Ann Wigmore grew up in Lituania with her grandmother during World War I. As a little girl she used to watch her grandmother collect herbs and weeds to heal the wounded WWI soldiers.
In her mid teens Ann moved to America. At the age of 18 a disastrous automobile accident crushed her legs and resulted in gangrene. The doctors recommended amputation, but she refused. She spend long hours at home and in the sun, eating weeds as she had learned from her grandmother back in Europe.
Slowly Ann regained her strength and started growing sprouts and greens indoor in her Boston home. When she returned to her doctors after she was up and about again, her wounds gone and her legs healed, Ann recalls that the doctors “made no comment when X-ray showed that the bones had knitted firmly”.
Dr. Ann Wigmore
By the time she was about fifty, Ann was stricken with colitis, arthritis, migraine and a number of other health problems which science had no solution for. She changed her diet, her mental attitude and began to exercise regularly. The changes that occurred in her overall health were remarkable. In her autobiography "Why Suffer" Ann writes:
"The change was remarkable. I came to have more energy than I ever remembered having. My weight returned to what it was in my early twenties, and my hair, which had begun to grey, returned to its normal brown color…
Through careful observation of myself and others, I have come to several conclusions. We must give our bodies the rich nourishment from fresh vegetables, greens, and fruits; and sprouted seeds, beans and grains. When these foods are combined with proper rest and activity, and a healthy positive attitude, the body and will are strengthened and even the most serious health problems may be overcome.
Ann tested her indoor grasses on her sick, cancerous monkey. She fed him with live food recipes, which included sprouted seeds, fermented nut and seed “yogurt” –rejuvelac, a cultured sprouted wheat drink.
Ann adjusted her new lifestyle to include sprouts, raw fermented foods and her signature drink – rejuvelac (made from sprouted wheat grass seeds fermented in water). It is said to replenish healthy intestinal flora, vital to proper digestion. The wheat grass that is used for the living food diet is a young grass that is 10 days old.
Thus she started in 1958 with The Living Food Diet when she opened The Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston. At the Institute she treated the rich and famous as well as the poor, and watched how people cured themselves from: cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, gastritis, stomach ulcer, pancreas and liver troubles, asthma, glaucoma, eczema, skin problems, constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, colitis, fatigue, female problems, arthritis, athlete’s foot, gum disease, etc.
Fighting the American Medical Industrial Complex proved too much for Ann, but she continued to spread her food programs abroad in India, Sweden, Finland and Canada.
Ann died at the age of 85 in 1994 during a fire that destroyed the original home of the Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston.
According to Dr. Ann Wigmore, we bring upon ourselves diseases because of ignorance, lack of knowledge and because of not abiding by the laws of nature.
She divides diseases into two categories:
Disease that we can control
Diseases that we cannot control
In the first group she points out three causes for diseases: toxins, deficiencies and stress.
Toxins come from food, chemicals, water, air, cosmetics, insecticides and herbicides, lack of physical activity, and even from negative attitude.
Deficiencies come from the wrong choice of foods, inorganic products, and even the poor soil minerals in an inorganic agriculture, as well As the way the food is cooked. It's not about the quantity of food – it's about its quality.
Stress. In the modern world we live with stress through most of our life for various reasons: personal, physical, economical, social, etc. This results in imbalances between mind and body.
The second category of illnesses is originated from genetic illnesses and from trauma earlier in life. In order to heal ourselves we go through a 4 stage process
Much of her philosophy is as old as Hippocrates himself who taught that
if given the correct nourishment, the body will heal itself, and advised, Let food be your medicine.
Wheat grass is a variety of grass used like an herbal medicine. It can be in the form of fresh squeezed juice, or a dehydrated powder, or tablets. Its three most therapeutic roles are: blood purification, liver detoxification and colon cleansing.
Rich in enzymes, vitamins and minerals and a good source of energy and life-force.
Rich in chlorophyll and amino acids, which rejuvenate the body cells
Connects us with nature and ensures longevity.
Aids in the process of food assimilation and elimination
Helps in reducing weight and excess fat
Promotes energy, rejuvenates the skin
Reinforces the immune system
We are vibrating beings with invisible spirit-soul bodies inside us. So when you drink grass, what happens? It elevates your vibration and you become more aware that there is something higher going on that is not perceptible with the physical sense but which can be perceived with the higher senses which are dominant within us.
Wheat grass is very rich in chlorophyll. There is a striking similarity between the molecular structure of chlorophyll and that of the human blood. From an external source comes a raw material that the body can instantly convert into fresh blood.
Grass contains hundreds of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, phyto-chemicals, anti-oxidants, cellular RNA and DNA all in concentrated form.
An interesting way to make the wheat grass palatable is to mix it with sunflower sprouts. The wheat grass does not have a lot of protein, so by adding sunflower sprouts, we get an addition of protein and a little nutty taste. One can also add lettuce, parsley, ginger beets, celery and alfalfa sprouts. I learnt from my personal experience that in order to swallow the wheat grass more easily, one can chew on a piece of carrot.
In addition to the wheat grass, Ann Wigmore maintained and introduced as part of the treatment this special diet which she called The Hippocrates Diet:
This diet consists of raw uncooked food which is not heated above 48 degrees Celsius. It includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts and sprouted legumes and grains, dried fruits, sea weeds and natural juices – mainly from vegetables. The menu from these ingredients include a great variety of salads, spreads, beverages, crackers, cold soups and even deserts.
Advantages of raw (uncooked) food
“We must give our bodies the rich nourishment from vegetables, greens, and fruits; and sprouted seeds, beans and grains. When these foods are combined with proper rest and activity, and a healthy positive attitude, the body and will are strengthened and even the most serious health problems may be overcome"
-- Ann Wigmore
Written by: Edna Mintz, Holistic Nutritionist and a Hippocrates Health Educator, graduate of Living Light Culinary Art Institute and co-owner of the Mitzpe Alummot Health Retreat.
(Based in part on the book Wheat Grass Nature’s Finest Medicine by Steve Meyerovitz) © All rights reserved to Edna Mintz and Mitzpe Alummot