Spirulina is a form of blue-green algae that grows in from warm, fresh bodies of water. It is a simple, one-celled organism that got its name from the Latin word for ‘helix’ or ‘spiral’ because of its spring-like physical characteristic. The use of spirulina as a food source dates to the 9th century and it is believed spirulina was used by the Aztecs in 16th century Mexico. It was rediscovered in the 1950’s. Spirulina didn’t come into commercial production until the 1970’s when a French company began the first large scale spirulina production plant. Within a few years, America and Japan began producing their own spirulina. Spirulina has more protein than red meat.
Today, these nutrient-rich algae are being used around the world to help treat illness and are being seriously discussed as a sustainable source of food with the potential to end world hunger. Unlike most plants, which need to be cultivated and nurtured, spirulina is a survivor, able to withstand extreme temperature variations and neglect and still thrive. According to studies, spirulina is being successfully used to treat a wide variety of ailments including Candida, HIV, seasonal allergies, hypertension, high cholesterol, anemia, pancreas or liver dysfunction and cataracts.
Spirulina comes in capsules, tablets, powders and flakes. The recommended daily dose is typically between 3 to 5 grams. In addition to being your powerhouse of essential vitamins and minerals, spirulina is a potent detoxifier. For that reason, it is best to start with a small dose and work your way up. Once you see how your body responds, you can then gradually increase your intake. Since spirulina detoxifies the body, you must drink plenty of water to get the full benefits. You should not take spirulina if you have a severe seafood or iodine allergy, if you are pregnant or nursing or have hyperthyroidism. Always consult your doctor prior to starting any new supplements.
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