What is Chlorella? (with pictures)

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

Most popular supplements come from traditionally-grown herbs and plants on land. Chlorella, a supplement with many different healthful properties, is not one of these. Instead, it is a type of single-celled green algae.

Chlorella might be used to reduce high blood pressure.
Chlorella might be used to reduce high blood pressure.

High in antioxidant properties, the algae may reduce high blood pressure and accelerate wound healing. It can also enhance immune functions. The plant has also been found to have anti-tumor properties when given to mice. As such, many cancer patients take the remedy. It may enhance immune functions, reduce high blood pressure, help in weight control, and restore damaged cells within the brain.

Chlorella algae typically grows in fresh water.
Chlorella algae typically grows in fresh water.

Unlike many other supplements, chlorella may have positive effects on infants. Breastfeeding mothers who take the algae may lessen the levels of dioxin in their milk. Herbal supplements should not, however, be taken by women who are pregnant, nursing, or by children without the supervision of a physician.

Cleansing properties of the remedy may extend to heavy metal poisoning. It has also shown promise in the detoxification of pesticides within the body. It has been used in many areas, particularly in Japan, for removing poisonous substances from the body.

Many people take chlorella in a combination with other algae-related supplements, such as spirulina. While the chlorella cleanses the body, spirulina stimulates an environment for better health and body building. A typical recommended dose of either supplement is between a tenth and a quarter of an ounce (four and seven grams).

Nutritionally, chlorella is considered a super food. A complete protein, the algae is full of other essential nutrients. It contains carbohydrates, vitamins, amino acids, minerals, fats, calories, and fiber. For these reasons, the plant can often be purchased in health food stores as a protein supplement.

The algae's health benefits, combined with the its rapid growth rate and low cost, once made it considered an option as a food source to solve global hunger. The difficulty to produce such vast amounts of chlorella, coupled with the public's dislike of its flavor, led to its ultimate lack of use for the issue. The supplement can also lose its potency when processed in any way.

Chlorella is a spherical organism. Though it does not contain flagella like many other single-celled creatures, it is composed of the green pigmentation chlorophyll. Sometimes chlorella can create problems within aquariums. When nitrate and phosphate levels rise, or if an aquarium is kept in direct sunlight, the algae can develop, causing the aquarium water to turn green. This can be remedied by moving the tank away from a light source, or by decreasing the water's phosphate and nitrate levels.

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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Discussion Comments

rosequartz

The benefits of chlorella include the removal of mercury from your body if you've ever had dental fillings, received a vaccine, used certain types of cookware or eaten fish.

For these reasons alone, I'm considering taking a chlorella supplement.

tribulus

Chlorella is, I think, one of the richest whole foods that have many health benefits if it is used regularly.

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    • Chlorella might be used to reduce high blood pressure.
      Chlorella might be used to reduce high blood pressure.
    • Chlorella algae typically grows in fresh water.
      Chlorella algae typically grows in fresh water.