Spirulina is one of hundreds of algae species and is commonly known as blue green algae. Algae, including spirulina, are tiny organisms that usually grow on inland waters throughout the world. It looks like a blue-green scum. Algae is usually divided by color. Some of the different algae are blue-green, green, yellow-green, red, and brown. World-wide there are 8000 species of green algae. Of the three main types of algae, spirulina is the easiest to digest.
Unlike most other herbal plants, spirulina does not have roots, leaves, or stems. Spirulina does contain chlorophyll and carries on photosynthesis. Unlike many other plants, spirulina creates proteins and sugars just as animals do.
The Aztecs of Mexico ate it as a staple food. They dried it and spread it on tortillas. Africans of the Sahara region also use dried spirulina with grains and vegetables. Around the world, spirulina is used as a food source for animals and humans.
Spirulina contains antioxidants that enhance the immune system. It is highly nutritious and is an excellent source of protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. For example, it has 26 times the calcium of milk. It also contains phosphorus, B12, iron, and is easily digested. It is a safe food with no side effects and is easy to store. In fact, it has been called the "Manna of the future." It is used to treat anemia, cataracts, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, glaucoma, hepatitis, and physical imbalances. It also aids weight loss.
Here is more on spirulina's ability to enhance the immune system. It appears to increase production of anti-inflammatory chemicals known as interferons and interleukins. Consequently, some believe that spirulina may decrease or prevent some allergic responses and block the release of histamine from mast cells during an allergic reaction. By doing this, spirulina may prevent or lessen histamine's effects. These would include muscle contraction, blood vessel expansion, and stomach acid production.
The antioxidant and immune-enhancing properties in spirulina may help fight cancer. It also helps to release tumor necrosis factor alpha, a chemical in the body that attacks tumor cells. Besides fighting cancer, spirulina also appears to block the entrance of viral cells into host cells. Several viruses, including HIV were apparently killed or damaged by spirulina in tests.
Spirulina is an exceptionally potent nutrient substance. NASA stated, "The Nutritional value of 1kg spirulina is equivalent to 1,000 kgs of assorted fruits and vegetables." Spirulina is 85 percent protein, compared with 20 percent in beef. It contains all the essential amino acids and most of the nonessential ones. In addition, as noted above, it is extremely high in vitamins and minerals.
Spirulina is available in tablets, capsules, and powder. One tablespoon of Spirulina powder is about 7,000 mg (7 grams). Follow the directions on the manufacturer's package that you buy. Doses recommended are from one gram to ten grams a day or about two teaspoons. More is needed for serious illnesses such as hepatitis where four tsp per day are recommended. Consume as much as you desire; it may be used as the primary protein source in the diet. Some make smoothies with spirulina; others just sprinkle it on their food like cinnamon. Spirulina powder can be added to fruit or vegetable juices or to dishes to make it more nutritious. It is tasty in soups, salads, pasta, or mixed with yoghurt. Just remember that it is most effective uncooked.
There are more benefits of the Spirulina powder to be discovered. Visit More Than Alive, an online store for bulk herbs and a trusted resource where you can get Spirulina herb and learn about the great advantages your body will receive from this and many other herbs.