Contributed by Dori Cranmore R.N., Holistic Health Practitioner at All About Herbs
Chlorophyll is a critical substance in plants that allows them to absorb light and convert that light into usable energy. Chlorophyll provides the green color that is found in grass, leaves and many of the vegetables that we eat.
Chlorophyll’s chemical structure is very similar to that found in our red blood cells; specifically, our hemoglobin. The difference is that hemoglobin contains iron, and plants’ chlorophyll contains magnesium.
Ever wonder why bright green, fresh vegetables will turn an olive-grey if overcooked? When plants are heated, the magnesium is removed and replaced with hydrogen, causing the color change. Avoid overcooking fresh vegetables, but consume fresh, lightly steamed, green vegetables as an excellent way to obtain the health benefits of chlorophyll.
Taking chlorophyll can help deodorize bad breath and body odor. Asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, green cabbage, celery, collard greens, green beans, green peas, kale, leeks, green olives, parsley, romaine lettuce, sea vegetables, spinach, swiss chard and turnip greens are concentrated sources of chlorophyll. Over 98% of the parsley used in restaurants is thrown away because people see it as decoration instead of nutrients.
Wheat grass, alfalfa, barley or spirulina supplements contain very high concentrations of chlorophyll and can help purify or cleanse toxins from the blood stream. Yerba maté tea is one of the richest known sources of chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties. According to the USDA phytochemical database, chlorophyll fights bedsores and can help prevent cancer (reduces the ability of carcinogens to bind with the DNA in different major organs in the body). It stimulates red blood cells to improve oxygen supply, helps raise the pH and can neutralize the pollution that we breathe in (great for smokers and especially, secondhand smokers). It efficiently delivers magnesium and it helps assimilate calcium and other heavy minerals which can be effective in treating kidney stones.
The deodorizing benefits are effective for not only bad breath, but urine, fecal waste and body odor. Pets respond very well to a little chlorophyll in their food or water. Women, just after delivery, do well building their red blood cells with chlorophyll, which helps build iron and also assists in enriching breast milk. Many of the mushers use chlorophyll for their dogs to stimulate better oxygen and energy levels.
Whether the chlorophyll is in liquid or tablet form, the benefits can allow you to enjoy a stronger immune system, strong tissues and organs and a naturally healthy energetic body.
Dori Cranmore is a registered nurse, holistic health practitioner, herb specialist and owner of All About Herbs, Inc. in Wasilla. For more information, please call 376-8327.