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Veterinarian Reviewed on June 15, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
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Chlorophyll is the color green pigment that is in plants, algae and also found in cyanobacteria. This molecule is very important in photosynthesis which is the process where plants convert light energy to food that they can use for survival.

Chlorophyll was first discovered and isolated by Joseph Bienaime Caventou and by Pierre Pelletier, both French chemists in 1817.
Without chlorophyll, plants are not able to manufacture food and humans will not be able to obtain nutrients from plants as well. Chlorophyll is beneficial in specific functions involved in plants like growth and cellular respiration. This amazing importance of chlorophyll to plants has led to the research of the direct importance of chlorophyll to humans.

History and Origin

The name chlorophyll is derived from the Greek words chloros which means ‘green’ and also phyllon which means ‘leaf’. It is a chlorin pigment which has similar structures to that of the human blood. The general structure of the chlorophyll molecule was first described by Hans Fischer in 1940, and in 1960 the entire chemistry of the chlorophyll was introduced. Ian Fleming also made descriptions of how the molecule of the chlorophyll looked like. In 1990 Woodward and other co-authors published and updated a description and manner of synthesis of the chlorophyll molecule.

Ancient Uses

Plants, trees and shrubs have long been used in many medicinal remedies throught human history. This therapeutic property of plants and herbs to cure and to prevent diseases and illnesses are in one way related to their green pigment, chlorophyll. Plants were also eaten and made into different food stuffs and these uses were also possible through the chlorophyll pigment that the plants have.

Modern Uses

The direct use of the green pigment chlorophyll to humans was explored by scientists and it was discovered that it has many health benefits to offer. Chlorophyll has antioxidants that can be beneficial in the repair and growth of new tissues and cells. It is also great in neutralizing harmful free radicals that can damage cells and tissues. It can be effective in the delivery of the element Magnesium in the blood that can be beneficial in the oxygen- carrying capabilities of hemoglobin. Chlorophyll can be a great breath deodorizer to treat bad breath. It is also a deodorizer to reduce the smell of urine, the smell of feces and also awful body odor.

Some studies have linked chlorophyll to the prevention of cancer; it can reduce the ability of carcinogenic chemicals to cause harm in the many organs of the entire body. It is also an anti inflammatory and it can treat wounds externally.

Side Effects

There are no known side effects of chlorophyll. Plants are therefore the only source of chlorophyll but cooking and various food preparations have destroyed much of the therapeutic effects of chlorophyll.

It is important therefore to use pure chlorophyll extracts, solutions and tablets that can give you the entire benefits of chlorophyll. If you would like to use chlorophyll in the treatment of your illness, consult your doctor or herbalist for the appropriate dosage and any adverse effects with the medications you are currently taking.

Read also: Red Yeast Rice Powder

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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