Why are plants green?

Have you ever wondered what makes a plant like hemp green? High school biology classes will glance over this briefly, but let’s take a closer look.

A green pigment called chlorophyll gives plants, including hemp, their characteristic green color. There are other pigments in nature, which is why there are other colors, but only chlorophyll allows an organism to absorb energy and build tissue.

Through the process of photosynthesis, plants use the absorbed sunlight in chlorophyll and convert it to carbon dioxide and water. Then, it’s converted into sugar. This provides plants with the energy needed to sustain life.

Health Benefits

Though more studies need to be done to concretely confirm the many touted benefits of chlorophyll, the pigment does show promise in improving health and wellness. You can find chlorophyll supplements just about anywhere. Wheatgrass, for example, consists of about 70% chlorophyll. A 2004 study suggested that wheatgrass reduced the number of blood transfusions needed in people with thalassemia, a blood disorder.

Other benefits are more impressive. One animal study found that high doses of chlorophyll reduced the incidence of liver tumors by up to 63%, and stomach tumors by 24 to 45%.

A clinical trial in China plans to look at the effect of chlorophyllin on liver cancer over 20 years according to the international business times.

Though the jury is still out on the confirmed benefits of chlorophyllin-- the supplement form of chlorophyll, the pigment is still quite promising. 

Written by Luke Carmosino

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