Chlorophyll is the substance that gives plants their green color. Helps plants absorb energy and get nutrients from sunlight during the biological process known as photosynthesis.
Chlorophyll is found in many green vegetables, and some people also take it as a health supplement or apply it instead. Its potential health benefits include helping to boost energy, healing wounds and fighting certain diseases.
In addition to playing an important role in keeping plants and vegetables healthy, chlorophyll has also been reported to have health benefits in humans. It is considered a natural source of antioxidants.
Some medical studies suggest it may help manage certain skin conditions, body odors, and prevent certain types of cancer.
Research shows when applied topically, chlorophyll can help heal wounds. The use of chlorophyll for its wound healing properties has its origins in studies dating back to the 1950s.Some doctors still prescribe a topical medication containing chlorophyll known as chlorophyll to help promote wound healing and reduce some of the odors associated with open wounds.
Current chlorophyll has been used in pilot studies to reduce acne, with some positive results.It can work as an anti-aging medicine to reduce the signs of aging (aging from sun exposure).Other studies have shown that chlorophyll may be protective against cancer due to its antioxidant effects.
There is less solid evidence available to support the health benefits of chlorophyll when it is swallowed orally as an adjunct, whether in liquid, powder or tablet form.
Some researchers have called liquid chlorophyll a potential “blood maker”, referring to its potential to increase the number of red blood cells and improve their quality. A small study found a benefit when sodium-colored chlorophyll (this includes iron, which chlorophyll normally lacks) was administered to patients on hemodialysis.
Chlorophyll is chemically similar to hemoglobin, a protein component of red blood cells that binds and carries oxygen around a person’s body. It has been suggested to be potentially helpful in improving anemia-related symptoms, such as fatigue, low energy, and dizziness. However, since chlorophyll is deficient in iron, it is not beneficial for iron deficiency anemia.
Chlorophyll has also been shown to increase the liver’s ability to remove toxins and waste from the body. The treatment potential of chlorophyll cancer has so far only been tested in animals, but these results suggest that chlorophyll and its derivatives may help prevent and slow the growth of cancer. This includes natural chlorophyll consumed through a diet rich in green vegetables.
Experts agree that chlorophyll has more health benefits than those identified, including the potential deodorizing effects on the body.
Here are some areas that have shown some initial promise but still need more research:
- Improve digestion
- Relieve constipation
- Reduction of inflammation, especially in arthritis
- Anti-aging benefits
- Yeast reduction in patients with Candida
- Increased energy
- Hormonal balance
- Relief of fibromyalgia
- Weight loss
Whether or not you decide to take a chlorophyll supplement, experts and nutritionists agree that it is not a bad idea for most of us to include chlorophyll-containing vegetables in our diets. Dark green leafy vegetables are often rich in chlorophyll.
Of course, check with your doctor or healthcare professional before drastically changing any dietary habits or adding any supplements.
Chlorophyll-rich vegetables include:
Not a big fan of vegetables, but still want to make sure you are taking advantage of the natural chlorophyll in your diet? There are other options, such as pistachios, hemp seeds, parsley, basil and cilantro that are also rich in chlorophyll. Some fruits, such as green apples, kiwi and green grapes may also be options.
Keep in mind that cleansing juice (consuming crushed vegetable juices) or home juices is also likely to increase your chlorophyll intake.
Another way to get more substance is to take a chlorophyll supplement in tablets, capsules or liquid drops. Chlorophyll-containing nutritional supplements, such as vegetable powder, green tea, wheat grass, spirulina, barley grass, chlorella, and blue-green algae.
It’s also popular in what is known as “wheat bar”, which is particularly rich in chlorophyll and is often found in juice bars and other health food stores. Chlorophyll, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes contribute to the detoxifying properties of wheat grass.
Although generally thought to be non-toxic, it is important to note that there may be some mild side effects associated with taking liquid chlorophyll. Some of these reported side effects include:
- Gastrointestinal cramps
- Bleached stools (usually green)
Keep in mind that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate or recommend a daily supplement for chlorophyll supplements, so if consumed in large quantities or improperly labeled, it is possible that chlorophyll is harmful.
You should also check with your doctor if you are taking any prescription medications, as chlorophyll supplements may interfere with certain medications, especially those that cause photosensitivity (increased sensitivity to the sun).
A Word From Verywell
Chlorophyll has a number of potential health benefits, but the evidence for most of them is insufficient and more research is needed. Some people may find that including more chlorophyll in their diet or taking supplements makes them feel better or helps with medical conditions, such as anemia.
Others may find that they would prefer to do without some of the side effects of consuming significant amounts of chlorophyll, such as green stools. In any case, remember that it is a good idea to discuss adding new health supplements or a new food group to your doctor before incorporating them into your routine.