Some Effects of Color on Plants and Animals
Many types of invisible radiation – infra-red,
ultra-violet, x-ray, etc. – have been harnessed by science
to perform definite functions.
Surely it is reasonable to conclude that equal
attention, given to evaluating and using the properties of
the colors which constitute the visible spectrum, produce
Variations in the type of light ray striking the eye
can affect muscular, mental, and nervous activity.
For example, it has been demonstrated that colored
light can increase normal muscular tension.
Investigation showed that muscular tension rose
slightly under blue light.
Green light increased it a little more.
Yellow light raised it to thirty units from a normal
a person is subjected to a given color, his psychological
and physical condition may be affected.
It is gradually being recognized that the finer
forces of nature accomplish more than the rough crude
substances prescribed by physicians.
The light cure is nature’s own.
The source of all life, the sun, contains within it
practically everything of which the earth is composed.
It is thus not surprising to find that the colors
which the spectroscope reveals are indicative of various
metals and gases given off in the form of ethers varying in
intensity and quality. Some
of these colors are termed heat or thermal colors and others
The trinity of colors, the red, yellow and blue,
finds representation in the three great elements of hydrogen,
carbon and oxygen which constitute so much of the world,
much of the substance of the vegetable world, sugars, gums,
starches and ethers, alcohol and many acids.
Colored glass hinders the passing through it of
certain rays. When
these are shut off, certain definite results are produced.
A long time ago it was found that placing plants
under colored glass gave some astonishing results.
M. Camille Flammarion, the celebrated French
astronomer, found that lettuce placed under red glass grew
four times as quickly as that grown under ordinary sunlight,
shooting up to a great height like a beanstalk.
Under green glass the effect was not so striking but
it grew taller than in direct sunlight.
The effect under blue glass was insignificant.
Various plants subjected to different colored glass
gave diverse results. Indian
corn under white glass measured 25 inches; under red, 18
inches; under green 8 inches; under blue 6 inches.
Beans flourished under white and red glass but
perished under green and blue.
(These reports are not very recent, but merit further
If the vegetable kingdom is thus affected by colored
glass it is natural to infer that the animal kingdom is
likewise affected, and experiments have proved that it is.
Experiments made upon the animal showed remarkable
variations in response to color.
Finsen of Denmark placed some earthworms in a box
covered with glass in different colors and found they all
crowded under the red glass.
Butterflies he found collected under the blue
Effects of Color on Plants and Animals, page 2
The earthworms require darkness and heat therefore
sought the dark red rays.
Butterflies love the sun which passes through the
Bees, according to trials made by another
experimenter, give more and better honey when brought up in
blue light instead of white.
That light has an influence upon muscular force was
discovered when it was found that Light flashed in front of
the eyes greatly increases muscular strength but diminishes
it if continued too long.
Experiments along this line should be made with care,
however, as the nervous stimulation caused might prove
injurious to health.
The method of color healing is to create harmony in
the nerves and all parts of the body and mind.
Over-exposure to any one color can be remedied by
using the opposite color.
Color is perhaps best used as a part of other methods
and not considered to be a cure-all although there are
certainly instances where their performance has seemed
Light is used today to speed up plant life, make eggs
germinate faster, maintain the weight of animals, add
vitamins to milk and beer, kill fungi, stimulate glands and
and nails grow faster under light.
Ultra violet is said to increase the flowering of
plants; red and orange the aroma.
We know all life depends upon the sun.
Plants bending toward the sun show the effects of
sun rays also can kill animal and plant life.
Invisible rays may affect all mankind more than we
Actinic rays are vital to all the processes of man.
Life in light. Chemical
rays, the blue and violet, affect the leaves of plants.
Actinic glass transmits light of high visibility (as
green), but reduces the intensity of both infra-red and
ultra violet, and is often used to protect the eyes of
The proper lighting produces chlorophyll and growth,
makes plants stand heat better.
Yellow light, of small power, makes plants grow green
The red, orange and yellow heat rays produce heat
through the power to create chemical reactions in the body.
The more resistance they find, the more heat is
orange prevents freezing in orchards; and when thrown on the
thermometer it raises the temperature.
Red light increases the activity of amoebas.
Refrangible rays encourage growth.
Dark heat rays do not penetrate as well as lighter
ones and often not through glass.
Red rays combined with yellow rays have the most
Human skin allows bright short waves to penetrate and
does not reflect them.
Effects of Color on Plants and Animals, page 3
Cold rays, blue green, make the iris of the eyes
contract and also affects the rods and cones of the eye.
Animals and children develop better in controlled
Sunburn is not a burn, as it develops hours after
exposure. It is
an irritation caused by penetration of ultra violet rays.
Light burn under X-ray is the same.
Negroes do not sunburn, and brunettes burn less than
animals also sunburn, spotted ones only on the white spots.
Tan is due to increased pigmentation caused by
actinic rays, not heat.
Blue and yellow rays penetrate as much as .80 inch,
sometimes as much as 1.5 inches.
Some light rays penetrate to 2.4 inches.
Light rays dilate the blood vessels, increase red
blood cells, increase movement of white corpuscles,
(leucocytes), destroy bacteria, increase active tissue
cells, the gelatin substance (collagen) between tissues and
in bones, increase activity of mucous membrane, dilate lymph
space, assist tissue in battle against parasites, increase
oxidizing power of blood.
Application of light rays in one spot can affect the
entire blood stream through circulation and eliminations of
Incandescent lights and colors heal by stimulation,
oxidation of toxins and vitalization, allowing nature to
produce healing. Freund
of Germany uses them for skin diseases, neuralgia,
rheumatism, muscle soreness, swelling joints and muscles.
Long repeated treatment plus proper diet produces
Any process, light or heat, that draws blood to the
skin relieves congestion of liver, spleen, lungs, stomach,
intestines, spinal cord.
All vital organs have direct connection with the skin
through the arteries, blood vessels and capillaries.
The Biochemical Basis of Color
Water has the property of accelerating all kinds of
chemical reactions. Man
and all organisms are preponderantly water.
Living matter is peculiar in the speed with which
hydrolytic, oxidative and reduction reactions occur in it.
In addition to water, other agents called enzymes
promote catalysis. These
enzymes act only on substances having particular molecular
Carbon atoms form the building stones of living
matter because they have the power of combining with other
elements to form the complex substances like proteins and
carbohydrates; and also because they are especially
“optically active”, that is they rotate the plane of
polarization of a beam of light passing through them,
turning it left or right.
Pasteur claimed that the power of building up
optically active compounds is a unique prerogative of life.
It would seem as if there must be some intimate
relation between color production and optically active
Effects of Color on Plants and Animals, page 4
Living matter contains many substances insoluble in
water. These are
called lipins, (Greek, lipos, fats) amongst which are the
essential substratus of living matter. Cholesterol, one of
these, is an important lipin in the brain remarkable for its
power of forming pigments and for its color effects.
These fats behave in a manner that can be duplicated
by linseed oil, and there is a curious resemblance between
linseed oil and proto-plasmic respiration.
Linseed oil takes in oxygen and gives off carbon just
as a nerve does. Ultra
violet light accelerates this respiration in linseed oil
just as it does in protoplasm.
The reaction begins slowly and then speeds up.
The intensity of the response is sometimes totally
out of proportion to the intensity of the external
Every theory of vision involves a theory of the
chemical process on the retina and eventually implies a
theory of nerve conduction.
Troland suggests that pulse frequency is responsible
for the cortical process underlying brilliance of color.
The hue may depend on the nerve arrangements tuned to
a particular wave length, such as red.
Some sort of light is present in nerve conduction,
just as every activity of protoplasm is accompanied by an
In a perfectly dark room a band of red light will be
seen to have projecting from its sides reddish blue arcs.
When the eyes are closed a true after image of this
can be obtained. Nerve
fibers when stimulated give off radiation; what one is
really seeing are his own nerve currents.
Carbon dioxide is given off by the unexcited nerve
and light may also be given off by the unexcited nerve.
This light given off by the unexcited nerve is
we imagine ourselves to be inside the molecules or
atoms which are absorbing light, the color we would see
would be the complementary of the color which someone outside
the molecules would see as reflected light.
In this sense the internal universe of consciousness
is the external universe turned outside in; and the
objective universe is the internal world turned inside out.
Life is literally a process of combustion.
Each nerve cell is a little wick with its own lamp of
is a synthesis of many little glowings; it depends on
The consciousness of color somehow reduplicates the
physical conditions of color.
The nerve cell is a generator as well as a
processes involve the breaking down and resynthesis of long
chain carbon compounds.
The kind of carbon compounds of which a cell is made
is an expression of the way it has functioned in the past.
This suggests a relation between color and the
structure of the brain.
Effects of Color on Plants and Animals, page 5
Ultra-violet light has a chemical and
bactericidal action on the tissues of the body.
It causes calcium phosphorus, iron and iodine
fixation and is useful in the treatment of rickets.
The chemical reaction of ultra violet light depends
upon its vitamin reaction in the system and it is claimed
that vitamins A,B,C,D and E depend upon ultra violet light.
Bacterial toxins are broken down and there is an
increase of hemoglobin and of the red and white cells in the
Ultra violet light normalizes all metabolism and
glandular activity and accelerates the blood and lymph flow.
It stimulates anti-body production. It also stimulates the
sympathetic nervous system and is a sedative to pain.
The author has had uniform success in the treatment
of syphilitic ulcers with ultra violet.
Ultra violet treatment is very beneficial to people
living in urban centers even if they are not sick, because
these rays have a chemical and bacteriological effect
essential to normal health and well-being.
Treatment with ultra-violet must be used with
much caution, and worked out carefully so that the right
dosage may be applied. The
amount and the patient’s make-up must be taken into
persons can absorb more without injury to the skin than can
blonde persons, but the individual skin reaction must be
At first only short light treatment should be given.
Dr. Wood believes best results are obtained by
irradiating the patient with the deep therapy lamp, causing
a relaxation of the tissues and stimulating capillary
circulation, by which the ultra-violet rays are more quickly
and readily absorbed when given immediately afterwards.
Do not use ultra-violet without the advice of a
physician as the radiation can prove dangerous.