Wheat, (Triticum species) a cereal grass of the Gramineae (Poaceae) family, is world's largest edible grain cereal- grass crop. The young green stage, it is richer in levels of vitamins, minerals and proteins as compared to seed kemel, or grain products of the mature cereal plant. The young germinated plant is a factory of enzyme and growth activity. Agriculturally, important species of Triticum include - Triticum aestivum, Triticum durum and Triticum dicoccum. The wheatgrass is safe and effective treatment for ailments such as high blood pressure, cancers, obesity, diabetes, gastritis, ulcers, anemia, asthma and eczema. The wheatgrass is rich in chlorophyll, minerals like magnesium, selenium, zinc, chromium, antioxidants like beta-carotene (provitamin A), vitamin E, vitamin C, antianemic factors like vitamin B12, iron, folic acid, pyridoxine and many other minerals, amino acids and enzymes, which have significant nutritious and medicinal value. Thalassemia is one of the most common groups of genetic blood disorder. It was found that chlorophyll is major ingredients present in wheatgrass. The chemical similarity between hemoglobin and chlorophyll was first suggested by Verdel (1855). Owing to the close molecular resemblance between chlorophyll and hemoglobin, it was hypothesized that chlorophyll is nature's blood-building element for all herbivorous animals and humans. Some studies have indicated that feeding chlorophyll-rich foods to rats stimulates the regeneration of red blood cells. The major ingredients of wheatgrass like chlorophyll, betacarotene, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, zinc, magnesium, iron, folic acid and vitamin B12 may be useful in treatment of anemia and 8 thalassemia. Hence, this review reveals the role of wheat grass in various pathological conditions with special emphasis on thalassemia and other forms of anemia. As no animal studies have proved these benefits till date, phytochemical screening and pharmacological evaluation of wheat grass can be carried out.
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