In the early 1900's, Edmund Bordeaux Szekely discovered an ancient biblical manuscript which he subsequently translated. It was a remarkable discovery and Szekely was so enthralled with the translation that he formed a society he called the Biogenic Society to promulgate the teaching of this new (old) way of eating. He began publishing the manuscripts in the form of little books, which he sold very cheaply because he felt that the world needed the message. He called the books The Essene Gospel of Peace. The Essenes were very righteous people who lived near the Dead Sea during the time of Jesus Christ. Christ actually taught them the laws of health during that time. The main teaching of Essene Book I is: Don't kill your food by cooking it. The main teaching of Essene Book IV is : All grasses are good for man and wheatgrass is the perfect food for man.
The consumption of wheatgrass in the Western world began in the 1930s as a result of experiments by agricultural chemist Charles F. Schnabel. Schnabel conducted his first experiments with young grasses in 1930 after experimenting with various mixtures of feeds that would increase chicken health and egg production during winter months. After trying many vegetables, grains, etc., in his chicken feed, he found no differences in chicken health or egg production and nearly gave up. Noticing that hens searched out the young nutritious cereal grasses when available, he included dehydrated wheatgrass and oat grass with their feed. Schnabel was amazed to find the cereal grass mixture boosted the chicken's health significantly. He stated in his research, "even a child can see the bloom of health in the grass-fed hens." Additionally, the grasses increased egg production by 150% per hen. He was so fascinated with his discovery that he fed his family with dehydrated grass. That was the beginning of the human consumption of grass. His family consumed grass for 11 years and he reported that none of his children suffered from serious illness, not even tooth decay. Schnabel started promoting his discovery to feed mills, chemists and the food industry. "Two large corporations, Quaker Oats and American Diaries Inc., invested millions of dollars in further research, development, and production of products for animals and humans. By 1940, cans of Schnabel's powdered grass were on sale in major drug stores throughout the US and Canada." Schnabel is the person who coined the statement "15 lbs. of wheatgrass is equal in overall nutritional value to over 350 lbs. of ordinary vegetables." In the 1940's, wheatgrass and other cereal grass tablets were the best selling "multiple vitamin" and mineral supplements in the nation.
In the beginning of 1940's, Ann Wigmore continued to contribute to the popularization of wheatgrass. As a child, she watched and learned the power of natural healing from her grandmother who helped heal the wounds of World War I soldiers with grasses, herbs, and plants. In the 1960's Wigmore "re-discovered" wheatgrass and was able to cure her own 'untreatable' colitis by consuming wheatgrass, raw greens, blended seeds, and grains. Within a year, she was cancer-free. She began researching the healing properties of grasses and focused on the ability of wheatgrass to heal wounds. Wigmore claimed that her wheatgrass diet could cure diseases. She shared wheatgrass with several sick friends and each recovered from their sickness. She co-founded the 'Hippocrates Health Institute' based on the principle "Let Food be your medicine" and treated countless people with serious health conditions. She died in 1993, but her Creative Health Institute is still active. In the 1940's, Charles Kettering (former Chairman of the Board of General Motors) donated money for the study of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll was studied intensively by medical doctors using FDA required standards i.e. double blind studies, etc. (There are currently over 40 articles written up in medical journals about the healing effects of chlorophyll.) These medical doctors found that chlorophyll was a great healer and used it as such for quite some time.