Botanical name: Arthrospira platensis, Arthrospira maximus
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that grows wild in alkaline volcanic lakes. It is a remarkable source of highly bioavailable protein and essential amino acids, and is the richest plant source of vitamin B12. Modern studies have shown spirulina to possess anti-cancer effects and antiviral properties. It is a powerful tonic for the immune system, activating many different immune cells and organs involved in immune function. Spirulina is a popular product for detoxification as it helps to bind heavy metals, which the body can then excrete. It has been shown to increase the presence of beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidus by acting as a “food” for these friendly flora. Spirulina is recommended for the treatment of anaemia, cancer, cholesterol, detoxification, malnourishment, immunity and radiation poisoning. Useful when fasting or breastfeeding.
Preparation: The average daily intake for adults is 2,000 to 3,000 milligrams, for children 500 to 1,500 milligrams.
Reference: Michael Tierra (1988) Planetary Herbology, p.130;Mark Stengler (2001)The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies, p.425
Spirulina Common Uses
Contaminated blue-green algae can cause liver damage, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, weakness, thirst, rapid heartbeat, shock, and death. Don’t use any blue-green algae product that hasn’t been tested and found free of microcystins and other contamination. Contaminated blue-green algae products contain harmful toxins that might be transferred to an infant during pregnancy or through breast milk. Stay on the safe side and avoid use. Blue-green algae might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. Blue-green algae might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders. Avoid Spirulina species blue-green algae products if you have phenylketonuria.