This Superfood Healed My Acne (and Hangovers)

One of the most confidence-deflating ailments I have tolerated as a grown woman is acne. I mean, it’s been well over a decade since I went through puberty—I shouldn’t have to deal with big red zits and streaks of gray hair at the same time. It just isn’t fair!

But, like me, so many women struggle with painful acne well into their 20s, 30s and 40s. And it’s easy to lose hope. But for me, wheatgrass juice changed everything.

Here’s my story…

I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) 6 years ago. I was lucky to be diagnosed so early on, since many women with PCOS and endometriosis generally struggle for years without a diagnosis. But more women suffer from these types of imbalances than you think. PCOS affects around 1 out of every 10 women and comes with a host of unpleasantries, like inexplicable weight gain, ovarian cysts, insulin resistance, male-pattern hair loss, hirsutism, moodiness, depression, anxiety, pain during sex, highly irregular periods, infertility and yes, acne.

While PCOS cannot be “cured,” it can be put into remission. I was able to eliminate or control almost all of these symptoms with some significant diet and lifestyle changes (and the help of my incredible naturopath). But the one symptom I just couldn’t shake? Acne. The one literally everyone can see.

For 3 or 4 years, I tried everything. I used intensive, bleaching acne regimens like Proactiv. I used rosehip oil cleansers. I tried countless clay masks and facials. I was put on birth control pills. I gave up bread and cheese. But my anxiety and depression over my complexion only grew as those little painful bumps kept popping up with near-daily regularity.

Always looking for ways to keep my PCOS in check, a friend of mine casually recommended that I try drinking wheatgrass juice, based on some compelling research she read about how nourishing it is to the body. So I began taking daily shots (at first at the local juice bar, but then at home when I noticed how much weight my wallet had lost).

After about a month of daily shots, a woman I barely knew gaped at me and complimented my clear, glowing skin. I paused and touched my face. Somehow I hadn’t noticed, but my acne was no longer inflamed. In fact, my skin was 100 percent clear of painful cystic acne for the first time in years!

grass with turf isolated on white

What was I doing right? Well, I was already living a really clean, mostly plant-based lifestyle. I already do not consume dairy, gluten, refined carbs, refined soy or refined sugar. What finally pushed my skin over the edge? It was the wheatgrass juice.

I’ve started and stopped drinking wheatgrass juice for months at a time, either out of laziness or in the interest of scientific curiosity. Each time, once I go more than a week or two without wheatgrass juice, my acne gradually comes creeping back. I especially notice the reappearance of my painful cystic acne, which is practically nonexistent when I supplement with wheatgrass juice. That’s all the proof I need. In the fight against PCOS, wheatgrass juice has been a savior for my skin and my self-confidence.

Now it’s time for some science…

Maybe you can relate to my acne experience; maybe not. But here’s the deal: There is a lot of conflicting information out there about wheatgrass and its benefits. There’s also a lot you probably don’t know. Let’s take this opportunity to clear things up and dig into some (science-backed) facts about wheatgrass juice…

Wheatgrass is super rich in nutrients…

Not only is wheatgrass juice a dense source of amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins and trace minerals, but it is also an excellent source of chlorophyll (you know, that energy stuff plants make during photosynthesis). Wheatgrass is 70 percent chlorophyll, which is the the biggest source of its healing potential.

…but you have to juice it.

If you buy a product that contains whole-plant wheatgrass powder, run away. Humans cannot digest the complex fiber in grass. It’s a fact. That’s why cows have 3 more stomachs than us. Even if the whole grass is dried and powdered, your body is not going to be able to break down the grass on a cellular level to absorb the nutrients. Either drink fresh wheatgrass juice or use products containing cold-pressed wheatgrass juice powder. Otherwise you’re just wasting your money.

Wheatgrass juice does not contain gluten.

In the grass stage, the sugars in the wheatberry have not yet been converted into gluten. Better yet, all of those sugars are contained within the seed, not the grass blade. Since wheatgrass is harvested above the base to be juiced (kind of like mowing the lawn), gluten is entirely a non-issue.

It aids the body’s detoxification processes.

The human body is pretty great at detoxifying itself, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make its job a little easier. There has been lots of research conducted on the use of chlorophyll as a powerful acne remedy due to its ability to boost oxygen-rich blood flow, which supercharges your body’s inherent detoxifying capabilities.

Chlorophyll also improves the liver’s ability to properly dispose of toxins (if the liver is functioning properly, toxins don’t have to be pushed through the skin). Since wheatgrass is mostly chlorophyll, this is all highly relevant. Additionally, numerous small studies have shown that wheatgrass is a powerful anti-inflammatory in the cases of certain diseases (more on that below).

Related: Can Chlorophyll Protect Against Cancer?

Wheat grass juice

It has anti-cancer potential.

While no studies have been large enough to definitively prove wheatgrass juice’s cancer-fighting powers, the current research does show that wheatgrass juice may aid in cancer prevention and also function as an adjunct cancer treatment due to its perceived ability to encourage apoptosis (self-destruction) of cancerous cells. It may also support those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, hematological diseases, diabetes, obesity and oxidative stress. Yeah, it’s a super food.

The taste improves.

There’s a saying: the worse wheatgrass juice tastes to you, the more your body needs it. Okay, this definitely is not hardcore science, but in a way that makes sense. If you’ve been eating a sugary, white bread diet, wheatgrass is going to taste pretty dreadful to you. But if you’re pretty health-conscious, wheatgrass juice can taste remarkably sweet and enjoyable.

That being said, I know a lot of people who won’t go anywhere near wheatgrass juice because of the grassy taste. Because of their convenience and affordability, I currently take these amazing cold-pressed wheatgrass juice powder capsules, which have no discernible taste and don’t require me to clean a juicer (which I hate doing). Plus, they’ve been equally effective for my acne as the fresh juice (and, I’ve discovered, are a great hangover cure…). I say that’s pretty awesome!

Wheatgrass is great for hangovers.

I don’t drink often, but with my blood sugar issues and my low alcohol tolerance, I tend to wake up with hangover headaches after just one measly glass of wine. But after some self-experimentation and some research, I’ve discovered that wheatgrass juice is the hangover cure my body has been looking for.

You see, studies have shown that chlorophyll actually supports the body in alcohol processing by improving oxygen-rich blood circulation to the brain and liver. Plus, the trace nutrients and anti-inflammatory action of wheatgrass juice combat the inflammation caused by alcohol in the liver.

I used to wake up with at least one big zit between my eyebrows and a feeling of general malaise after an indulgent night out. Ever since I started taking wheatgrass juice post-alcohol right before bed, either in fresh or buzz-friendly capsulated form, the acne and the headaches have gone away. It feels like a miracle, but…

It is not a miracle worker.

Wheatgrass juice is a valuable health tool, not a panacea. If you’re eating a junk food diet, wheatgrass isn’t going to bestow instant good health upon you. I do not think wheatgrass juice would have worked so well for me had I been eating brownies and french fries every day.

Good health and clear skin takes dedication. But once you’re all-in, wheatgrass juice can prove to be the final piece to the what sometimes feels like an impossible puzzle. It was for me.

What are your experiences with wheatgrass juice? Love it? Hate it? Share your thoughts below…

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71 comments

Marie W
Marie W1 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Dennis Hall
Dennis Hall5 months ago

I used GreensPlus from Genuine Health (they have done proper research on every ingredient they use) and contacted them regarding the wheatgrass they use. Here is their response: Genuine Health!

Are the grasses in greens+ digestible? In a word, yes – when in supplement form! Some companies that sell superfood powders say that humans can digest grasses of any variety. This is wrong. It has been known for decades that young wheatgrass (and other "grasses" used in dietary supplements) do not contain the anti-nutrients (such as tannins, lignans and oxalic acid), and gluten is either not present or far lower than that of the mature plant.
This is yet another occasion when having our own research on greens+ speaks volumes. We have University based research which shows that greens+ is tolerated well, and that any adverse events are reported to no greater degree than those taking placebo. Research on the health benefits of wheatgrass and other "grasses" in greens+ contradicts the idea that the nutrients are not absorbed. It also appears that many of the benefits might be mediated by the ways in which the "grasses" influence the microbiome. Many of these studies are in rodents (that do not have a ruminate digestive system like cows), and many are in humans. Further, experimental studies using a human digestive model show that wheatgrass bioavailability is strong. Lastly, we have been making greens+ for 25 years. In this time, the

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Dennis Hall
Dennis Hall5 months ago

Thank you.

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William C
William C6 months ago

Thank you.

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Sophie L
Past Member 6 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Richard B
Richard B6 months ago

Thank you

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Paulo R
Paulo R7 months ago

ty

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O7 months ago

hope it helps you

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O7 months ago

have not tried it but we eat lots of greens

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O7 months ago

th

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