A chart of the photosynthesis reaction done by chlorophyll

The Magic of Chlorophyll

March 26, 2015

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Chlorophyll is the life-blood of our world. Without it, we cease to exist.

Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in all plants, algae and cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). It harnesses the solar energy from the sun to break down water and carbon dioxide molecules. From this reaction, we get oxygen to breathe and stored energy to power our bodies.

Molecularly speaking, it is very interesting to note how very similar this life-giving “plant blood” (chlorophyll) is to our own blood (heme). They are almost identical, except that chlorophyll has a magnesium atom in its center, giving chlorophyll its green color; heme has an iron atom at its center, which gives blood its red color.

For centuries, the green parts of plants have been used to treat cysts, ulcers, tumors, wounds, burns, ulcerative colitis, as well as ear, nose and throat infections.

Chlorophyll is one of the few substances that brings more oxygen into the cells, while at the same time strengthening cell walls from oxidative (free radical) damage. In the 1940s and 1950s (before antibiotics and medications became standard protocol), chlorophyll was used in thousands of surgeries to help heal tissues and to stop bacterial infections. Dr. Gruskin (the Director of Experimental Pathology at Temple University during that time) wrote in The American Journal of Surgery, after having treated over 1200 patients with chlorophyll that “it is interesting to note that there is not one single case recorded in which improvements or cure has not taken place.”

Chlorophyll was also commonly used by dentists at that time, as it was known for stimulating gum repair, inhibiting harmful bacteria and yeast from growing, and freshening breath. In the 1950’s Colgate even had a brand of toothpaste made of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is able to neutralize odors in the mouth coming from foods, tobacco and halitosis. Dental records of our Paleolithic ancestors show that they had very few dental caries. Perhaps this was because they had plenty of chlorophyll in their diet.

Chlorophyll is known as a blood builder, which is due to its similarity to blood. A study on rabbits was done where hemoglobin was reduced 50%, making the rabbits anemic. Scientists then fed the rabbits wheatgrass, which is high in chlorophyll, and within 2 weeks, these animals had normal hemoglobin levels. This regeneration happened much faster than with just iron therapy alone.

Chlorophyll is a blood purifier. It binds to heavy metals and aflatoxins (a carcinogen) helping us detox. It also stops the growth of Candida albicans.

People used to use chlorophyll to get immediate relief from congestion, sinus infections and head colds. These were generally cleared up in 24 hours.

But chlorophyll molecules are not very stable. In fact, most chlorophyll supplements sold in the store are not a true chlorophyll. Processors have replaced the magnesium center with a copper center to make a supplement that is more shelf-stable. This new molecule is a semi-synthetic version of chlorophyll called chlorophyllin. There are restrictions in other countries on the use of chlorophyllin because of copper toxicity. Although there are known health benefits to chlorophyllin, it still has different properties. For instance, true chlorophyll is fat-soluble, while chlorophyllin is water-soluble.

And I for one, would much rather have real chlorophyll with magnesium in it. Magnesium is the “spark of life”. (Read Is Magnesium Really the Miracle Mineral?) Every cell in our body needs magnesium. Magnesium is necessary for our body to make and use insulin. Without insulin, we can’t use the stored energy plants provide. It takes 28 atoms of magnesium to process one molecule of glucose. There are over 300 enzymatic reactions in our bodies that rely on magnesium, and most people are very magnesium deficient.

The best way to get magnesium is to eat fresh green plants, but even people who drink a lot of green smoothies and eat lot of green vegetables may be deficient. This is because most of our farms have depleted soils. Sadly, magnesium is rarely found in our soils as magnesium and other minerals tend to not be replenished.

In 1936, the US Senate commissioned a scientific study on our food supply, which was read into the record of the 74 congress, 2nd session. (Senate document no. 264.) This statement was made:

“Do you know that most of us today are suffering from certain dangerous diet deficiencies which cannot be remedied until the depleted soils from which our foods come are brought into proper mineral balance? The alarming fact is that foods–fruits and vegetables and grains–now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contains enough of certain needed minerals, are starving us–no matter how much of them we eat!”

“We know that vitamins are complex chemical substances which are indispensable to nutrition, and that each of them is important for the normal function of some special structure of the body. Disorder and disease result from any vitamin deficiency. It is not commonly realized, however, that vitamins control the body’s appropriation of minerals, and that in the absence of minerals they have no function to perform. Lacking vitamins, the system can make some use of minerals, but lacking minerals, vitamins are useless.”

“Laboratory tests prove that the fruits, vegetables, grains, eggs and even the milk and meats of today are not what they were a few generations ago. No man of today can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his system with the mineral salts he requires for perfect health….”

“It is bad news to learn from our leading authorities that 99 percent of the American people are deficient in these minerals, and that a marked deficiency in any one of the more important minerals actually results in disease. Any upset of the balance, any considerable lack of one or another element, however microscopic the body requirement may be, and we sicken, suffer, shorten our lives.”

Keep in mind that this was from 1936, and our farming practices have only gotten worse.

In doing the research for this article, I found it odd that most of the research on chlorophyll, as it related to health was done decades ago. The newer research (as it relates to health) is based more on the semi-synthetic compound of chlorophyllin.

Whatever the reason, we need the real stuff, and to do that we need to either grow our own green food, or work with organic farmers who have replenished their soils. We need the magic of true chlorophyll to not only survive, but to thrive.

Image:  roxanabalint/depositphotos

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