Liquid chlorophyll has been taking over TikTok and Instagram reels, but is the green pigment a wellness gamechanger, or just another fad? 

 “Some nutrients are beneficial in one form or amount, but they may become dicey when taken in higher concentrations. I think eating more green plants is a much better way to get this pigment” — Dr Akanksha Singh

The rise of Instagram reels and TikTok over the past year have led to the revival of viral trends, including thrifting, candle making, and grooming tricks. Lately, Gen Z has been obsessed with liquid chlorophyll. 

Remember chlorophyll? After all, it dominated all science books in school. It is a pigment that gives plants their green colour, but as of now, the #chlorophyll hashtag has more than millions of views on social media platforms.

According to The Cut, users claim that adding 15 drops of the natural green liquid to your morning glass of water increases energy levels, clear skin, helps in weight loss, and even reduces body odour. It’s natural, it’s an appealing verdant shade, but is this simply another Internet trend, or something you should actually try?

Liquid chlorophyll is a concentrated form of the naturally-derived substance that gives plants their green pigment, and is also found in green vegetables. Dr Akanksha Singh thinks there is very little research about chlorophyll as a treatment, which means there is a lack of knowledge about its effectiveness, the precise amount to use, and potential side effects or interactions. “Some nutrients are beneficial in one form or amount, but they may become dicey when taken in higher concentrations. I personally think eating more green plants is a much better way to get this pigment and if you do that, you do not need a supplement like chlorophyll,” she says.

Clinical nutritional Lovneet Batra says, “It is safe to consume, but it’s advisable to check with your doctor if one is taking blood-thinning medications. Start slow if you have digestion problems such as diarrhoea. Alkaline and blood purifying properties help to clear acne. It helps in supporting liver health, our main detox centre that helps in supporting better gut health and hormonal balance. It is helpful for fat loss as it helps with mobilising energy from fat stores, however, it may cause digestive distress and worsen bloating for some people.”

Dr Manasi Shirolikar from Remedico explains how to use it. “You could purchase liquid chlorophyll and have a teaspoon every day. The average dosage of chlorophyll in supplements is between 100 and 300mg per day over three divided doses. Although the trend seems to be drinking chlorophyll, it can also be used topically, which has its own benefits, due to its antimicrobial ability, anti-inflammatory activity that can reduce swelling, and the green colour can mask the redness from acne-prone skin. However, topical chlorophyll can be unstable due to oxidation,” she says. 

Chlorophyll is high in vitamins C, A, E, and K, and it has antioxidant properties. Studies indicate topical chlorophyllin, a derivative of chlorophyll that you apply to your skin, can cut down on redness, but there is no data to suggest that liquid chlorophyll can do the same.

Batra suggests using fresh greens to extract the juice instead of consuming chlorophyll supplements in water on an empty stomach after waking up. “Foods rich in chlorophyll such as green beans, mint, basil, and peas are yet another option. So if you’re eating your greens, you’re not only getting the antioxidant properties of chlorophyll water, but you’re also getting more vitamins, minerals, and fibre, all the things that make you your healthiest,” she adds.

If you are already eating or juicing your greens, there is no need to supplement your diet with such a concentrated form of antioxidant for your acne, opines Dr Singh. She continues, “It occurs naturally in most of the plants we eat, so ramping up your green vegetable intake, particularly with veggies like spinach, kale, and cabbage, is a natural way to increase the amount of chlorophyll in your diet. If you want to ensure you’re consuming enough chlorophyll, wheatgrass shots are good as they are packed with nutrients like protein, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, and many other essential nutrients.”

Overconsumption is an issue when it comes to any such dietary change. Shirolikar says, “In some rare cases, consuming too much liquid chlorophyll can lead to ‘pseudoporphyria’, a blistering rash that develops upon exposure to sunlight. The risk is low, but still possible. Overall, drinking liquid chlorophyll is a fairly harmless beauty trend, but it may not give you the results you’re looking for. Liquid chlorophyll has not been proven to have any effect on acne or redness, but given its anti-inflammatory properties, it could have some benefit.”

With the guidance from these experts, the judgement is out on the chlorophyll trend since its claimed benefits do not have a lot of research behind them. But, just like with everything, it seems the balance is key. If you eat a well-balanced diet with lots of greens, you’re consuming chlorophyll and its benefits already

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