Introduction of Spirulina:Spirulina maxima or Spirulina platensis.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Spirulina, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source algae species, ①.Spirulina maxima or Spirulina platensis, with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of the algae species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of the algae species, the features of the herb Spirulina, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.


Spirulina English Name: Spirulina.
 Latin Name: Various Spirulina species,often including Spirulina maxima or Spirulina platensis.
 Common Names: Dihe, tecuitiatl.
 Property and flavor: characteristics.

 Brief introduction: Spirulina is a blue-green alga, it is collected from freshwater lakes and ponds by harvesters, allow to dry, and then compress into a tablet, capsule, or powder form. It is also added to "health" or "green" drinks, usually notable for their intense green color.

 Spirulina is a class of lower organisms, prokaryotes, filamentous bodies composed of unicellular or multicellular, body length is 200~500 μm, width 5~10 μm, cylindrical, loose or compact regular. The spiral is curved like a clockwork spring, hence the name. It has the functions of reducing the toxic and side effects of cancer radiotherapy and chemotherapy, improving immune function, and reducing blood lipids.

 In the early 1960s, when the French explorer Dr.Clemente explored Africa, he found that the Ganim people on the shore of Lake Chad were still physically strong, energetic, healthy, and long-lived despite the lack of animal protein and even insufficient food and vegetables. After investigation, it was found that they often harvested the spirulina floating on Lake Chad to dry it for consumption and to treat diseases.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Spirulina as the dried alga of the species (1). Spirulina maxima, or (2). Spirulina platensis. It is a plant species of the Spirulina genus, the Oscillatoriaceae family. The dried alga is used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:


 Spirulina:picture of algae Botanical description: Spirulina is a multicellular algae, cylindrical helical filaments, solitary or clustered, algal filament diameter is 5~10 μm, blunt apex, 2~7 spirals. The algae can vibrate and rotate, often rotating rapidly as if around a longitudinal axis, crawling forward. The cellular contents are homogeneous without true nuclei. The algal body is an unbranched filamentous body composed of a single column of cells. The glial sheath has no or only a very thin sheath, and has a regular spiral shape to form an algal colony for reproduction. No heterocysts and metaspores. Due to the different amounts of phycoerythrin and phycocyanin in the body, it presents different body colors, such as blue-green, yellow-green, or purple-red. And has a slender transverse partition. It is a simple reproduction method of prokaryotes, which can divide directly.

 Spirulina:picture of algae Ecological environment: Spirulina grows in all kinds of fresh water and seawater, often planktonic growth in the middle and low tide zone seawater or epiphyte on other algae and attachments to form a turquoise coating. There are four major lakes in the world that can naturally grow spirulina, Texcoco Lake in Mexico, Tchad Lake in Africa, Chenghai Lake in Lijiang, Yunnan, and Hamatai Lake in Ordos of China. It has been artificially cultivated and produced mechanized on a large scale.

 Spirulina:picture of algae Growth characteristics: The optimal growth temperature of Spirulina is 35~37 °C (Celsius, or 95~98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), which has good heat resistance. The optimal growth pH (pH scale:acidity-basicity) range is 3~11.0, and growth will be unfavorable when the pH is higher than 11.0. In the case of normal nutrition and temperature, light becomes an important factor affecting the growth of Spirulina. In outdoor cultivation, the light source is mainly the sun; in the experiment, a cool white light source is generally used, and the light intensity required for growth and cultivation is about 3,700~4,000 lx, about 1,100 lx during maintenance. The growth of Spirulina is not only affected by the light intensity but also reacts differently due to the different color values of the light.

 Spirulina:picture of algae Pharmacological actions: ①.nutrition values; ②.other properties, etc.

 Spirulina has some nutritional value, it is rich in protein and nutrients, including high levels of B-complex vitamins, iron, and all twenty-two amino acids. But soybeans offer about the same concentration of nutrients for a much lower price, and spirulina is at least ten times as expensive as other protein sources such as milk, eggs, and beef.

 Some health function declarations of spirulina are mainly concluded based on its nutrients, such as the cholesterol-lowering action, blood sugar lowering action, immunity strengthen action, stomach and intestine protection function, the anti-tumor effect, prevention of hyperlipemia, anti-radiation effec., prevent anemia.

 An FDA advisory panel on OTC reported finding no reliable data to indicate that the substance is a safe and effective appetite suppressant.

 Medicinal efficacy: Spirulina was harvested by Aztecs and natives of the Sahara desert centuries ago, the Azetcks from Lake Texcoco called it "blue mud", it was still qualified as a food staple in some parts of the world. It was marketed in the North America market as a weight loss food. Spirulina has been promoted as an agent to boost immunity, increase energy and physical performance, lower cholesterol levels, help absorb minerals, and aid diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar levels, anemia, stress, ulcers, and hair loss, among other disorders.

 Administration of Spirulina (tecuitiatl): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Spirulina (tecuitiatl)
Herbal classic books: To use commercial spirulina formulations, follow the package instructions.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: Spirulina is not toxic to humans, many cultures have used spirulina as food, and it probably poses little risk to human health if it is taken in moderation and as long as mercury levels are not too high, as it is harvested from lakes, so its safety is accepted by unacceptable levels of contaminants such as bird feathers, flies, and microbes, a risk when spirulina is grown on fermented animal wastes.

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