Facts on the Chlorella Plant


Chlorella is just one of approximately 25,000 types of algae that exists in the world. One reason chlorella stands out is that the plant is one of the few algae that is edible. This type of algae grows in freshwater sources, particularly those with high concentrations of phosphates and nitrates.


Chlorella is sometimes referred to as sun chlorella or green algae. The plant gets its name from the Greek words for "green" and "small." The plant typically measures only a few microns long.


Chlorella is one of the simplest life forms, and has been growing on Earth for millions of years. According to the American Cancer Society, the discovery that this type of algae could be eaten was made in the late 1800s (see Resources).

Health Benefits

A key fact about Chlorella is that, when taken as a nutritional supplement, the plant can be an effective antioxidant. The algae can help shrink tumors and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Adverse Reactions

If you take Chlorella supplements or come in contact with the algae and develop a rash or hives, you may be allergic to the plant.

Edible Forms

Chlorella as a nutritional supplement is available in the form of pills, extracts and powder that is mixed with water.

Who Can Help

  • Chlorella facts from the American Cancer Society

About this Author

Erica Roth has been a freelance writer since 2007. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a college reference librarian for eight years. Roth earned a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Brandeis University and Master of Library Science from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science.