Shot of wheatgrass

Smoothie King, 6600 Delmar Boulevard, University City, 314-862-9700

Wheatgrass may look and taste like lead-based paint, but consider the following litany of science-based mythology: Regular wheatgrass drinkers look better, live longer, are more fertile, smile brighter, heal quicker, are more energetic, have purer blood, rarely get sick, screw like farm animals and -- perhaps most important -- have very few rectal sores and parasitic vaginal infections.

Why? Simple: chlorophyll. Famously referred to by Dr. E. Bircher as "concentrated sun power," chlorophyll, per a very handy list of attributes and factoids found at, is the basis of all plant life, and therefore serves as a fine dietary backbone for humans who seek purity and immortality. Chlorophyll is why herbivorous animals live long, long lives, and wheatgrass' main component (70 to 80 percent) is -- duh -- chlorophyll.

Dr. Ann Wigmore knows the power of wheatgrass. A cancer sufferer in the '60s, Wigmore refused to see traditional doctors and instead ingested a steady diet of wheatgrass juice and applied the green liquid to her wounds as an antiseptic. Fully recovered by the '70s, Wigmore opened a Boston clinic based on the "wheatgrass miracle," which has spawned copycats around the globe.

Moreover, wheatgrass is also often given to supposedly sterile cows and bulls in a last-ditch effort to get them to get down. The trick has resulted in many a haystack mounting. Chased a bunch of coke and chronic down with straight Jack Daniel's last night and have to pass a drug test for work next week? Then drink some wheatgrass, which purifies the liver and flushes drugs out of the system right quick. Gargling wheatgrass has also proven to be more effective than industrial-strength mouthwash in the war on plaque.

Too good to be true? Yes -- except for the taste. Your first sip of wheatgrass will resemble the worst thing you've ever ingested, intentional or otherwise. It is literally as though you've taken the shavings from your lawn mower, liquefied them and consumed them. Typically served in a one- or two-ounce plastic cup, it ain't no shamrock shake -- but nothing this efficient is.

Lest this description intimidate you, think of wheatgrass as the much, much healthier brother of tequila. You might wince after a shot of either, but you know you're getting maximum bang for the buck. And with Mardi Gras debauchery still relatively close in the rearview mirror, it's high time you overrule your taste buds and let the rest of your body cash in.