the neutralisation and excretion of these environmental pollutants. This process helps reduce the toxic load on the body and supports overall health. While some studies suggest these benefits, more extensive research is necessary to confirm the extent of wheatgrass's effectiveness in detoxifying environmental pollutants.

How Long Does it Take Wheatgrass to Detoxify the Body?


Here are some general timelines based on anecdotal evidence and available studies:


  • Short-Term Effects: Some individuals report feeling initial detox symptoms, such as increased energy and improved digestion, within a few days to a week of starting wheatgrass consumption. These short-term effects can include mild detox symptoms like headaches or nausea as the body begins to eliminate toxins.

  • Long-Term Effects: For more substantial detoxification benefits, including clearer skin, improved liver function, and enhanced overall health, consistent consumption of wheatgrass for at least 1 to 3 months is often recommended. Long-term benefits are typically more pronounced with sustained use and a healthy lifestyle.

The duration it takes for wheatgrass to detoxify the body can vary significantly based on several factors, including individual health status, dosage, and lifestyle habits. Here’s a closer look at the key elements influencing the detoxification timeline with wheatgrass:


  • Individual Health Status and Metabolism: Each person's body responds differently to detoxification processes. Factors such as age, overall health, and metabolic rate play a crucial role in how quickly wheatgrass can work. Healthier individuals with more efficient metabolic systems might experience faster detoxification compared to those with compromised health or slower metabolisms.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Diet, hydration, and exercise also influence how effectively and quickly wheatgrass can detoxify the body. A balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, combined with adequate hydration and regular physical activity, can enhance the detoxification process. Conversely, a diet high in processed foods and low in nutrients can slow down detoxification.

Signs Your Body is Detoxifying: 


Positive Symptoms:


  1. Increased Energy Levels: One of the first signs of detoxification is often a noticeable boost in energy. As the body rids itself of toxins, cellular functions improve, leading to higher energy levels.

  2. Improved Digestion: Detoxification can lead to better digestion and regular bowel movements. You might experience less bloating, gas, and other digestive discomforts.

  3. Clearer Skin: Many people report that their skin becomes clearer and more radiant as toxins are eliminated from the body. Reduction in acne and skin irritations can be a positive sign of detoxification.

  4. Better Mental Clarity: Detoxification often leads to improved mental clarity and focus, as the body’s systems function more efficiently without the burden of excess toxins.

  5. Weight Loss: Some individuals may experience weight loss as the body sheds excess waste and optimises metabolic processes.


Negative Symptoms:


  1. Headaches: It is common to experience headaches during the initial phase of detoxification. This can be due to the release of toxins into the bloodstream and the body's efforts to eliminate them.

  2. Fatigue: While increased energy is a long-term benefit, initial detoxification can sometimes cause temporary fatigue as the body adjusts.

  3. Nausea: Some individuals may feel nauseous as their bodies begin to process and expel toxins.

  4. Digestive Discomfort: Changes in bowel movements, including diarrhoea or constipation, can occur as the digestive system adapts to the detox process.

  5. Skin Breakouts: Initially, the skin might break out as toxins are expelled through the pores. This is usually temporary and subsides as detox progresses.

How Much Wheatgrass Should I Take Daily to Detoxify?


The recommended daily intake of wheatgrass varies based on individual needs and tolerance. Here are general guidelines:


  • Fresh Wheatgrass Juice: Start with 1 ounce (about 30 ml) per day and gradually increase to 2 ounces (about 60 ml) per day as your body adjusts.

  • Wheatgrass Powder: Begin with 1 teaspoon (about 3 grams) per day, and you can increase to 2 teaspoons (about 6 grams) per day.

  • Wheatgrass Tablets or Capsules: Follow the dosage instructions provided by the manufacturer, typically around 500 mg to 1,000 mg per day.

How Can I Enhance Wheatgrass Detoxification?


We can enhance the detoxification effects of wheatgrass by adopting habits and practices that support your body’s natural detox processes. Here are some effective strategies:


1. Incorporate Other Detoxifying Herbs and Superfoods:


Several herbs and superfoods can complement the detoxifying effects of wheatgrass:


  • Chlorella: A type of algae that has been shown to bind heavy metals and other toxins, aiding in their excretion.

  • Barley Grass: Similar to wheatgrass, barley grass is rich in chlorophyll and nutrients that support detoxification.

  • Spirulina: Another type of algae, spirulina is high in antioxidants and has been shown to support detoxification and improve overall health.

  • Garlic: Contains sulphur compounds that support liver detoxification and help eliminate heavy metals.

  • Cilantro : Known for its ability to bind heavy metals and assist in their removal from the body.


2. Eat Organic Foods Where Possible:


Consuming organic foods can enhance the detoxification effects of wheatgrass by reducing your exposure to pesticides, herbicides, and other harmful chemicals commonly found in conventionally grown produce. Organic foods are grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilisers, which means fewer toxins enter your body. This reduction in chemical load can help your liver and other detoxifying organs function more efficiently, allowing them to focus on eliminating other environmental toxins.


3. Exercise Regularly:


Regular physical activity enhances circulation and promotes sweating, which helps eliminate toxins from the body. Exercise also boosts metabolism and supports overall health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking, cycling, or yoga, most days of the week.


4. Stay Hydrated:


Proper hydration is crucial for detoxification. Drinking plenty of water helps flush out toxins through urine and sweat. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day, and consider adding herbal teas that support detoxification, such as dandelion or green tea. Add natural salts for electrolytes.


. Ensure Adequate Fibre Intake:


Fibre aids in the elimination of toxins by promoting regular bowel movements. Foods high in fibre, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, help bind toxins in the digestive tract and facilitate their excretion. Including fibre-rich foods in your diet can enhance the detox effects of wheatgrass.


6. Get Sufficient Sleep:


Quality sleep is essential for effective detoxification, as the body performs many of its detox processes during rest. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to support overall health and allow your body to detoxify efficiently.

References and Further Reading:

1. Protective Effect of Wheat and Barley Grass Against the Acute Toxicological Effects of the Concurrent Administration of Excessive Heavy Metals in Drinking Water on the Rats Liver and Brain


Wheatgrass and barley grass have shown significant protective effects against the toxicological impact of excessive heavy metals in drinking water on rats' liver and brain, reducing oxidative stress and DNA damage.

Publication:  Conducted by Hanan S.E. Eldamaty, Heba Elbasiouny, Amira M. Elmoslemany, Lamiaa M. Abd El-Maoula, Ola Ibrahim El-Desoky, Medhat Rehan, Diaa Abd El Moneim, and Amina Zedan, was published in Applied Sciences in May 2021


2. Chlorophyll and Metallo-Chlorophyll Derivatives:


Chlorophyll and its derivatives, such as sodium copper chlorophyllin (SCC), can form tight molecular complexes with certain carcinogens, potentially reducing their gastrointestinal absorption and mitigating their harmful effects. These compounds exhibit antioxidant properties and may inhibit carcinogen metabolism and oxidative damage, although further research is required to fully understand their benefits and bioavailability in humans.


Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.


3. Living Life the Natural Way – Wheatgrass and Health:


Wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum) offers numerous health benefits due to its rich nutrient profile, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, immunomodulatory, and detoxifying properties. It aids in conditions like colitis, kidney malfunctions, and atherosclerosis, and supports red blood cell formation and tissue growth. Wheatgrass's high chlorophyll content is nearly identical to haemoglobin, enhancing its detoxifying abilities.


Publication: Conducted by Satyavati Rana, Jaspreet Kaur Kamboj, and Vandana Gandhi from the Department of Gastroenterology at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India, was published in Functional Foods in Health and Disease on November 30, 2011


4. Therapeutic Uses of Wheatgrass Juice:


Wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum) juice, rich in chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds, offers numerous therapeutic benefits including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, and detoxifying properties. It helps in managing conditions like anaemia, thalassemia, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and digestive disorders. Wheatgrass is also noted for its ability to boost red blood cell production, support liver health, and enhance immune function.


Publication: Conducted by Amita Beniwal, Mamoni Das, and Priyanka Bhattacharyya from Assam Agricultural University and Universität Heidelberg, was published in Advances in Plant Science, January 2022


I Took Wheatgrass Shots Every Morning for 2 Weeks. Here’s What Happened.


In an article on Prevention, the author details their experience of taking wheatgrass shots every morning for two weeks. They noticed several benefits, including increased energy levels, better digestion, and improved skin clarity. However, they also experienced some initial side effects such as nausea and headaches. The overall conclusion was that while wheatgrass shots can offer health benefits, individual responses may vary, and it's important to consider potential side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the best time of day to take wheatgrass for enhanced detoxification?

The optimal time to take wheatgrass for enhanced detoxification is in the morning on an empty stomach. This timing allows your body to absorb the nutrients more efficiently and kickstart the detoxification process early in the day. Consuming wheatgrass before breakfast can help maximise its cleansing effects, as it supports digestion and boosts metabolism. However, individual routines and preferences can vary, so it’s essential to find a time that works best for you and your lifestyle.

Can wheatgrass detoxify the Liver?

Yes, wheatgrass can aid in liver detoxification. Wheatgrass is rich in chlorophyll, antioxidants, and vitamins, which help support liver function and enhance its detoxifying capabilities. The chlorophyll in wheatgrass helps to neutralise toxins, while its antioxidant properties protect liver cells from damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, wheatgrass promotes the production of red blood cells and improves oxygenation, which supports overall liver health and function. Regular consumption of wheatgrass can contribute to a more effective and natural liver detoxification process.

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