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Grains such as wheat and barley are ordinarily consumed in their mature state – once their seeds have fully matured. However, use of the deep green, immature forms of these plants has been advocated for health promotion. Wheat grass juice is one of these "green foods." It was popularized in the 1960's by Ann Wigmore. She claimed that use of wheat grass juice had cured her of the disease ulcerative colitis; furthermore, when she gave it to her neighbors, their health improved too. She went on to become a major figure in the natural health movement.
Since wheat grass, a succession of "green drinks" have become popular for "cleansing" the body and improving overall health. "Barley magma" and blue-green algae both fall within this tradition.
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Wheat grass juice is believed to be safe. However, comprehensive safety studies have not been performed. Maximum safe doses in pregnant or nursing women, young children, or people with severe liver or kidney disease have not been reported.