Chlorophyll is a chemical present in plants that’s responsible for their green color. This green pigment helps in the process called photosynthesis that manufactures food for plants. The chemical is also found in certain types of algae and bacteria that use the sun for photosynthesis. There are several types of chlorophyll, the most common being chlorophyll a. Chlorophyll is available through plants like green, leafy vegetables as well as in dietary supplements in the form of capsules, tablets, and powders.1,2
Chlorophyll Uses and Health Benefits
Chlorophyll benefits are vast. It contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and can assist in wound healing. Not only do these antioxidant properties protect against cancer, but it’s said that chlorophyll can bind to carcinogens in the digestive tract to help reduce the risk of cancer. Chlorophyll also protects the skin, helps to detoxify the liver, and can help in weight loss.2,3 It’s also said to help ease constipation in elderly individuals.1 Other chlorophyll uses include for:
- Bacterial Vaginosis - Chlorophyll may help in fighting bacterial vaginosis when taken orally.
- Body Odor - Oral use of chlorophyll can help by naturally deodorizing the body internally and helping to cleanse the body of toxins.
- Eczema (Dermatitis) - Among chlorophyll benefits, it may help ease eczema symptoms when applied topically.
- Endometriosis - Women with endometriosis may benefit from an oral chlorophyll supplement.
- Bad Breath (Halitosis) - Chlorophyll has long been known to treat bad breath. Take 100 mg supplement two to three times daily for best results.
Chlorophyll Side Effects and Precautions
Chlorophyll is not an essential nutrient, meaning it’s not required by the body to survive and that deficiencies for this nutrient don’t exist.2 It’s considered non-poisonous, though taking too much can be harmful.5 Most people won’t experience chlorophyll side effects, though in rare cases, diarrhea and stomach cramps can occur.6 Other chlorophyll side effects may include a yellow or black tongue, green stool or urine, or a mild burning or itching sensation when it comes in contact with the skin.5
In cases where chlorophyll side effects occur, patients could contact their local poison control center. However, since chlorophyll is non-poisonous, it is easy to recover from.5 Talk to your doctor about whether or not a chlorophyll supplement is right for you. Mention any other medications or herbs you’re taking to ensure they won’t interact with a chlorophyll supplement.