What is chlorophyll?
Chlorophyll is literally defined as leaf green; the green
colouring matter of leaves and plants, essential to the production
of carbohydrates by photosynthesis, and occurring in a bluish-black
form, called chlorophyll a, and a dark-green form, called
Chlorophyll is a green granular matter formed in the cells
of the leaves (and other parts exposed to light) of plants,
to which they owe their green colour, and through which all
ordinary assimilation of plant food takes place. Similar chlorophyll
granules have been found in the tissues of the lower animals.
Green plants take in sunlight and transform it into food!
This is called photosynthesis, and it is one of the most fundamental
processes in nature. Green plants, algae and certain bacteria
use the light energy of the sun to form carbohydrate food.
Not only do these greens nourish themselves and become the
No. 1 food in the food chain, they also produce oxygen, playing
a fundamental role in the biosphere of the planet.
Fifty years ago, scientists proved that chlorophyll kills
harmful bacteria. It fights strep and staph infections, bad
odours in the mouth, gum disease, and destroys putrefactive
bacteria in the digestive tract. It promotes healing of wounds
by stimulating the production of connective tissue, helps
ear infection, and the list goes on.
Famous research scientist E. Bircher called chlorophyll "concentrated
sun power." He said, "It increases the functions of the head,
affects the vascular system, the intestines, the uterus, and
It raises basic nitrogen exchange and is therefore a tonic
which, considering its stimulating properties, cannot be compared
with any other."
The benefits of various green foods seem related to their
chlorophyll content. Chlorophyll has the power to regenerate
our bodies at the molecular and cellular level.
It is known to help cleanse the body, fight infection, help
heal wounds, and promote the health of the circulatory, digestive,
immune, and detoxification systems.
Chlorophyll consumption increases the number of red blood
cells and, therefore, increases oxygen utilization by the
body. Chlorophyll also reduces the binding of carcinogens
to DNA in the liver and other organs.
It also breaks down calcium oxalate stones (kidney stones)
for elimination, which are created by the body for the purpose
of neutralizing and disposing of excess acid.
Chlorophyll is similar
to haemoglobin in human blood
Chlorophyll's molecular structure is similar to the haemoglobin
of human blood. Haemoglobin is our body's oxygen transporter.
From a chemical standpoint, the components of chlorophyll
are almost identical to those of haemoglobin.
A German chemist, Dr Richard Wilsstatter, determined in 1913
that the two molecules closely resemble on another. He found
that haemoglobin is composed of four elements - carbon, hydrogen,
oxygen and nitrogen - organized around a single atom of iron.
Haemoglobin's iron content is the main reason we need a dietary
supply of that mineral. Chlorophyll has the same elements,
however they are organized around a single atom of magnesium.
By taking chlorophyll into our bodies, we elevate the integrity
of haemoglobin in our blood and that translates into improved
energy, circulation and oxygenation.
Chlorophyll contains vitamin, mineral and protein compounds
and stands alone in its ability to stimulate the body on a
Not only does chlorophyll increase heart function and aid
the vascular system, intestines, uterus, and lungs, it also
acts as a chelator of heavy metals and chemical toxins (grabs
on to these molecules and carries them out of the body).
The colour of chlorophyll
It's usually easy to tell when a food has significant amounts
of chlorophyll, because chlorophyll provides the green colour
that is found in grasses, leaves, and many of the vegetables
that we eat.
These plants and foods would not be green without their chlorophyll,
since chlorophyll pigments reflect sunlight at exact appropriate
wavelengths for our eyes to detect them as green.
The chlorophyll a molecule actually reflects light in a blue-green
range (about 685 nanometer wavelengths), while chlorophyll
b reflects light in a more yellow-green colour (about 735
The overall affect, however, is for us to see varying shades
of a colour we would simply call "green."
Foods that contain chlorophyll
While all green plants and most vegetables that we eat contain
chlorophyll, some vegetables contain particularly high amounts
of total chlorophyll. Best studied of all the vegetables is
spinach which contains about 300-600 milligrams per ounce.
To understand how high in chlorophyll this amount turns out
to be, compare the chlorophyll content of spinach to another
of the World's Healthiest Foods - olives.
Chlorophyll is one of the primary pigments in olives, but
olives contain only 30-300 micrograms per ounce (about 1/1000th
as much as spinach). Some olive oil producers deliberately
allow leaves to be placed in the olive presses to increase
the chlorophyll and "grassiness" of the olive oil.
All of the green vegetables in the World's Healthiest Foods
are concentrated sources of chlorophyll, which include:
and many others
Alfalfa is one
of the most mineral-rich green food ingredients known and
is good to use while fasting because of its chlorophyll and
It contains vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin,
calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, silicon plus
traces of virtually all known vitamins and minerals.
Cooking can destroy
chlorophyll content in foods
Overcooking is particularly important to avoid when it comes
to chlorophyll, but with very short steaming times, the chlorophyll
content of these foods is preserved, and absorption of chlorophyll
from these foods may actually be increased.
In studies on broccoli, for example, about two thirds of the
chlorophyll was removed after 20 minutes of boiling.
Researchers have also determined that there are steadily increasing
losses of chlorophyll when the boiling time for broccoli is
increased from 5 to 20 minutes.
However, at cooking times less than five minutes, the research
is not as clear, and some studies suggest that brief steaming
of vegetables like spinach actually increases the amount of
chlorophyll that can be absorbed into our body.
Consumption of these green vegetables in raw form is also
an excellent way to obtain the health benefits of chlorophyll.
Alfalfa, a super source
Alfalfa was discovered by the Arabs and is one of the first
known herbs. They called it the "father of all foods." This
is interesting as they knew only by evidential experience.
It is only in recent years that we moderns are rediscovering
its valuable nutritive properties.
Alfalfa's organic salts are among the richest known, the depth
and spread of its roots enabling it to absorb its valuable
nutrition as far as 125 feet below the earth's surface.
Alfalfa is a particularly valuable leguminous herb, not only
rich in the principal mineral and chemical elements in the
constitution of the human body, but it also has many of the
trace elements obtained from deep in the soil where the roots
reach down 30 to 100 feet.
Alfalfa is rich in quality, quantity and proper balance of
Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Choline (vitamin B), Sodium,
Potassium and Silicon in Alfalfa. These elements are all very
much needed for the proper function of the various organs
in the body.
Alfalfa's benefits are contained in its leaves and smaller
stems. Alfalfa best lends its properties to water.
This means that when an infusion or tea is made from alfalfa
leaves, we can obtain 90% of the potassium contained in the
dried alfalfa plant, 85% of the magnesium, 75% of the phosphorus,
50% of the nitrogen, and 40% of the calcium when we brew and
drink that cup of alfalfa tea.
Speaking of nitrogen, alfalfa is a splendid plant to grow
near other plants that need nitrogen. Alfalfa has been reported
to be an appetizer, diuretic, tonic, nutritive (especially
calcium) antianemic, and antihemorrhagic.
Because the taproot of alfalfa penetrates beneath the soil
to a depth of 65 feet or more, it is reported to absorb minerals
from the subsoil which are inaccessible to plants having more
The root of the alfalfa plant grows 10 times as fast as the
stem during the first three weeks of its life. The depth of
the root is attested to by a former Kansas State Secretary
for the Department of Agriculture.
Alfalfa leaves are extremely rich in calcium, which accounts
for the claims of herbalists and doctors concerning the benefits
of using alfalfa for repairing tooth damage and strengthening
the structure of the teeth.
Calcium is also necessary for proper muscle function,
including the heart muscle as well. Calcium regulates the
heart rhythm. How much simpler it is to indulge in alfalfa
early in life rather than a pacemaker in later life.
We have often heard that there is no vegetable source of Vitamin
D. The sun, of course, is our favorite source. But did you
know that alfalfa contains 4,740 International Units of Vitamin
D per pound?
In addition to the nutrients mentioned before, alfalfa also
contains Vitamins K, A, E, B, and U. Vitamin K is essential
in the clotting of blood and is a preventative measure against
haemorrhages. Note: vitamin K is made by a healthy body in
the large intestines).
Many historical haemophiliacs would have benefited themselves
had they considered the lowly alfalfa plant as something more
than 'munchies' for their herds.
We know of several cases where women who have just delivered
babies have eaten alfalfa tablets like candy directly after
the birth in order to shorten the postpartum bleeding time.
Alfalfa is also a remarkable herb to bring in milk in a
nursing mother. It has also been observed that Vitamin
K is instrumental in lowering high blood pressure.
Vitamin E is contained in alfalfa to the tune of 173.8
mg. per pound. Vitamin E is essential for the proper functioning
of the reproductive system, and the Vitamin E found in alfalfa
is so much more valuable than the synthetic variety which
is not readily assimilated by the body.
According to my personally supervised laboratory analysis
of field dried alfalfa the following results were obtained:
The following results have been reported in milligrams per pound:
Beta Carotene: 123 mg/lb
Vitamin A: 104,833 mg/lb -
This is extremely high for a food
Thiamine (vitamin B): 2.5 mg/lb
Niacin (vitamin B): 18.0 mg/lb
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B): 9.0 mg/lb
Biotin (vitamin B): 0.15 mg/lb
Pyridoxine (vitamin B):
found in very small amounts
Betaine (also known as trimethylglycine),
an amino acid
As mentioned earlier, Vitamin D is found as 4740 International Units per pound of dried alfalfa. There is 173.8 IU's of Vitamin E in the specimen we gave for analysis.
All these figures will, of course vary with the time and season of the harvest. Our sample had 9.4 mg. per pound of Vitamin K, the clotting factor.
Now for the percentages of the essential amino acids found in alfalfa:
Vitamin U, generally found in cabbage juice, acts as a healing agent in ulcers both in humans and laboratory animals according to many researchers.
Alfalfa also contains a saponin which is a substance that forms colloidal dispersion (a soap suds-like reaction) when shaken with water. The steroid saponins have been recently successfully investigated for their suitability as cortisone and hormone precursors.
Alfalfa can be used as a beverage as well as medicinally. When taken daily it can improve the appetite, alleviate urinary tract disorders such as the retention of water, and give relief for digestive and bowel problems such as peptic ulcer.
A combination of alfalfa and peppermint makes a very pleasant tea for the refreshment of mind and body. According to May Bethel, author of The Healing Power of Herbs, 1968, alfalfa contains 8 known enzymes which are instrumental in food assimilation.
Bethel also quotes Dr. W. H. Graves, D.C., who has successfully used alfalfa in cases of diabetes, rheumatism,
toxaemia, jaundice, neuralgia, insomnia, nervousness, syphilis, constipation, lumbago (pain in the lower, or lumbar, region of the back or loins, esp. chronic or recurring pain), hardening of the arteries, water retention, prostatitis,
anaemia, skin eruptions, poor complexion, and inflamed bladder.
Graves also mentions alfalfa as a blood builder and beneficial for building teeth and bones. A little know fact recently observed by one biochemist is that an essential alkaloid in the leaves works on the central nervous system somehow to review minor pain (John Heinerman, Science of Herbal Medicine; Orem, Utah. p.97).
The many benefits of chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is the first product of light and, therefore, contains more light energy than any other element.
Chlorophyll is the basis of all plant life.
Chlorophyll is high in oxygen. The brain and all body tissues function at an optimal level in a highly-oxygenated environment.
Chlorophyll is anti-bacterial and can be used inside and outside the body as a healer.
Science has proven that chlorophyll arrests growth and development of unfriendly bacteria.
Chlorophyll rebuilds the bloodstream. Studies of various animals have shown chlorophyll to be free of any toxic reaction. The red cell count was returned to normal within 4 to 5 days of the administration of chlorophyll, even in those animals which were known to be extremely
anaemic or low in red cell count.
Farmers in the mid-west who have sterile cows and bulls put them on chlorophyll in the form of
wheat grass to restore fertility. (The high magnesium content in chlorophyll builds enzymes that restore the sex hormones.)
Liquid chlorophyll gets into the tissues, refines them and makes them over.
Chlorophyll (wheat grass juice) is a superior detoxification agent compared to carrot juice and other fruits and vegetables. Dr Earp-Thomas, associate of Ann Wigmore, says that 15 pounds of
Wheat grass is the equivalent of 350 pounds of carrot, lettuce, celery, and so forth.
Liquid chlorophyll washes drug deposits from the body.
Chlorophyll neutralizes toxins in the body.
Chlorophyll helps purify the liver.
Chlorophyll improves blood sugar problems.
In the American Journal of Surgery (1940), Bejamin Gruskin, M.D. recommends chlorophyll for its antiseptic benefits. The article suggests the following clinical uses for chlorophyll:
to clear up foul smelling
neutralize strep infections
hasten skin grafting
cure chronic sinusitis
overcome chronic inner-ear inflammation and infection
reduce varicose veins and heal leg ulcers
eliminate impetigo and other scabby eruptions
heal rectal sores
successfully treat inflammation of the uterine cervix
get rid of parasitic vaginal infections
reduce typhoid fever
cure advanced pyorrhoea (gum disease) in many cases
Chlorophyll is said to cure acne and even removes scars after it has been ingested for seven to eight months. The diet must be improved at the same time.
Chlorophyll acts as a detergent in the body and is used as a body deodorant.
A small amount of chlorophyll in the human diet may prevent tooth decay.
Wheat grass juice held in the mouth for 5 minutes may eliminate toothaches. It pulls poisons from the gums.
Gargle liquid chlorophyll for a sore throat.
Chlorophyll is good for skin problems such as eczema or psoriasis.
Chlorophyll helps to keep the hair from
Chlorophyll improves the digestion because it contains eight digestive enzymes.
Chlorophyll used in an enema is great for healing and detoxifying the colon walls. The implants also heal and cleanse the internal organs. After an enema, wait 20 minutes, then use 4 ounces of liquid chlorophyll in an enema and retain it for 20 minutes.
Chlorophyll is great for constipation and keeping the bowels open. It is high in magnesium.
Dr. Birscher, a research scientist, called chlorophyll "concentrated sun power." He said, "chlorophyll increases the function of the heart, affects the vascular system, the intestines, the uterus, and the lungs."
According to Dr. Birscher, nature uses chlorophyll as a body cleanser, rebuilder, and neutralizer of toxins.
Chlorophyll may dissolve scars that are formed in the lungs from breathing acid gasses. The effect of carbon monoxide is minimized since chlorophyll increases
Chlorophyll is said to reduce high blood pressure and enhance the capillaries.
Chlorophyll is said to remove heavy metals from the body.
Chlorophyll is said to be great for blood disorders of all kinds.
About the Author...
Bee Wilder has a wealth of knowledge and experience both as a former sufferer of candida and convenor of the candida support group. Since the 1980s when Bee could eat only a few types of foods and was so sensitive to yeasts she had to
administer herself an allergy shot every day, she has not only fully recovered but now is more robust than ever. Bee lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and continues to research natural health and nutrition.
You can find more articles and support at her website:
Healing Naturally by Bee
Random House Dictionary
Green Health Foods in a Bottle
Vista Magazine Online
Super Green Foods
John Heinerman, Herbal Dynamics, Root of Life, Inc., 1982, p.3.