Article

Effect of wheat grass juice in supportive care of terminally ill cancer patients— A tertiary cancer centre experience from India

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Abstract

8634 Background: The solid content of juice made from wheat grass is 70% chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is often referred to as “The blood of plant life” and has almost the same chemical structure as haemoglobin. Chlorophyll cleanses the blood by improving the supply of oxygen to the circulatory system. Wheat grass is also a complete protein with about 30 enzymes, vitamins & minerals. Wheat grass juice has been proven over many years to benefit people in numerous ways, building the blood, restoring balance in the body, removing toxic metals from the cells, nourishing the liver & kidneys and restoring vitality. The aim of our study was to see the effect of wheat grass juice in terminally ill cancer patients to improve the quality of life. Methods: During period from January 2003 to December 2005 we selected 400 solid organ cancer patients in our palliative care unit of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Cancer Research Institute to see the effect of wheat grass on improvement of haemoglobin level, serum protein & performance status on terminally ill cancer patients. The age range of the patients was 22 year to 87 year (median age 42 years). The different types of cancers were Lung (25%), Breast (20%), Oesophagaus (11%), Colon (9%), Ovary (8%), Hepatocellular carcinoma (6%), Stomach (6%) and others (15%) respectively. We cultivated wheat grass in our campus. When the grasses were 5 days old we took the fresh leaves including roots and made fresh juice out of that and had given 30ml of juice to all our 400 cancer patients for continuous 6 months. Result: The mean levels of haemoglobin, Serum total protein, albumin and performance status were 8gm%, 5.4gm%, 2.2gm% and 50%. Fifty patients required transfusion support & those patients were excluded from the study. Other 348 patients are evaluated 6 months after giving wheat grass juice. The mean values for haemoglobin, total protein & albumin were improved significantly (pvalue < .005) and were observed mean of 9.6gm%, 7.4gm% and 3.1gm%. White blood cell & platelet count were same in both the cases. The performance status was improved from 50% to 70% (Karnofsky) after wheat grass treatment. Conclusion: We concluded that wheat grass juice is an effective alternative of blood transfusion. Its use in terminally ill cancer patients should be encouraged. No significant financial relationships to disclose.

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