The People's Perspective on Medicine

Will Chlorophyll Capsules Make Underarms Smell Sweet?

A reader has found that taking supplemental chlorophyll eliminates underarm and other body odor.

In the ongoing search for ways to control body odor, people have invented some creative solutions. One of the most unusual is swallowing supplemental chlorophyll every day. Is this a good idea?

Chlorella Supplements for Body Odor:

Q. I stopped using any kind of underarm deodorant or antiperspirant almost 20 years ago. Instead I started taking Chlorella, which I’ve heard has the highest proportion of chlorophyll of any food.

Chlorophyll has many properties, and I’ve found that, over time, it completely eliminates the need for underarm deodorant. I have zero body odor, even if I go a couple of days without a shower.

It’s a great way to get a nutrition-rich food and avoid putting chemicals on my skin every day. I just put approximately a quarter teaspoon of Chlorella powder in water every morning, drink it down and I’m good to go. This green algae did the trick for me.

Studies on This Use of Chlorella Are Scarce:

A. There hasn’t been much research on whether consuming chlorophyll reduces body odor. The scientific articles we were able to locate dated back to the 1950s. Perhaps others can share their own experience with this natural supplement.

A Warning:

We need to issue just one note of caution. Certain individuals may develop an unpleasant skin condition called “pseudoporphyria” if they consume too much chlorophyll (Rossi et al, Australasian Journal of Dermatology, Feb. 2015).  Just eating green vegetables won’t trigger this nasty rash, but supplements might.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Chlorophyl is what they use in salt blocks on ranches (I grew up on a ranch in Texas), and used it on cattle to keep them from smelling so the flies would not land on them.

As kids we would break off a bit of it and chew on it. Years later when I had a funny under arm odor I called my mother and said, “Mom what do I do?”. She said find chlorophyll, remember that makes you stop smelling. I have recommended that to people who have bad breath as well. I have not used underarm deodorant for over 40 years. You can buy it in capsules, liquid or powder form.

I use organic lemon juice from a bottle which I keep in the fridge. It works amazingly well. After antiperspirant made me smell terrible, I tried MOM, but it wasn’t very effective. Then I tried apple cider vinegar, and it was better for a while. I assume the bacteria changes with each new substance. Lemon juice is the most consistently effective. I even use it after shaving without discomfort.

When I was a teenager and my brother was a few years younger he had a terrible body odor and my mother discovered chlorophyll tablets which she started giving to him and it stopped the odor altogether.

Since reading all the Peoples’ Pharmacy articles and responses about body odor, I noted they mentioned body odor comes from bacteria. Duh. So I started using a 50% solution of white vinegar & water in a little spray bottle. Works great. The little bottle gets double duty doing a quick and dirty clean up of the bathroom sink. (This came from a European experience, where they sell vinegar based bathroom cleaners.)

I also use chlorella supplements for body odour as have my teenagers – we have found it very effective.

I remember when I was a kid, back in the 1950’s, there was a brief fad for canned dog food with chlorophyll (no kidding!). Supposedly it helped prevent “doggie breath.” We didn’t notice any difference, and this seems to be now forgotten. And you could get chlorophyll toothpaste, too (for humans, not dogs).

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