The mechanistic basis of chromotherapy: Current knowledge and future perspectives

Complement Ther Med. 2019 Oct;46:217-222. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2019.08.025. Epub 2019 Aug 30.


Chromotherapy is a method of treatment that uses wavelengths in the visible region for curing different diseases and medical conditions. Recent advances in photobiology and the speciality of Photobiomodulation are uncovering the cellular and molecular effects of visible range electromagnetic radiation. We discuss the reported effects of visible range radiation on cells (in vitro and in vivo) and the attempted explanations of the underlying processes with regard to therapeutic effects. Some of the important advances in this area are reviewed, especially the effects of visible light on bacteria, enzymes and the use of visible light for wound healing and treatment of psychiatric diseases for the purpose of explaining the therapeutic implications of chromotherapy. We highlight the correlation of wavelengths used between recently uncovered mechanisms of photobiology and conventional chromotherapy. The elucidation of mechanisms of the cellular and molecular interaction of light will help in deciphering the scientific background of chromotherapy and will help in the application of this alternative therapeutic treatment to many other diseases.

Keywords: Cellular effects; Chromotherapy; Photomedicine; Visible range radiation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Color Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Light
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Radiotherapy / methods
  • Wound Healing / drug effects