Dr Ann Wigmore

The Story of Ann Wigmore

I see a world without sickness...a world in complete harmony and in perfect physical, mental, and spiritual balance by following nature's laws of cause and effect.

- Ann Wigmore

Despite our historic love affair with grains and the worldwide abundance of grasses, no culture has ever cultivated the drinking of grass juice until the latter half of the 20th century. The popular consumption of fresh squeezed wheatgrass juice is due largely to the efforts and genius of one woman, Ann Wigmore.

Sickness and adversity lead to innovation

Born in Lithuania in 1909, Ann Wigmore had a rough beginning. She started out by being born prematurely. Then she was abandoned because she was a sickly baby and a burden to her parents seeking a new life in the United States. Her grandmother, a self-taught naturalist, rescued and restored Ann to normal health. She learned a lot about healing by watching her grandmother heal wounded WWI soldiers with herbs and weeds. But at age 16, she still had no schooling and couldn't even write her name! At the urging of her grandmother, she left for the United States to get a proper education and reunite with her estranged parents. She wanted to do well and adopted the American lifestyle, including a typical American diet. Eventually, this resulted in colon cancer. Then a terrible automobile accident shattered both her legs. Gangrene set in and the doctors recommended amputation. She refused, and against her own father's wishes was sent home.

My homecoming was not a happy one. Neither my father nor my mother would come near me, and only with the help of my uncle would l find something for breakfast.

Ann knew there was a better way. She returned to her previous "peasant" diet of vegetables, grains, seeds and greens and restored her health by doing what she saw her grandmother do. She picked wild weeds and greens and applied them to her feet. This was not the desperation of a diseased mind but the result of her grandmother's teachings about the healing powers of grasses and weeds. Ann developed a ravenous appetite for anything green. She nibbled on grass and sucked out its juice. She sat for hours in the warm summer sun watching the greenish-blue ring or the "creeping death" as her uncle sorrowfully called it rise up her legs. Winter was approaching and there would be no more fresh grass. What to do?

I asked God for direction. He supplied an exciting solution: the use of grains to grow greens right in the kitchen.!

One day, to her surprise, the little white dog who gave her so much needed love and affection started to lick her legs. This was the one part of her body he never touched! "My first thought was for the animal's safety," said Ann, "I impulsively raised my ann to move it away, when the injunction of my grandmother came to mind so distinctly I could almost hear her voice: `Instinct-guided creatures, left to themselves, do not make mistakes."

That puppy was the first indicator of Ann's recovery. Rest, sun, wild herbs, weeds and kitchen-grown grasses rejuvenated Ann's health. She knew she was not going to die. The doctors informed her father that she was apparently out of danger. According to Ann, "This infuriated him, because he couldn't accept that he was wrong in his decision to have my feet removed." It was several months before her feet were completely healed and she returned to the hospital for an examination. The doctors "made no comment when X-ray films showed that the bones had knitted firmly, said Ann. Years later, Ann Wigmore ran in the Boston Marathon.

Living foods for living bodies

Ann tested her indoor grasses on her animal friends. Wheat became her favorite grass because the animals chewed more of it and it was sweet tasting, easy-to-find and inexpensive. To further her studies, she even adopted a sick, cancerous monkey. Ann nursed the monkey back to good health with creative techniques and live food recipes including sprouted seeds, fermented nut and seed "yogurt," and rejuvelac, a cultured sprouted wheat drink. These, along with wheatgrass, would later become the cornerstone of her Living Foods Diet.

Though she knew she had stumbled on something very valuable, she had no practical way of making it widely available. Most people would not eat their front lawn, no matter how sick they were! There had to be a better way. Then, at a local yard sale, Ann picked up an old cast iron meat grinder on the chance that it might grind the grass. With small modifications, such as the addition of a stainless steel straining sieve, this grinder became the first wheat grass juicer. It was a real innovation because commercial vegetable juicers could not at all manage the ligneous fiber of grass. This made possible her program whereby anyone could grow grass in their kitchens and extract the juice in their homes.

Ann began delivering fresh wheatgrass juice to bedridden ill and elderly people in her Boston neighborhood. Then in 1958, she turned an old mansion on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston into The Hippocrates Health Institute. It was founded on the principle of Hippocrates, the Greek father of modern medicine, who along with his Hippocratic oath, is often paraphrased as saying: "The body heals itself. The physician is only nature's assistant." Dr. Ann, as she was fondly called after she became a doctor of divinity, believed that the body can act as its own physician given the proper tools -- living foods. "Living foods for living bodies, dead foods for dead bodies," said Ann.

Many were healed by wheatgrass

Although Dr. Ann was neither a marketer nor a scientist, Hippocrates Health Institute, situated in the heart of Boston, attracted many celebrities and researchers who helped confirm and give testimony to the healing powers of grass. Among these Were Dr. Chiu-Nan Lai, Dr. G.H. Earp Thomas, Renee Taylor, Dennis Weaver and Dick Gregory. Even Yoko Ono purchased wheatgrass for juicing in her home. People came from all walks of life and all comers of the world, usually as a "last resort" with the hopes of beating cancer or some other degenerative disease.

Vibrating with health and vitality, Ann Wigmore is constantly on the run. Reaching out to all that are open to hear what she has to say, she emphasizes through her program that anyone can live a healthier, happier and more fulfilling life.

-- Dennis Weaver, actor, 1984. Ann had two visitors who were enormously helpful in promoting her work. One was Viktoras Kulvinskas, who helped Ann establish the Hippocrates Health Living Foods Program. The other was Eydie Mae Hunsberger, who had breast cancer. Her surgeon told her, "You have an 80 percent chance to live one year and a maximum life expectancy of five years." Eydie chose a lumpectomy that removed the cancerous tissue. But her cancer spread to other parts of her body. Depressed and frightened, she looked everywhere. She ended up at Dr. Ann's door in 1973. After two weeks on Dr. Ann's program, Eydie was confident she was going to beat cancer. Two years later, with no trace of cancer in her body, she wrote How I Conquered Cancer Naturally, which was very successful and brought many people to Dr. Ann's door.

Dr. Ann has a long list of stories and testimonials from guests who improved their health with the help of wheatgrass. Wheatgrass and its sister, triticum barley, have by testimony helped guests with ailments such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, gastritis, stomach ulcers, pancreas and liver troubles, asthma, glaucoma, eczema, skin problems, constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, colitis, fatigue, menstrual problems, arthritis, athlete's foot, anemia, bad breath/body odor, and burns. In addition, wheatgrass has served as a wonderful first aid for red eyes, wax in ears, congested nasal passages, bleeding gums, tooth pain, sore throats, and inflamed mucous membranes.

Ann tried to spread the word about wheatgrass to the U.S. government. She even went to Washington, D.C. But the political/nutritional climate of the 1970s was stubbornly closed-minded. She had a much greater reception from foreign governments and spent many years launching Living Food programs and research abroad. She visited some 20 countries on her world tour and was especially honored in India, Sweden, Finland and Canada. Ann learned that sickness disregarded all international borders.

Let us make a concerted effort to remedy the global problems by correcting the physical and mental imbalance in each of our lives...The industrialization of our society has created an artificial lifestyle in which humans are being led further and further from the basic truths inherent in nature and the...interrelatedness of all creation. My life has been and continues to be dedicated to the wellness of all humanity.

- Ann Wigmore, 1909-1994

In February of 1994, Ann Wigmore died of smoke inhalation in the middle of the night from a fire that destroyed the Boston home of the original Hippocrates Institute. She was nearly 85. Although she has passed on, her work continues through the efforts of the many lives she's touched. Her single clinic in Boston now has offspring in six locations in the United States alone and others in Australia, Sweden, Finland, and India. Her discovery and teachings have changed the lives of millions.

Measurements & Data Corporation.

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By Steve Meyerowitz


THERE ARE NO INCURABLE DISEASES

There are no incurable diseases - including AIDS --if one lives in harmony with nature. So says Dr Ann Wigmore, founder of the renowned Hippocrates Health Institute and one of the most inspiring natural healers of our time.

Born in Lithuania in 1909, Wigmore was raised by her grandmother, herself a highly successful natural healer. Young Ann witnessed a variety of illnesses responding to medicinal plants, grasses and herbs even after doctors had relinquished all hope. When she was 16, she fulfilled a promise to become her grandmother's 'emissary of helpfulness across the ocean,' and Ann joined her family in Middleboro, Massachusetts. But she was forced into endless hours of drudgery in her parents' bakery. Though sickly as a baby and young child, she had come to America relatively healthy, thanks to her grandmother's tutelage. Now, however, the severe hardships of work and family life -- along with a standard American diet -- caused her health to deteriorate. A rare pleasure during this bleak period was the half-hour she spent daily with a retired school teacher, learning to read and write.

One day, while driving the horse and wagon for her father's business, Ann had an accident that crushed her legs. The doctors claimed she was facing a slow agonizing death unless they amputated her legs below the knees. It was then that Wigmore recalled her grandmother's successful efforts to treat soldiers with gangrene. Her confidence surged, and, much to everyone's dismay, she refused surgery and was sent home to die. But nature and faith were to triumph. By eating quantities of chlorophyll-rich weeds, ordinary grass and flowers, and through prayer and sunlight, Wigmore fully recovered.

Her good health didn't last, however. An unhappy marriage caused much tension. Ann Wigmore's faith and courage were challenged again when she contracted colon cancer at age 50. With just six months to live, she turned once more to God and to nature, consuming the raw green foods, and blended seeds and grains she believed in. Her reward was a total cure in just over one year.

These two near-tragic events motivated her to change her life and led to a profound realization. "I knew my mission was to open a healing centre," Ann says. "The need was so great to teach others the truth of self -healing." She wanted to educate people to the fact that ill health needn't be equated with growing older, and that caring for the body is an individual responsibility.

First, however, she felt it imperative to conduct exhaustive research to determine the most healthful foods that could be grown indoors and to prove the validity of what she calls the 'living food lifestyle'. Ann spent years studying and experimenting alone; consulting or working with experts in various countries; and taking courses, many by correspondence. Some experiments were personal. She finally believed that living food could improve her own condition, and help her build vibrant health.

She worked tirelessly, earning diplomas both in naturopathy and homeopathy from the Anglo-American Institute of Drugless Therapy in London, England. She also obtained a doctor of divinity degree from an American college. Furthermore, she was building an international following through writing a column for the US magazine, Natural Health Guardian.

In 1963, her vision of a healing clinic materialized when she opened America's first wholistic health centre, the Hippocrates Health Institute in Boston. It has since been renamed the Ann Wigmore Foundation. A second non -profit centre for research, teaching and healing has been established in Puerto Rico. Here, Dr Wigmore teaches both sick and healthy people the wisdom she has gained over 30 years.

She defines living food as "food provided by nature in its original, uncooked form" and the pillars of her diet include grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables -- organically grown wherever possible -- plus a beverage called 'rejuvelac'. Foods at the Foundation are blended, sprouted, juiced or fermented for optimal nourishment, offering the most easily digested fuel to the body. Light simple meals and proper food combining are keys to abundant energy, prevention of illness and a long prosperous life.

Most significant, she pioneered the success in North America of super-nutritious wheat-grass. Rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes, wheat grass juice is used extensively in her therapeutic program. It offers a wealth of benefits, including purer blood, greater mental clarity, enhanced digestion and healthier blood cells.

A cardinal theme of Dr Wigmore's philosophy is the importance of enzymes, and only raw foods contain enzymes, which act as the body's spark plugs. They are critical, both for maintaining life and for rebuilding physical and mental health, so cooked foods are absent from this program. Heating destroys enzymes.

Dr Wigmore's diet conserves time, and energy, and cuts food bills in half. But its most significant achievement has been helping thousands of people experience almost miraculous improvement in health.

Since living foods strengthen and repair the body's immune system, many have claimed to overcome diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, candida and heart disease. Several physicians have been among the Foundation's success stories. Like other students and staff who fondly call her "Dr Ann", they have tremendous respect for her.

The late cardiologist Dr K.K. Datey, for example, said, "People who had not responded to medical treatments have immediately responded to Dr Wigmore's living foods program. Every hospital should be given the chance to choose the alternative of living foods nourishment -- the healthiest diet on earth."

Unfortunately, some physicians have been outraged by her claims that nature can heal all disease, and they have tried to shut down her centre. Ann has fought and won several court battles in Boston. She takes all such challenges in stride, never doubting that her teaching work will continue.

Her perspective is that all disease stems from two conditions, toxemia and deficiency. Constipation is the primary cause of toxemia, while poor digestion and assimilation, which afflict 80 per cent of people, cause nutritional deficiencies. If bowel problems are not addressed, even a natural foods diet cannot restore health. Colonics and enemas, therefore are a valuable adjunct to the program.

To regain perfect health, Ann says whether you are 19 or 90 -- begin by cleansing the cells of accumulated poisons. Living foods do exactly this. They detoxify the body, leading to rejuvenation and a marked delay in the aging process. According to Dr Wig-more, "Nothing can bring rejuvenation as quickly and permanently as proper nutrition".

Dr Wigmore is living proof of her program's effectiveness. She looks far younger than 82 and exhibits boundless energy, continuing to write, teach and lecture internationally. She says her present focus is on researching allergies and so-called incurable conditions and diseases. Two medical doctors are assisting in this work at the centre.

Ann Wigmore has written 35 books, which have sold well over a million copies worldwide, and she has lectured in 35 countries, receiving numerous international awards and citations for her outstanding contributions to improved health for humanity.

Recommended reading from Ann Wigmore

Recipes for Longer Life (sc) 190pp $12.95

Why Suffer? (pb) 182pp $9.95

Be Your Own Doctor (pb) 190pp $5.95

The Sprouting Book (sc) 116pp $9.95

The Wheatgrass Book (sc) 126pp $12.95

Miracles of Wheatgrass (bklt) 44pp $4.95

Available at your health food store or from alive Books PO Box 80055 Burnaby, BC V5H 3X1. Please enclose $1.50 postage and handling, plus 7% GST.

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By Hans Diehl

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