Health benefits of chlorophyll include better blood-producing organs, prevention of anemia and an abundance of oxygen in the body. Loaded with antioxidant properties, it exerts beneficial effects towards various medical conditions such as cancer, insomnia, dental ailments, sinusitis, pancreatitis, and kidney stones. It helps in normal blood clotting, wound healing, maintaining hormonal balance, deodorizing, detoxifying of the body, and promoting digestive health. It has healing effects on oxidation and inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. It has anti-aging and anti-microbial properties and helps strengthen the immune system of the body.
What is Chlorophyll?
Chlorophyll is a green pigment present in plants which facilitate the absorption of light from the sun. It has the ability to convert this light energy into a usable form which is utilized for various processes such as photosynthesis by virtue of which the green plants prepare their own food. Plants cells store the sunshine and make it available for our consumption. In fact, it is the reason behind the green color and pigmentation of the plants. There are different forms of chlorophyll that occur naturally such as chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b. Out of these, the most important and widely present form in the plants is chlorophyll a.
Chlorophyllin is a derivative of chlorophyll and is obtained from the mixture of sodium and copper salts which are derived from chlorophyll. While chlorophyll is fat-soluble, chlorophyllin is water-soluble and is also used as an alternative medicine.
An interesting fact about chlorophyll is that its molecular structure is similar to that of hemoglobin, which is a critical part of human blood. The only exception is their central atom which is iron for hemoglobin and magnesium for chlorophyll. Due to this unique quality, liquid chlorophyll performs the same function in the body as the hemoglobin. Although the world of nutrition is yet to admire its true potential, it still continues to be amongst the most critical elements for plants and the biological world for ages.
Nutritional Value of Chlorophyll
It is a pigment found in plants, which is packed with a range of powerful nutrients. It is a good source of vitamins such as vitamin A, C, E, K, and beta-carotene. It is rich in antioxidants, vital minerals such as magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, and essential fatty acids.
Health Benefits of Chlorophyll
The health benefits of chlorophyll include its ability to increase red blood cells, prevent cancer, aging and much more.
Increases Red Blood Cells
Chlorophyll aids in restoring and replenishing red blood cells. It works at molecular and cellular levels and has the ability to regenerate our body. It is rich in live enzymes that help in cleansing blood and enhances its ability to carry more oxygen. It is a blood builder and is also effective against anemia which is caused by a deficit of red blood cells in the body.
Chlorophyll is effective against colon cancer and stimulates the induction of apoptosis. It provides protection against a wide range of carcinogens present in air, cooked meats, and grains. Studies have made it evident that it helps in restraining the gastrointestinal absorption of harmful toxins also known as aflatoxin in the body. Chlorophyll and its derivative chlorophyllin inhibit the metabolism of these procarcinogens which may impair the DNA and also lead to liver cancer and hepatitis. Further studies conducted in this regard have advocated the chemo-preventive effects of chlorophyll attributing to its antimutagenic properties. Another research has shown the efficacy of dietary chlorophyll as a phytochemical compound in the reduction of tumorigenesis.
It possesses strong antioxidant capacity along with a significant amount of essential vitamins. These effective radical scavengers in it help neutralize harmful molecules and guard against the development of various diseases and damages caused as a consequence of oxidative stress for which free radicals are responsible.
The anti-inflammatory properties of chlorophyll are beneficial for arthritis. Studies have shown that chlorophyll and its derivatives interfere with the growth of bacterial-induced inflammation. This protective nature of chlorophyll makes it a potent ingredient for the preparation of phytomedicines for treating painful medical conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis.
Detoxifies the Body
It has purifying qualities which help in detoxification of the body. An abundance of oxygen and healthy flow of blood because of chlorophyll in the body encourages it to get rid of harmful impurities and toxins. It forms complexes with the mutagens and has the ability to bind and flush out the toxic chemicals and heavy metals such as mercury from the body. This helps in detoxifying and reviving the liver. It is also effective in reducing the harmful effects of radiations and helps eliminate pesticides and drug deposits from the body.
Chlorophyll helps in combating the effects of aging and supports in maintaining healthy tissues attributing to the richness of antioxidants and presence of magnesium. It stimulates the anti-aging enzymes and encourages healthy and youthful skin. In addition to this, vitamin K present in it clean and rejuvenates the adrenal glands and improves the adrenal functions in the body.
Improves Digestive Health
Chlorophyll promotes healthy digestion by maintaining intestinal flora and stimulating the bowel movements. It acts as a natural drug to the intestinal tract and helps in the renewal of wounded bowel tissues. Diets which are deficient in green vegetables and include majorly red meat pose an enhanced risk of colon disorders. As per research, it facilitates colon cleansing by inhibiting the cytotoxicity induced by dietary heme and preventing the proliferation of colonocytes. It is effective in constipation and alleviates the discomfort caused by gas.
Chlorophyll has a calming effect on the nerves and is helpful in reducing the symptoms of insomnia, nervous irritability, and general body fatigue.
It has effective antimicrobial properties. Recent studies have shown the healing effect of alkaline chlorophyll based solution in combating a medical condition called Candida albicans, which is an infection caused by the overgrowth a kind of yeast called candida already present in small amounts in the human body.
It aids in strengthening of the cell walls and overall immune system of the body attributing to its alkaline nature. Anaerobic bacteria, which promote the development of diseases, cannot survive in the alkaline environment offered by it. Along with this, it is an oxygenator which encourages body’s ability to fight diseases, boost the energy levels, and accelerate the healing process.
Combats Bad Breath
Chlorophyll is valued for its deodorizing properties. It is an effective remedy to combat bad breath and is used in mouthwashes. Poor digestive health is one of the major causes of bad breath. It performs a dual action by eliminating the stink from mouth and throat and also stimulates digestive health by cleansing the colon and the bloodstream. The deodorizing effect of chlorophyll is also effective on stinking wounds. It is administered orally to the patients suffering from colostomies and metabolic disorders such as trimethylaminuria to reduce fecal and urinary odor.
Studies have stated that topical usage of chlorophyll solutions is effective in the treatment of exposed wounds and burns. It helps in reducing local inflammation, strengthens the body tissues, aids in killing germs and improves the resistance of cells to infections. It prevents the growth of bacteria by disinfecting the environment and making it hostile to bacterial growth and speeds up healing. Chlorophyll therapy is also quite effective in the treatment of chronic varicose ulcers of the leg.
Maintains Acid-alkali Ratio
Consumption of chlorophyll-rich foods helps in balancing the acid-alkali ratio in the body. Magnesium present in it is a highly alkaline mineral. By maintaining an appropriate alkalinity and oxygen levels in the body, it prevents the development of a thriving environment for the growth of pathogens. Magnesium present in it also plays a vital role in maintaining cardiovascular health, and the functioning of kidney, muscles, liver, and brain.
It helps in the formation and maintenance of strong bones. The central atom of the chlorophyll molecule i.e. magnesium plays an important role in bone health along with other essential nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D. It also contributes towards muscle toning, contraction, and relaxation.
It contains vitamin K which is vital for normal clotting of blood. It is used in naturopathy for the treatment of nose bleeds and is prescribed for females suffering from anemic conditions and heavy menstrual bleeding.
Prevents Kidney Stones
It helps in preventing the formation of kidney stones. The vitamin K present in it forms essential compounds in the urine and aids in reducing the growth of calcium oxalate crystals.
It is effective in the treatment of various respiratory infections and other conditions such as cold, rhinitis, and sinusitis.
It is beneficial for maintaining sexual hormonal balance in both males and females. Vitamin E present in chlorophyll helps to stimulate the production of testosterone in males and estrogen in females.
Chlorophyll is administered intravenously by the healthcare professionals in the treatment of chronic pancreatitis. According to the research conducted in this regard, it helps in relieving fever and alleviates abdominal pain and discomfort caused by pancreatitis without causing any side effects.
Improves Oral Health
Culinary Usage: Along with its regular consumption, chlorophyll and its derivative chlorophyllin also serve as a food additive and are used to provide green color to a variety of foods and beverages. It has a registered E number E141 and is known as natural green 3.
Sources of Chlorophyll
It’s not very difficult to include chlorophyll in our daily diet as almost all green plants are rich in chlorophyll a, and many vegetables which are a regular part of our food contain chlorophyll a as well as chlorophyll b. Consumption of veggies such as arugula, wheat grass, leeks, green beans, and dark green leafy vegetables such as parsley, kale, garden cress, Swiss chards, and spinach provide it naturally to the body. Other sources include sprouts, blue-green algae such as chlorella and spirulina. Overcooking of food tends to destroy its chlorophyll and magnesium content, eating raw or steamed veggies are best methods to get the maximum benefit.
Word of Caution: Despite clinical use for many years, toxic effects of natural chlorophyll in normal doses have not been known. However, it might cause some discoloration in the tongue, urine or feces when administered orally. Along with this, it might also cause mild burning or itching sensation on topical application.
Pregnant or nursing women should refrain from using commercially available chlorophyll or chlorophyllin supplements due to the lack of safety evidence.
Patients undergoing guaiac card test for occult blood should avoid the usage of oral chlorophyllin as it might result in a false positive outcome.
Chlorophyll provides energy from the sun in the concentrated form to our bodies and is one of the most useful nutrients present around us. It enhances the energy levels and amplifies the state of general well-being. It is also beneficial in treating obesity, diabetes, gastritis, hemorrhoids, asthma, and skin disorders such as eczema. It helps in curing rashes and fighting skin infections. Consumption of chlorophyll prophylactically also averts the adverse effects of surgery and is advised to be administered before and after them. The magnesium content in it aids in maintaining the blood flow in the body and sustains normal levels of blood pressure. On a whole, it improves cellular growth and restores health and vivacity in the body.
Health gets a ‘green’ signal with Chlorophyll.