Supplements and Herbs

Barley Grass Powder as “Medicine” in Cancer and Other Diseases

On the medicinal benefits of barleygrass

from “Barley Grass”, by Betsy Block, NATURAL HEALTH Magazine — Oct 1999 pg. 44

This Nutrient-packed "Green Food" May Fight Several Types Of Cancer, Clear Up Skin Problems, And Heal Ulcers.

WHAT IT IS — Barley grass (Hordeum vulgare) is the seedling of the barley plant. It is usually harvested about 200 days after germination, when the shoots are less than a foot tall.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE — A concentrated source of nearly three dozen vitamins and minerals, barley grass is particularly rich in vitamins A, C, B1, B2, folic acid, and B12; calcium; iron; potassium; and chlorophyll. Unlike most plants, barley grass provides all nine essential amino acids (those which your body can't produce).

HEALING CLAIMS — Barley grass is a powerful antioxidant that is believed to help the body kill cancer cells and overcome a variety of ailments, including acne and ulcers.

HOW IT WORKS — An antioxidant called alpha-tocopherol succinate — a potent relative of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) may be responsible for much of the plant's anti-tumor action, according to Allan L. Goldstein, Ph.D., head of the biochemistry department at George Washington University's School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., who has studied barley grass.

Though its mechanism is unknown, alpha-tocopherol succinate seems to inhibit several types of cancer, including leukemia, brain tumors, and prostate cancer.

According to Yoshihide Hagiwara, M.D., a researcher in Japan and author of the book "Green Barley Essence" (Keats, 1985), barley grass helps cure skin diseases and ulcers by promoting the growth of new cells. It is not known exactly how this happens, although barley grass is high in chlorophyll, an antibacterial green pigment.

THE EVIDENCE — There have been no clinical trials of barley grass. In an experiment at George Washington University, Goldstein and his colleagues exposed leukemic cancer cells to dehydrated barley grass extract. The extract killed virtually all of them.

Encouraged, the researchers then subjected brain cancer cells to the extract. It eradicated 30 to 50 percent of these cells. In a third trial, the extract inhibited the growth of three types of prostate cancer cells by 90 to 100 percent.
Compare Curing Massive Cancer With Green Barley Pills.

In Japan, where barley grass extract is popular, there is anecdotal evidence that it helps the body heal from many illnesses. In one informal study, a Japanese dermatologist observed a group of 7.5 patients with skin diseases ranging from melanosis (darkening of the skin) to eczema.

The patients who took barley grass extract healed faster than did those who did not. They also noticed improvements in appetite and bowel regularity.

HOW TO TAKE — Barley grass is widely available in powder or pill form and is best taken on an empty stomach, 30 minutes before or two hours after a meal.

For disease prevention, Hagiwara advises taking 2 to 6 g of powder — dissolved in water or juice — two or three times a day. To treat skin or stomach ailments, you may need to take up to 12 g of powder two or three times a day. Expect improvements within three months.

CAVEATS — People with eczema or acne may notice some skin aggravation when they first take barley grass. Also, barley grass may initially cause nausea, diarrhea, or constipation. If any of these symptoms occur, you may want to cut back to 1/2 g twice a day, then slowly increase your dosage until your body adjusts.

Betsy Block is a freelance writer living in the Boston area.


BY WEIGHT, dehydrated barley grass has 11 times the calcium of cow's milk, 5 times the iron of spinach, and more protein than sirloin steak. About 2 teaspoons (6 g) of barley grass powder contains the following*;

IRON 3mg
VITAMIN B1 15 mcg
VITAMIN B2 140 mcg
VITAMIN B12 1.7 mcg


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