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Spirulina – (Spirulina spp.)


Spirulina is a kind of blue-green algae that can be found growing in many lakes and ponds. It has been a food for thousands of years in Mexico, Africa and Asia. It is a herb rich in amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Most commercial product is grown in the lab today, so you needn't worry about heavy metal contamination unless you use supplements from bodies of water that have these issues.


Key Medicinal Uses

Internally – Spirulina boosts the immune system by increasing the production of antibodies and other cells to fight off infection and illness. It can treat anemia due to its high iron content. Algae may help with allergies since it helps inhibit histamines. The herb encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria, especially after a course of antibiotics. Studies are promising that it may be helpful against herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus and HIV as well as other infections.

It may be useful when dealing with oral cancers and liver problems like hepatitis and cirrhosis. It may help malnutrition, weight loss and chronic fatigue syndrome. It may also help reduce fasting blood sugar levels for diabetics. It may help with eye disorders like glaucoma and blepharitis. It has also been used for peptic ulcers, pancreatitis, stress and hair loss, although no studies have been done to see the results for these ailments.

Externally – The herb is added to some skin care products because it moisturizes and tightens the skin. It can reduce inflammation for arthritis.

Herbs to Combine/Supplement

Combine spirulina with zinc to counteract arsenic poisoning.

Parts Used

Whole plant – The entire plant is used medicinally.


There are no known toxicities connected to spirulina. Studies on animals show that it is safe during pregnancy, but it is not known if results will be the same on people. If you suffer from phenylketonuria (PKU), do not take without consulting your care provider.

Some reported side effects include headache, muscle pain, sweating, difficulty concentrating and flushing of the face. Some have also reported skin reactions. Side effects are noted with 1 gram or more taken per day.

The herb may interact with medications taken for immune system problems, high blood pressure, inflammation, diabetes, high cholesterol, viruses and neurologic conditions. Watch for problems with antihistamines and blood thinners.

Preparation and Dosage

Spirulina is available commercially in pills or powder. While it is beneficial to consult a care provider for the correct dosage for the individual, standard doses range from 4 to 6 200 mg tablets per day. Following the directions on the label is safe for most people.

Spirulina Herbal Remedies Top