Wheat grass juice reduces transfusion requirement in patients with thalassemia major: a pilot study

Indian Pediatr. 2004 Jul;41(7):716-20.


Wheat grass juice is the juice extracted from the pulp of wheat grass and has been used as a general-purpose health tonic for several years. Several of our patients in the thalassemia unit began consuming wheat grass juice after anecdotal accounts of beneficial effects on transfusion requirements. These encouraging experiences prompted us to evaluate the effect of wheat grass juice on transfusion requirements in patients with transfusion dependent beta thalassemia. Families of patients raised the wheat grass at home in kitchen garden/pots. The patients consumed about 100 mL of wheat grass juice daily. Each patient acted as his own control. Observations recorded during the period of intake of wheat grass juice were compared with one-year period preceding it. Variables recorded were the interval between transfusions, pre-transfusion hemoglobin, amount of blood transfused and the body weight. A beneficial effect of wheat grass juice was defined as decrease in the requirement of packed red cells (measured as grams/Kg body weight/year) by 25% or more. 16 cases were analyzed. Blood transfusion requirement fell by >25% in 8 (50%) patients with a decrease of >40% documented in 3 of these. No perceptible adverse effects were recognized.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Beverages*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Erythrocyte Transfusion*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Triticum*
  • beta-Thalassemia / drug therapy*
  • beta-Thalassemia / therapy


  • Plant Preparations