When the Spanish conquistadors conquered the Aztec Empire of Mexico, they found the natives subsisting on a green substance which abounded on Lake Texcoco, near present-day Mexico City. The consumption of spirulina by the Aztecs perhaps helps to explain the vitality of these people who built enormous temples and cities and nurtured a culture rich in art, mathematics, and philosophy. The Mayans of the Yucatan Peninsula, who lived in a jungle environment not well suited for agriculture, also thrived on spirulina. Spirulina is a safe whole food consumed by traditional peoples for centuries. It has been enjoyed for over 15 years as a natural food supplement by millions of people in places such as the USA, Japan and Europe.
Spirulina is highly nutritious and is probably the richest source of protein available. It is approximately 65-71% protein, depending on growing conditions. The protein provides all the required amino acids in a form which is five times easier to digest than meat or soy protein. Laboratory tests have revealed that spirulina produces 20 times more protein than soybeans and 40 times more protein than corn and beef.
Like most other microorganisms, there is a lot more to spirulina than just protein. Spirulina also has 26 times the calcium of milk, a high chlorophyll content, vitamin A precursors, eight essential amino acids, and many other important vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc and manganese. It is easily digested because it lacks a hard cellulose wall and is a safe food with no side effects.
Spirulina has been tested in Japan and Europe and has been found to benefit people suffering from many ailments including: anemia, cataracts, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, glaucoma, hepatitis and physical imbalances.
Spirulina has also been found to normalize the levels of Immunoglobin E in the blood. Two hundred and seventy children living in highly radioactive areas in Chernobyl had chronic radiation sickness and elevated levels of Immunogloblin E (IgE), a marker for high allergy sensitivity. Thirty-five of these children were prescribed a steady amount of spirulina. Studies showed that consuming spirulina lowered the levels of IgE in the blood, which in turn normalized allergic sensitivities to the body.
Spirulina has also been shown to possess the ability to reduce kidney damage. One study proved that the toxicity of mercury in rats was lowered when spirulina became a regular part of their diets.
Spirulina is currently being promoted in Australia and America for its appetite suppressing abilities. It is used as a diet aid to help obese, compulsive eaters to eat less. Because it is so high in protein and contains essential vitamins and minerals, it is an ideal health food accompaniment for snacks and for people prone to obesity. The concentration of protein found in spirulina makes compulsive eaters feel full. In addition, one of the amino acids, phenylaline, works to turn off the hunger center of the brain.
Spirulina is a high powered source of protein and other essential vitamins and minerals, and it stays potent for years.
Suggested intake is two capsules with meals three times a day.
“Fresh Water Harvest” by Russell Frank Atkinson in Nature & Health Australia (Spring 1982).
Health Food Handbook, Historical Uses Series (Dallas, Texas: Sheila Bullock, 1992).
Nutritional Herbology by Mark Peterson (Warsaw, Indiana: Wendell W. Whitman Company, 1994).
“Russian Patent Awarded for Spirulina as a Medicine to Reduce Allergic Reactions from Radiation Sickness” in Townsend Letter for Doctors (July 1995).
“Spirulina, A Wonderful High-Protein food” by Noel Pickering in Nature & Health (Vol. 5 No. 5, Summer).
“Spirulina Reduces Kidney Damage” in Herbalgram (No. 24, 1991).
The How to Herb Book by Velma J. Keith and Monteen Gordon (Pleasant Grove, Utah: Mayfield Publications, 1990).
The Ultimate Healing System by Don Lepore (Provo, Utah: Woodland Books, 1988)
“Spirulina” in Sunshine Sharing (Vol. 4 No. 3).