Ann Wigmore

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Ann Wigmore

Ann Wigmore (1909 – 1994) was a Lithuanian holistic health practitioner, nutritionist, whole foods and orthopathy advocate, health educator, author, and doctor of Divinity.


Wigmore was born Anna Marie Warapicki in Lithuania on March 4, 1909 to Antanas (1877-1959) and Anna (1882-?) Warapicki. Her father emigrated to America in 1908, settling in Middleboro, Massachusetts, where he first worked as a laborer in a shoe manufacturing company (1920 Fed Census/1924 & 1925 Middleboro city directories) and later as a truck driver for a bakery (1930 Fed Census) during Wigmore's American teen-age years; Wigmore's mother followed five years later, aboard the ship Erlangen, arriving at Ellis Island on June 16, 1913. After World War I, Anna Marie, then 13, and her brother, Mykola, age 15, (both surnames erroneously entered on the ship's passenger log as "Varapickis") accompanied by an uncle, arrived at Ellis Island on December 9, 1922, on the ship USS America, to join their parents and younger sister Helen, born February 19, 1921, in Middleboro. The 1930 Federal Census found Wigmore living in Bristol, Massachusetts and working as a hospital maid under the name of Anna Warap.

On December 25, 1930, Anna Marie (again under the name "Warap" per wedding coverage Stoughton News-Sentinel, 1 Jan 1931) married Everett Arnold Wigmore (1907-1969), of Stoughton, Massachusetts, where they resided during their marriage.[1] A daughter, Wilma Edith Wigmore, was born on July 9, 1941.[2] On January 12, 1942, Wigmore became a United States citizen under Certificate No. 5302785, U.S. District Court, Boston, Massachusetts.[3] The Wigmores later divorced sometime in the 1950s-60s. Mr. Wigmore remarried; apparently Ann Wigmore did not.

In 1968, Ann Wigmore co-founded the Hippocrates Health Institute,[4] a health resort in the United States, with Viktoras Kulvinskas.[5] Known as "the mother of living foods", she was an early pioneer in the use of wheatgrass juice and living foods for detoxifying and healing the body, mind, and spirit.[6] She died in Boston on February 16, 1994, of smoke inhalation from a fire at the Ann Wigmore Foundation.[7] When Ann Wigmore died, her Institute was not named the Hippocrates Health Institute. It was called the Ann Wigmore Foundation (296 Commonwealth Avenue). Brian Clement owned the Hippocrates Health Institute (next door at 25 Exeter Street), which he moved from Boston to West Palm Beach, Florida.

In her autobiography, Why Suffer?: How I Overcame Illness & Pain Naturally, Wigmore recalls observing her grandmother using herbs and natural remedies as a child in Lithuania.[8] As an adult, she began researching and testing various whole foods and diet approaches, which she credits with solving her medical problems and changing her life.[9]


A number of institutes carry on her work by offering educational programs and retreats, home study courses, recipes, books, and other resources. These include:


According to Julie Walsh, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, "It's not supported by scientific literature at all. Man has used fire to cook food for ages. To refrain from heating or processing foods could even be risky. Some studies also suggest that cooked tomatoes release more phytonutrients than raw ones. The lycopene found in tomatoes is a strong antioxidant linked to preventing several different diseases — and it's released with heat."[10]

Diane Stadler of the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, worries that claims of cures of serious diseases such as cancer may discourage individuals from seeking more conventional treatments that medical research has shown to be effective. Stadler says, "Some raw food web sites suggest that you can treat certain chronic diseases by consuming a raw food diet. That frightens me as a medical professional. Some people will accept that as truth and delay seeking appropriate diagnosis and treatment...[which] could seriously impact long-term well-being."[11]

Other former rawfooders and raw foods advocates have remained vegan and "primarily raw" (not "all raw") and have de-emphasized the totality of uncooked, "unfired" foods in their advocacy (even of raw foods). One popular example is Joel Fuhrman, MD,[12] who was long a popular speaker for the American Natural Hygiene Society, now the Natural Health Society, which has also de-emphasized the totality of uncooked foods and has conceded that the evidence supports the centrality of plant-centric diets but sees "the proportion of raw in the diet" as a matter of personal practice, to be developed through trial and error and by collaboration with other practitioners. However, the movement for vegan raw foods diet advocacy has grown; no research supports the claim that all or most of these advocates or practitioners are "100% raw"; they may be evidencing a diet with higher proportions of uncooked food.

Ann Wigmore was not merely a "raw vegan advocate" in her writing and teaching; she advocated "sproutarianism" - sprouting grains and seeds in order to release their nutritional powers. Modern sproutarians include Steve "Sproutman" Meyerowitz, who advocates using sprouted grains therapeutically, though not necessarily as one's exclusive diet.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wigmore's sworn Petition for Naturalization No. 230018, executed by her on 12/10/1941, on file with the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) Waltham, MA.
  2. ^ Wigmore's sworn Petition for Naturalization No. 230018, executed by her on 12/10/1941, on file with the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) Waltham, MA.
  3. ^ Wigmore's Oath of Allegiance/Citizenship Granted dated l/12/1942, on file with NARA, Waltham, MA.
  4. ^ Raw energy; Adherents to the uncooked food diet say they've never felt better. Hillary Ferrara, Sarasota Herald Tribune; September 04, 2002; "Hippocrates was founded by Ann Wigmore 40 years ago, and named after the man who said, "Let food be your medicine.""
  5. ^ Green foods grow up. Better Nutrition; Saturday, June 01, 1996; Scheer, James F., "in 1968, Ann Wigmore founded the Hippocrates Health Institute"
  6. ^ Wheatgrass therapy. NCAHF Newsletter; September 01, 1994; "The idea that wheatgrass can benefit serious disease sufferers was conceived by Ann Wigmore, a Boston area resident. Wigmore (1909-94) was born in Lithuania"
  7. ^ Holistic health pioneer dies at 84 in fire at her Back Bay mansion, The Boston Globe (Boston, MA), February 17, 1994, "Ann Wigmore, founder of the holistic foundation that bears her name, died yesterday in an early-morning fire in the Back Bay mansion that houses the organization."
  8. ^ Wanted: enzymes--dead or alive? (Chemfusion), Canadian Chemical News; Monday, March 01, 2004; Schwarcz, Joe, "Wigmore was a Lithuanian emigre to the U.S."
  9. ^ Tabias, L. "Au Naturel: The Raw Food Revolution." Better Nutrition, Nov 22, 2002 pp.35-38
  10. ^ Au Naturel - The Raw Food Revolution
  11. ^
  12. ^ Dr. Joel Fuhrman's website
  13. ^ Meyerowitz "was pronounced "Sproutman" by Vegetarian Times Magazine in a 1979 feature article."

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