Chapter 2-4 of Healing Foods by Walter Last

Heal yourself with fresh vegetable and grass juice

WATER & JUICES

It is important that we take in sufficient water for the smooth functioning of our metabolic processes, and especially to flush away their end products. In normal health and on a diet that includes a fair amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, an additional fluid intake of about one liter daily would be adequate.

However, in the following conditions close to 2 liters of fluids are desirable - more if overweight:

        If mainly concentrated foods are used

        On a diet high in protein

        If the urine is cloudy or has a strong smell or dark color

        In hot conditions and while breast-feeding

        During cleansing periods and initial stages of health improvement

 

This may consist of water, diluted juices and herb teas. Concentrated drinks, such as coffee, milk, strong tea, do not count, as their water content is needed to wash out their own residues. Occasionally you may check that you produce about 3 liters of inoffensive urine per day.

 

In hot climates there is a high incidence of kidney disease because many people do not drink enough water. For instance a high incidence of oxalate-kidney stones among British troops in India during World War II has been blamed on excessive tea drinking.

If using large amounts of fluids, one must ingest adequate amounts of water-soluble vitamins and minerals; otherwise deficiency symptoms may develop. The time of drinking, too, is very important. One should be careful not to dilute the digestive juices during and after meals, although some liquid may be used after dry meals, as in the form of herb teas. Generally, however, it is better to drink before meals, and to have the bulk of the fluid intake before breakfast. This is especially important if the digestive system is weak.

After drinking water, wait for about 20 minutes before starting a meal, and after drinking juices, wait for 30-60 minutes, depending on the quantity. It is good to drink a glass of warm water or herb tea first thing in the morning to wash down mucus and debris.

Chlorine and added fluoride in drinking water are always harmful. However, if the water is high in calcium then fluoride is less harmful, because calcium fluoride is nearly insoluble and not well absorbed. On the other hand, if the water is soft or rich in magnesium, iron or sulfur then fluoride is rather harmful. Kelp and other seafood contain plenty of fluoride in a safe form. Avoid chlorinated or fluoridated water for drinking or cooking. Most of the chlorine can be removed by bringing the water to boiling and let it cool down before drinking.

However, municipal tap water also contains other added chemicals and a good water filter is recommended. As a strong enzyme poison, fluoride is especially harmful for individuals with chronic degenerative diseases. In countries where water fluoridation is common, you may suspect that all commercial liquids with added water contain fluorides. Commonly these may include all soft drinks, soymilk and even 100% fruit juice, which is usually reconstituted by adding water to concentrates.

High levels of calcium in water are harmful for elderly individuals with calcifications such as arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure, joint calcifications or calcium kidney stones. For children and young women water high in calcium can be beneficial.

Our magnesium intake has greatly declined in the past 60 years because calcium fertilizers have been overused. The death rate from arteriosclerotic and degenerative heart disease is highest in countries with the lowest levels of magnesium in water, notably Australia. Even within Australia the death rate is lowest in Perth, which has the highest magnesium-to-calcium ratio in drinking water, while the death rate is highest in Sydney, which has the lowest magnesium-to-calcium water ratio of Australian capital cities.

In six Missouri counties with low magnesium levels in the water the death rate from diabetes was more than four times higher than in six other counties with high magnesium levels in the water. Generally it is preferable to use water high in magnesium and low calcium.

Rainwater may be used in unpolluted rural areas. Unfortunately, galvanized iron now commonly has added aluminum with its zinc coating and this may increase the aluminum level of water collected from modern galvanized roofs and stored in galvanized tanks. I do not know whether the amounts of aluminum that might be dissolved are significant. Public water supplies are routinely purified with aluminum compounds; a study in England found that when aluminum levels in public drinking water were high, there was a correspondingly high incidence of Alzheimer's disease.

Water rich in inorganic iron, which leaves brownish residues, is harmful if used over long periods. Lead and sometimes even copper accumulating in the body, contribute to chronic diseases. Therefore, if you are in poor health, avoid drinking the water from lead plumbing systems and be careful with new copper pipes. Older copper pipes are coated with more resistant copper oxide. Plastic pipes may give off toxic substances as well. The best metal for drinking water systems is zinc, as in galvanized iron pipes; otherwise ceramic may be used.

Public water supplies are usually heavily contaminated with chemicals and I do not recommend them for drinking or cooking. There are a variety of filters and distillation units on the market; I prefer those based on the principle of reverse osmosis.

Bore or spring water may be used safely only in remote areas or if a chemical analysis shows it to be uncontaminated. It should not have high amounts of calcium, copper or iron; otherwise a filter may have to be used or the water boiled to remove excess calcium. Tap water is commonly low in energy or life-force. In contrast, the very best water is fresh from a clear, uncontaminated, sunlit, shallow and cascading stream. Preferably try to energize your drinking water by exposing it to sunlight or other sources of bio-energy - see Living Water.

I do not recommend drinking much fruit juice, except some dark grape juice as explained earlier or neutralized acid juices. The basic disadvantage of drinking fruit juices is the rapid assimilation of sugars that stresses the blood-sugar regulation. However, some fruit juice may be used to flavor drinking water if so desired.

Also I do not recommend drinking milk, except possibly fresh raw goat's milk or cows' milk when it is still warm after milking. Use coffee and tea in moderation. While they have some benefits, they can cause problems if one becomes addicted to them. Alcohol too is best used only occasionally in small amounts if so desired. Beer drinking encourages the formation of mucus. Dry red wine is generally the least harmful and most beneficial alcoholic beverage. It can assist in the digestive process and give some protection against heart disease; grape juice offers similar protection but is less concentrated in protective antioxidants. Avoid any kind of soft drinks.

Vegetable juices

I highly recommend drinking a glass of freshly pressed vegetable juice before most meals or whenever conveniently possible. A mixed juice including young, green leaves is better than just juice of sweet vegetables such as carrot, reed beet, pumpkin or sweet potato. You may also use sprouted seeds, shoots of pumpkin and other edible vines, male pumpkin flowers, carrot and beetroot tops, the rind of watermelon and so forth. Be imaginative and experiment to find out what is acceptable to you.

However, if unsprayed vegetables are not available, then avoid sprayed green-leaf vegetables and use the less contaminated sweet vegetables. Pumpkin and watermelons are not normally sprayed. For individuals with a weak sugar metabolism, those with diabetes or hypoglycemia, or a tendency to these conditions, it is preferable to use mainly green juice of leaves and grasses and only a smaller amount of sweet juice for flavoring. Alternatively, slow down the absorption of sugars from the juice of sweet vegetables by adding some olive oil and lecithin or ground linseed and drink slowly and spaced out.

I strongly recommend grass juice, either on its own or mixed with other juices. Also edible weeds are excellent and herbs such as mints, lemon grass or rosehips may be used for flavoring. The more grasses and young leaves and shoots are used for a juice the better is its healing potential. Children and some adults may be persuaded to drink the juice only if flavored with apple or pineapple. I recommend adding some ginger to the juice, either use fresh ginger or ginger juice already frozen in ice cube trays. For flavoring it is excellent to stir a few spoonfuls of bee pollen into the juice.

Start drinking the juice immediately after you have made it, but slowly, and in sips. If your stomach is sensitive to juice, drink it together with some food. If you make several juices during the day you may need to thoroughly clean the juicer only after the last juicing but keep the extraction unit detached in the refrigerator between juicing.

If unhealthy when beginning such a regimen, nausea or skin reactions may temporarily occur from the release of stored toxins. In such cases reduce the amount of juice for a while and drink lots of water and take laxative foods. Start with small amounts of grass and weed juice, possibly diluted and blended with other juices. When you got used to it, however, the green juice may taste fine on its own; just avoid or minimize strongly flavored leaves such as from radish. Gradually increase to a glassful one to three times daily before meals, the more the better. While fresh juice is best, if you do not have the time to make several juices daily, you may refrigerate or freeze some of the juice for later drinking, also cool it and take it to work in a thermos.

If you have a problem absorbing fats, add some lecithin to the juice to improve absorption of beta-carotene. Sometimes, when juicing sprouted seeds or the center of a pumpkin or some mucilaginous leaves the residue seems to retain much of the goodness even after putting it repeatedly through the juicer. In this case just add water to the residue to make it sloppy before pressing it through again. As an alternative you may get more nutrients out of the residue by making a hot broth: cover the residue with water, simmer for 10 minutes, strain, add some herbs and spices or other flavoring

Of greatest importance is the vitality or life-force of the juice. This is generally highest in fresh young grasses, leaves and shoots growing organically in mineral-rich soil. Good products to mineralize the soil are rock dust, especially volcanic rock dust, seaweed and sea-minerals. Use these liberally.

Juicers

Centrifugal juicers, which are commonly available, are not suitable for grass and are inferior even for other vegetables. Static electricity builds up on the outside wall, and discharges or inactivates enzymes and colloidal suspensions of proteins and minerals. Non-centrifugal juicers reportedly give much better healing results, especially for difficult conditions.

A blender may be used and grass and other leaf-vegetables liquefied with water and then pressed by hand through a strainer. Unfortunately, air beaten into the liquid leads to oxidation. You may minimize this by adding some ascorbic acid. Blend handfuls of grass repeatedly in the same water to concentrate the juice. Alternatively, run the grass once or twice through a mincer or a grain mill and then press the pulp by hand through a strainer or cheesecloth.

Grass juicers, either manual or electric, are commercially available and may be sold as fruit and vegetable presses. You can easily find information and retailers on the Internet. They commonly have a slow-turning press spiral. Manual wheat grass juicers are efficient and good to train the biceps but not so good for others who do not have the energy to use them daily. Also, I do not like the juice to be in contact with so much metal. Cast iron juicers are much cheaper than their stainless steel brothers.

As a general rule, the slower the speed, expressed as revolutions per minute (RPM), the better the quality of the juice. Slow-turning juicers are available as single auger or twin-gear machines. Both handle grasses and leaves very well with an RPM commonly between 70 and 120 ppm. In comparison a medium-fast juicer has about 2,000 RPM and the common centrifugal juicers 8,000 RPM. While low RPM juicers produce the highest quality of juice, they are also dearer and slower in pressing a given quantity; bigger twin-gear juicers may be twice as fast as smaller single auger juicers. For a comparison of different brands see www.buyjuicers.com.

When using a juicer that easily processes grasses and leaves there are considerable savings in having to buy fewer vegetables. You can use lots of grasses, green weeds, parsley, tops of carrots and other leaves that cannot be easily used with other juicers. This may bring considerable savings and provides juice of much higher quality than can be obtained from commercial vegetables. However, there is also a drawback with low RPM juicers and growing your own wheat or barley grass: it is very time-consuming.

Grasses and Weeds

While not so pleasant on the taste buds, fresh young grasses and green edible weeds have a much greater healing potential than the vegetables commonly used for juicing. In particular, they are very much higher in their content of life-force and enzymes. Instead of working hard to maintain a big vegetable garden, I believe it to be easier and healthier to let a large part of the garden overgrow with suitable grasses and edible weeds.

To find out which weeds are edible, ask a knowledgeable friend or neighbor, or observe what goats or poultry are eating, or chew a bit of a leaf. If it is not bitter it is not likely to be poisonous and there are no poisonous grasses. For a very cheap and healthy juice you may just use grasses, young green weeds, the growing parts and male flowers of pumpkin and flavor it with an apple, a beetroot and a carrot.

Juice made from young and fresh blades of grass is most beneficial. These young blades have the highest vitality and are rich in enzymes and growth hormones that are missing or at low levels in mature leaves or plants as well as in elderly humans. Kirlian photography reveals that the vitality of leaves starts to diminish soon after cutting and most of it is lost within hours, though if refrigerated in a closed plastic bag it may keep for a day. Most nutrients will still be available from commercially dried and powdered grass, such as the commercial Green Barley, but young fresh grass juice has a much higher vitality.

Best known is wheat grass but I believe that all fresh, young grass grown in good soil has similar healing and rejuvenating qualities, though the flavor and toughness may differ greatly. Barley grass grows more vigorously than wheat grass and tastes quite good. Young ryegrass (not the cereal rye grain), grown by farmers as pasture, has a pleasant flavor and can give several months of repeated cutting from one planting.

Experiment with different varieties of grasses to see which grow best in your climate and soil conditions and find one you like. I like the broad-leafed couch grass for its flavor and luxurious soft foliage, especially if watered well or grown partly in the shade. When using lawn grass I cut it very short and, if available, mix it with some mucilaginous matter such as the growing parts of sweet potato runners. To get the creamy juice out of this material one needs to add some water to the residue and put it a second time through the juicer. Often there is some foam on top of the juice, especially with grass juice. This foam is high in chlorophyll and beneficial, ingest it or rub it into your skin.

I find wheat grass juice somewhat too sweet on its own, and prefer it blended with other grass. As barley grass does not taste sweet, it may be better for individuals with blood sugar problems than wheat grass. Normally, however, it may be good to mix both seeds and grow wheat and barley together in the same garden-bed or tray.

In cool climates it may be difficult growing grass outside in winter, while in the tropics it is sometimes difficult in summer because it is either too hot or too wet and cereal grasses easily start rotting at the stem. In the city it may not be possible anyway. In these circumstances wheat grass or barley grass may be grown indoors behind a window or on a balcony or veranda in seed boxes.

Soak the wheat barley for planting overnight and sow very densely, except if molds are a problem in tropical conditions. Cover lightly with a sandy soil or just with wet newspaper. Keep moist and expose to light after leaves emerge.

When the grass is about hand-high you may start using it for cutting into a salad or you may chew the grass and spit out the pulp. You may begin to juice the grass when about 10 cm/4 inches high. Sometimes you can get a good re-growth after the first cutting. The maximum yield of juice is available when the grass is about 20 cm/ 8 inches tall. The higher you intend to let it grow, the less dense you should sow the seeds. Compost the stubble and other organic matter for re-use in seed boxes or outside planting. Add rock dust to mineralize the soil.

Wheat produces about four times its weight as wheat grass and this in turn yields up to 80 per cent of juice. Tougher perennial grasses yield about 60 per cent juice. The vitamin and mineral content of grasses and their juices differ greatly between different varieties but especially with diverse soil conditions. The following table, which was compiled from various publications, gives an estimate of the average nutrient content of the juice from grass grown in good, mineral-rich soil.

Nutrients in Grass Juice

Protein

2-5%

Fiber

3-6%

Lipids

0.5-1%

Kilojoules

250/100 ml

Carbohydrates

6-11%

 

 

VITAMINS/100 ml

 

MINERALS/100 ml

 

carotene

10 000 IU

calcium

70-200 mg

vitamin C

60 mg

magnesium

50 mg

vitamin E

6 mg

phosphorous

50-100 mg

vitamin B1

0.2 mg

potassium

400-1600 mg

vitamin B2

0.4 mg

sodium

40-150 mg

Vitamin B6

0.2 mg

iron

3 mg

vitamin B12

1 mcg

zinc

0.5-2.5 mg

pantothenic acid

0.4 mg

manganese

1-10 mg

niacinamide

1.5 mg

copper

0.3-1 mg

folic acid

150 mcg

molybdenum

0.03 mg

biotin

15 mcg

sulfur

100 mg

 

The protein content of young annual grasses is usually around 4%, and of established perennial grasses about 2 %. Vitamin and mineral concentrations can vary greatly and are highest in young grasses grown in soils rich in minerals and organic matter.

While grass juice provides a high amount of easily digestible protein as well as vitamins and minerals of superior quality, even more important are the enzymes, growth hormones and other vital factors, including coenzyme Q10 and superoxide dismutase (SOD). In animal experiments old rats have been rejuvenated and chicken grew 15 percent faster with additional fresh grass but not with other supplements. Many individuals attribute their cure from incurable diseases to the generous intake of grass juice.

Grass juice has been shown to inhibit mutagenic and carcinogenic activity. This inhibition was stronger from wheat grass juice than from carrot or parsley juice; it has also been reported from barley grass juice. We need growth hormones not only for growing taller but also for cell division, skin and tissue replacement and for healing wounds. When growing older we become deficient in growth hormones, and those found in grass juice help us rejuvenate.

Most animals live on grass either directly or indirectly. It is the perfect food, not only for grazing animals but also for humans. The juicer replaces the complicated cellulose digestion of grass-eating animals. I regard grass juice as the food with the greatest healing and rejuvenating potential; it could sustain us during famines. Grass juice has also been successfully used as retention enemas with cancer and other debilitating conditions, as a vaginal douche or to rub into the skin. Juicy grass pulp is excellent on wounds and speeds up healing.

For bottle-feeding babies, cereal grass juice could be developed as a superior alternative to milk formulas. Wheat grass juice may be preferred to other grass juices because of its sweetness, but it will also be fine blended with the juice from other grasses. To match it more closely to mother's milk, also other additions, such as cod liver oil and bee pollen might be required. For sensitive individuals, on the other hand, the non-sweet juice of barley grass or perennial grasses is preferable to the sweet juice of wheat grass.

If you want to make an all-out effort to improve your health or rejuvenate your body, I recommend drinking about one glassful of grass juice daily (mixed with other juices). However, on a long-term basis even half this amount is quite good. The limiting factor is not the ability to drink that much but rather the considerable time and energy required growing the grass and producing the juice.

Chapter 2: FOOD GROUPS AND DIETS

        Food Groups       

        High-Quality Diet

        Raw Food Diet

        Slimming

        Hypoglycemia Diet

        Water and Juices

        Recipes