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Chlorophyll: The Color Wheel of Life
When landscapers help keep your garden green, they're piggybacking on the work of chlorophyll. Learn how it gives plants and humans energy with our introduction.
A molecule found inside the vast majority of plant life, chlorophyll is responsible for flora’s green color, from deciduous trees in springtime to broccoli on a dinner plate. But, its benefits go beyond merely being nature’s paintbrush and actually take root in humanity’s own survival, as its function in plants mirrors our ability to convert energy.
Chlorophyll converts light into usable energy through a chemical process called photosynthesis. This process is fundamental to providing plants with sustenance in the form of glucose—a source of energy—giving flowers the vitality to unfurl a new blossom and trees a new leaf. Despite its appearances, this system of plants absorbing water through their roots and air through their leaves is very similar to our own digestive system. When you eat something wholesome and fulfilling—a hearty salad or a plate of nachos without the sour cream—your digestive system takes that meal and transforms it into glucose. This cycle comes full circle when we consume items packed with chlorophyll, such as spinach, kale, and green beans.
Studies suggest that chlorophyll may be able to prevent colon cancer and other types of cancer, aiding in blood regeneration, and reversing anemia or signs of aging. Naturopaths also tout the molecule as an effective antioxidant and health supplement, justifying urges to trim your neighbor’s lawn with your teeth. And since plants emit oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis, chlorophyll is fundamental to human survival, whether we choose to eat it or not.