In this post, we reveal everything you need to know about chlorophyll water, including its benefits and how to make your own at home. Let's dive in!
If something is derived from the Earth, nutrient dense, and a vibrant shade of green, we’ll generally get behind it without much room for skepticism. Some things just scream “health and wellness” without much effort, and chlorophyll water is one of them.
Thankfully this is one health fad that has actually lived up to its hype, with many singing its praises worldwide.
In this article we discuss the following:
- What is Chlorophyll Water?
- Chlorophyll Definition
- Types of Chlorophyll
- What is Chlorophyll "A"?
- What is Chlorophyll “B"?
- What is Chlorophyll “C"?
- What is Chlorophyll "D"?
- What is Chlorophyllin?
- Benefits of Chlorophyll Water
- Chlorophyll for Weight Loss
- Chlorophyll Benefits for Skin
- Chlorophyll Detox
- Sources of Chlorophyll
- Liquid Chlorophyll
- Chlorophyll Powder
- Matcha Tea
- Mulberry Leaf
- Alfalfa Supplement
- Chlorophyll Tablets / Chlorophyll Supplement
- How Much Chlorophyll to Take?
- Chlorophyll Absorption Spectrum
- Chlorophyll Side Effects
- When to Take Chlorophyll?
- Taking Chlorophyll at Night
- DIY Chlorophyll Water
What is Chlorophyll Water?
Not to be confused with your daily green juice, chlorophyll water is made by supplementing the food that plants eat into your personal water source.
That’s right; you may remember learning about chlorophyll in middle school when investigating the lifespan of a plant. Chlorophyll is what gives most plants their earthy green hues, and it’s also instrumental in keeping them alive.
Researchers found that when they removed chlorophyll from certain plants, it could pose as a potentially beneficial compound for human beings as well. Chlorophyll is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, all of which can be processed for benefit within the human body, particularly that of Vitamins A, C and K.
By adding chlorophyll to everyday drinking water, you can ingest a range of nutrients otherwise unavailable to you via regular hydration. Water goes from merely being hydrating to actually being a multifaceted nutritional supplement.
The Oxford dictionary defines chlorophyll as:
a green pigment, present in all green plants and in cyanobacteria, which is responsible for the absorption of light to provide energy for photosynthesis.
Let’s break this down. In order to survive, all plants and trees need to convert light into energy so that they have the ability to make food and pull water from the Earth below, as well as fuel any other activities they need to do on a daily basis to grow and flourish.
This is the process of photosynthesis, and chlorophyll is the compound present in the stem and leaves that is responsible for the absorption of the sunlight. There is no photosynthesis without chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll is also the reason most plants are green. The compounds spend its days absorbing the pure white light from the atmosphere; the only wavelength they are unable to absorb through the white light is the green wavelength. Instead of absorbing the green wavelength, the plants instead reflect it, giving them their overall green appearance. It’s utterly fascinating once you manage to wrap your head around it.
Types of Chlorophyll
There are four main types of chlorophyll in plants: chlorophyll A, B, C and D. They are classified as such depending on where and how they are derived from a range of plant species.
Within wellness discussions, you may also find people making reference to either ‘natural chlorophyll’ or ‘liquid chlorophyll’.
Often, natural chlorophyll is used to make reference to forms of chlorophyll that one can access without seeking out a supplement. Since humans tend to consume a lot of plants in their diet already, there are some forms of chlorophyll that we get from our meals. Green beans, spinach, arugula and peas are all natural forms of chlorophyll whereby the compound does not need to be previously extracted in order for us to digest it.
Liquid chlorophyll is another way of referring to chlorophyll drops. These have made making chlorophyll water at home very easy, as they are made from a water-soluble derivative of naturally occurring chlorophyll, called chlorophyllin. More on that below!
What is Chlorophyll "A"?
Chlorophyll A is found in higher plants, algae and cyanobacteria. Higher plants are those that exhibit rather complicated or advanced characteristics, such as vascular plants. A tree fern is an example of a higher plant, and the lignified tissues act as the conductors for photosynthesis.
Algae, as we know, is a moisture driven type of plant that typically occurs in any-sized body of water. Sea moss, kombu and wakame are all forms of algae, and contain a rich dose of chlorophyll. Spirulina is an algae derived organism that is well known in the wellness world thanks to its nutritional benefits; it also contains a decent amount of chlorophyll.
Cyanobacteria are a microorganism, but they, too, are capable of photosynthesis. These are the earliest known life forms on Earth.
What is Chlorophyll "B"?
Chlorophyll B is also found in higher plants and algae. Both A and B work together in these plants to facilitate the photosynthesis process.
The main difference between them is the roles that they play. Chlorophyll A is the primary compound that coordinates the entire process. Meanwhile, chlorophyll B rides on the sidelines as an accessory pigment, simply collecting the sun’s energy and passing it over to the A compounds so that they can complete their mission.
What is Chlorophyll "C"?
Chlorophyll C is the photosynthesizing compound found in diatoms, dinoflagellates and brown algae. All of these are ocean based plants that we don’t necessarily interact with very often in everyday life.
What is Chlorophyll "D"?
Chlorophyll D is a rare and unique compound. It exists only in red algae, and is a form of chlorophyll that had to adapt to deep waters in an effort to draw energy from any source of light that became momentarily available.
What is Chlorophyllin?
Chlorophyll liquid is made from chlorophyllin. These are a group of water-soluble salts that have the ability to act as synthetic chlorophyll if necessary.
The salts are derived from chlorophyll, so their origin is natural in source. It’s only very recently that people have begun using these drops as a supplement in water; for decades chlorophyllin was only used in different forms of medicine.
The most common forms of chlorophyllin are of sodium/copper derivatives. Copper, as a mineral, is anti-bacterial in nature and thus chlorophyllin is often used to treat open wounds. There have been no documented liquid chlorophyll side effects as of yet.
Benefits of Chlorophyll Water
Usually when celebrities hop onto a wellness trend it’s either because they are being paid to do so or because they have found genuine benefit in the trend.
It seems to be a case of the latter with chlorophyll, as many A-listers still swear by their morning glass of green chlorophyll water.
The most notable chlorophyll water benefits include potent detoxification, healing of inflammation, blood oxygenating, weight loss and even prevention of cancer. However, it must be noted that all studies relating to the effects of chlorophyll on cancer have only ever been conducted in animals and, while they have shown promising results, there is simply not enough evidence at this time to rule this out as a benefit of a daily chlorophyll supplement.
One of the most tangible benefits of consuming chlorophyll water seems to be its ability to neutralize odors. This is a compelling ability that is now being looked at more closely by specialists.
There is also widespread speculation that chlorophyll has some sort of positive, rebalancing effect on the microbiota of the gut. These are also known as the good or bad bacteria that live in our intestines, which can become imbalanced due to an array of ‘triggers’. This includes stress, free radicals, antibiotic treatments, poor diet and excessive traveling.
Chlorophyll for Weight Loss
Chlorophyll drinking water has being repeatedly floated as a potential tool for weight loss.
There was a small study conducted with intent to show how various food supplements either aided or hindered individuals who were working on their weight. It concluded with great certainty that those individuals taking chlorophyll as a daily supplement saw far greater results in their weight loss journeys compared to those who did not consume the compound.
How did it do this? The researchers observed that the chlorophyll worked to reduce the cholesterol levels in the subjects. These levels would otherwise have been harmful on the body and, with them being brought under control, the bodies were able to let go of some otherwise stagnant weight.
Chlorophyll Benefits for Skin
When we want to use chlorophyll for skin, we do so while it is in the form of chlorophyllin (also known as liquid chlorophyll). One of the most notable liquid chlorophyll benefits is the effect it has on the skin.
The chlorophyllin works to noticeably reduce inflammation and wipe out bacterial growth on human skin. A study done in 2008 concluded that ointments containing chlorophyllin were more effective in reducing both pain levels and healing time.
This led researchers to take a closer look at the potential benefits of chlorophyllin on acne. A 2015 study showed that an array of subjects saw improvement in their active acne after just three weeks of using topical forms of chlorophyllin.
When we digest chlorophyll supplements, they have the opportunity to work their way through the body and unleash their powerful detoxifying properties.
When we refer to a ‘detox’, we are making reference to the process of pulling harmful toxic waste from different parts of the body over time. When left to live in the body, this waste is highly likely to mutate and present itself as something far more complex and harmful, such as disease, cysts, tumors and possibly eventually cancer.
Through various animal studies, it’s been shown that chlorophyll was able to reduce the incidence of liver and stomach tumors by more than half — which is astounding when you consider what a simple compound this is.
More than this, a small human study recently reported that regular consumption of chlorophyll limits the presence of ingested aflatoxin in the body, a compound that is known to often lead to cancer.
Sources of Chlorophyll
How and where you get your chlorophyll is left to a myriad of sources. As we touched on earlier, there are those forms of trace chlorophyll found in the green foods that we eat, chlorophyll in the form of supplements, and even liquid chlorophyll to make it even more accessible.
You may remember sometime during the early 2000s when wheatgrass started being displayed on the countertops of just about every smoothie shop and health food bar. The lush, green blades were marketed as the hot new dose of health, available to all who could knock back a shot of grass-derived juices.
Wheatgrass, as it so happens, has the most chlorophyll related benefits compared to any other plant that is suitable for human consumption. Because of its early rise to fame, wheatgrass is now a very accessible and affordable source of chlorophyll, available in both fresh and powdered forms.
We know that liquid chlorophyll is actually called chlorophyllin, and that it is merely a soluble derivative from natural forms of chlorophyll.
Some call this synthetic chlorophyll, but it’s important to note that the compounds are actually plant derived and have the capability of delivering many of the same benefits that natural forms of chlorophyll can.
Liquid chlorophyll is available in drop form, and can be added to water for consumption. Liquid chlorophyll can also be used in ointments, or as a topical treatment on wounds, burns and scars.
Not everyone is partial to the idea of drinking green water, so some have opted instead for the wonders of the chlorophyll smoothie. You can make these quite easily at home, simply by adding any source of chlorophyll powder into your usual smoothie mix.
There are many different plants from which chlorophyll powder can be derived. Some of the most popular ones at the moment include chlorophyll present in alfalfa powder, as well as chlorophyll present in spirulina powder.
To really reap the benefits of chlorophyll, we would recommend a more complex powder supplement in which multiple forms of plant derived chlorophyll are present. This makes the compound more potent, and easier for the body to receive. GNC Greens is a much loved brand that delivers your powdered chlorophyll in a bulk package to be added scoop by scoop to your water or smoothies.
Teas, by definition, should all contain some sort of chlorophyll since they are forms of dried leaves. The truth is that the amount of chlorophyll we get from drinking tea is rarely significant enough to have any notable effects on our health.
There is one exception, however, and that is matcha.
Plants with less exposure to light tend to be naturally richer in chlorophyll, simply because it takes a lot more energy for them to stay alive. Matcha comes from green tea leaves that are carefully grown in the shade, meaning their chlorophyll content is automatically greater than most other green teas: five times higher, to be exact.
This is why matcha is considered to be a superior form of daily detox, and also why it is so unaffordable compared to all other forms of green tea. Matcha was classed as a superfood due to these antioxidant and anticancer effects, so the market has been overwhelmed with demand.
Extracting chlorophyll from mulberry leaves is the up and coming trend within this wellness movement. It’s being compared to chlorophyll from alfalfa, and on a compound level there is virtually no difference.
Mulberry leaves bring their own healing properties to the table. They have been closely linked to the betterment of blood pressure levels, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and inflammation of tissues within the body.
These are all typical chlorophyll functions, but the mulberry leaf version of chlorophyll could make the compound more accessible to the masses, since mulberry trees grow in abundance compared to alfalfa.
Accessibility means affordability, and you’ll no longer have to fork out hundreds of dollars a month to enjoy the healing properties of matcha; you’ll get the same benefits from a chlorophyll drink containing the mulberry leaf extract as a suitable alternative.
ChloroOxygen is a brand of liquid chlorophyll available in gel capsules or as a dropper solution. The chlorophyll concentrate is extracted from the English Stinging Nettle plant, which is known for having a rich source of the compound as well as numerous other mineral benefits.
Chlorophyll and oxygen work hand in hand. They are life givers, and ChloroOxygen is designed to satisfy the natural hunger the human body has for oxygen. It increases the capacity at which hemoglobins can capture oxygen in the lungs and distribute them throughout the body.
ChloroOxygen is particularly helpful for individuals entering high altitude situations, as well as for people who are pregnant. It builds red blood cells, provides liver protection and acts as an intestinal deodorizer. If any fungus is present in the body, ChloroOxygen will work to eliminate it.
Long term use of ChloroOxygen is speculated to prevent cancer.
When consumed fresh, alfalfa is a type of sprout that has a grassy, bitter and sweet flavor combination. There are numerous health benefits associated with the regular intake of alfalfa as a supplement.
Alfalfa supplements usually come in capsule or powdered form. Most green powders contain some sort of alfalfa extract.
Alfalfa powder benefits include the powerful ability to bring cholesterol levels into balance. Kidney, bladder and prostate conditions are treatable with alfalfa powder. There is also evidence to suggest that alfalfa works to bring blood sugar under control, as well as to relieve certain symptoms associated with menopause.
Some individuals have seen tremendously positive results when using alfalfa powder for the treatment of osteoarthritis, asthma, arthritis and certain bleeding disorders. It seems that this plant has a myriad of positive effects on the human body.
In addition to chlorophyll, alfalfa has a high concentrate of antioxidants, magnesium, copper, folate and Vitamin C & K. People who diet find alfalfa particularly great because of its low calorie content.
Chlorophyll Tablets / Chlorophyll Supplement
If you’re interested in incorporating chlorophyll into your daily life, you’ll have to choose the best form of it for your body.
There are pros and cons to the different forms of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll drops, for example, are great for topical uses and for combining into water/ointments. If you’d like to reap the rewards of digested chlorophyll, you’ll need to choose between tablets and supplements.
Tablets are more concentrated than powdered supplements, as they are singularly focused. Powders tend to contain a cocktail of ingredients that work in conjunction with the chlorophyll, almost like a daily dose of all nutrients the body needs. In a way, this is fantastic because you’re addressing multiple needs with one supplement. But for those who don’t have the time/resources to mix a green drink each day, a tablet form of chlorophyll may be more convenient.
Run a search for chlorophyll on Amazon for a visual breakdown of the many product options.
How Much Chlorophyll to Take?
The practice of consuming chlorophyll is a very new form of healing, and is yet to be formally recognized by modern science. For this reason, chlorophyll is not a regulated substance, and the ideal dosage varies from person to person.
The Oregon State University believes that a suitable daily intake of chlorophyll per individual is between 100 to 300 mg per day, and if possible this total intake should be divided into three doses throughout the day.
It’s perfectly suitable for you to bring up chlorophyll supplements with your doctor if you are interested in their benefits but unsure about your dosage. Thankfully, chlorophyll is one of the safest supplements on the market and there is no evidence of negative side effects due to accidental overconsumption.
Chlorophyll Absorption Spectrum
Earlier we touched on chlorophyll’s role in light absorption. The full spectrum of colors combined produces white light. We know that chlorophyll does not absorb the green wavelength of light from this spectrum, which is why it instead reflects the color green physically.
Any compound that absorbs light comes with what is known as its absorption spectrum. This is made up of the various different color wavelengths that the compound does absorb, and not the ones it avoids.
The following chart clearly shows the wavelength absorption spectrum of chlorophyll A and chlorophyll B as they relate to photosynthesis. As you can see, the variables drop completely when the compounds meet the green waves, and it is this wavelength that reflects the color we see in the physical world.
The absorption spectrum affects all forms of plant and fauna life.
By Khan Academy - Website
Chlorophyll Side Effects
As stated, there are no known risks or side effects associated with taking chlorophyll long term. That being said, pregnant women are encouraged to consult with a doctor before committing to a specific dosage of daily chlorophyll.
Though rare, some people report experiencing cramps and mild diarrhea due to their chlorophyll intake. Because this compound is such a powerful detoxifier, these side effects could merely be part of the detox process and not a direct effect of the chlorophyll itself. Chlorophyll pushes the body to get rid of whatever is not serving it, which makes diarrhea unsurprising.
A common side effect for people who take chlorophyll regularly is green stained stools. This is natural and no cause for alarm, though it may seem frightening to anyone at first discovery.
When to Take Chlorophyll?
Depending on the dosage you decide upon, you’ll either be taking chlorophyll once, twice or thrice a day. Green powders are best absorbed in the morning as a juice or smoothie, while tablet supplements can be taken during various times of the day.
A tablet form of chlorophyll is best digested alongside a healthy fat. For this reason, tablet forms of chlorophyll should be taken with meals, if possible. Fats that promote the absorption of chlorophyll include avocado, nuts and olive oil.
If you are using chlorophyll topically, you’ll need to follow the instructions stipulated on the product in question. Topical chlorophyll as a concentrate is absolutely safe, but if it has been combined with other ingredients there may be some risks associated with those.
For best results, chlorophyll should be taken daily as opposed to sporadically.
Taking Chlorophyll at Night
Some people prefer to take their supplements at night, just before going to sleep. Chlorophyll before sleep is an interesting concept, as the compound affects the blood sugar of each user very differently.
Chlorophyll prevents blood sugar from dropping, which is usually what makes us feel sleepy. At night, you may feel that chlorophyll gives you a very mild energetic spike that makes sleep feel undesirable at that particular time.
That being said, taking chlorophyll last thing in the evening means your body will be at rest shortly thereafter, paving the way for deep absorption of the minerals and nutrients contained in chlorophyll.
DIY Chlorophyll Water
Simply adding a few drops of liquid chlorophyll to each glass of water makes for a decent daily intake of this nutrient dense compound.
That being said, not everyone is partial to the taste of straight chlorophyll. Some may find that it gives the water an ‘earthy’ undertone. Chlorophyll will turn your water a vibrant emerald green color.
It’s very easy to mask the earthy notes in the water. Most people do so by adding a squeeze of fresh lemon into the mix, or having a lemon slice in the water at all times.
A great alternative to lemon is mint, and just a few fresh leaves will disguise the chlorophyll taste almost entirely.
Personally, we like to make our water as tasty as possible, so our go-to for DIY chlorophyll water is a combination of chlorophyll drops, lemon, cucumber and mint. We find this to be a great opportunity to explore different ways of making infused water, as fruits and herbs easily cover up that chlorophyll essence.
You can also make chlorophyll water by juicing certain fruits and vegetables and diluting the concentrate into your daily water source. The following foods are rich in chlorophyll when juiced:
- Green peppers
- Swiss chard
- Any algae
- Any sea vegetables
- Cannabis stems and flowers
Another great way to increase the mineral content of your drinking water is to consider using copper vessels to store your water before you mix it with chlorophyll. Copper water vessels have been used for centuries to purify and enhance drinking water. To learn more about copper water vessels, check out our guide on the subject: Copper Vessels: Ultimate Guide.
About the Authors: This article was collaboratively written by our team of researchers and writers with the benefit of all available scientific studies and other relevant literature. Our team of researchers and writers include experienced health researchers. Please note that information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.