Green Gold
January 17, 2019 5:46 PM   Subscribe

The early 1950s were boom years for chlorophyll. Hailed as a miracle odor-buster, it was added to everything from cigarettes to dish soap, as Tedium's Ernie Smith reports. While the '50s fad eventually fizzled, pseudoscience profiteers are behind a resurgence of chlorophyll in everything from skin care products to anti-cancer treatments.
posted by duffell (9 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I remember wheatgrass everywhere, then spirulina, and what now, grass fed collagen?
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:05 PM on January 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

I remember getting chlorophyll foot powder in the 80s because I had very bad adolescent foot odor. It genuinely helped.
posted by hippybear at 7:15 PM on January 17, 2019

Sounds like something Sawbones would cover.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. The particulars change from decade to decade, but the marketing tactics remain essentially unchanged since the days of literal snake oil.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:17 PM on January 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

Clorets! I just took it on faith that chlorophyll freshened breath. In fact, one of the first times I ever smoked weed, I figured I'd eliminate the smell by chewing grass on my walk home.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:37 PM on January 17, 2019 [5 favorites]

My mother remembers this period of the 50s to me with something of an eye-roll. I'd never read about it, just remember her saying that it was the hip new pseudoscience fad like radium before it and anti-oxidants after.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 3:42 AM on January 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

I remember wheatgrass everywhere, then spirulina, and what now, grass fed collagen?

Celery Juice.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 6:01 AM on January 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Wow I was sitting here mistaking chlorophyll for chloroform and was deeply confused.
posted by gucci mane at 7:17 AM on January 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

The best tasting gum of all time was Tident Chlorophyll. Widely available in Canada I randomly found a box of it 6 years after it was discontinued in a gas station in the lower mainland. I bought the lot and didn't save a stick. It was a little minty.
posted by zenon at 8:16 AM on January 18, 2019

I remember Clorets, bonobothegreat!

Weird paper [Front. Physiol. 2018] (mice, artificially induced liver damage), but oral chlorophyllin via ad libitum drinking water "rebalanced" gut microbiota (less Firmicutes, more Bacteroidetes - "good" gut bacteria) and ameliorated the artificially induced liver fibrosis (scarring from chronic inflammation) - so maybe not totally snake oil.

But yeah, all those other historic claims - bogus.

I also remember trying Spirulina back in the 80's - tasted terrible. Later, I read somewhere that it's completely devoid of omega-3 fatty acids.
posted by porpoise at 3:10 PM on January 18, 2019

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