Shemitah status of wheatgrass
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I heard that if grains are harvested before being edible or before the grain reaches a third of its development, they do not have kedushat shevi'it and shemitah laws don't apply to it. Since wheatgrass juice is consumed, does that change things? Is there an issue of sefichin?
Any other considerations or special laws?
Wheatgrass is the grasslike plant produced by planting wheat kernels, but harvested when 10-15 cm tall. It is generally ground into a power or juiced to prepare health drinks and is considered a superfood.
Despite the fact that the grass is the part being used, not the grain, since it is being grown for the purpose of human food it will have kedushat shevi'it if grown outdoors.
This shemitah it is permissible to grind/juice wheatgrass, whereas last shemitah it was not, since this use was uncommon.
While medicinal plants do not have kedushah, wheatgrass juice is a health drink that healthy people (not only vegans or those on weight watchers) consume to strengthen their immune system (along with other health benefits). Thus it is not considered medicine.
If it was planted before shemitah and sprouted afterwards, it will be considered sefichin and thus forbidden to eat. This is unless it is growing in an unperforated pot, even outdoors.
Today, at this point of the shemitah year (Summer 5782), it is possible to plant wheatgrass indoors in an unperforated pot only. Such grass does not have kedushat shevi'it and is subject to terumot and ma'aserot without a blessing.