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Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis)

Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis)

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


"Blue-green algae" refers to several species of bacteria that produce blue-green colored pigments. They grow in salt water and some large fresh water lakes.

Blue-green algae have been used for food for several centuries in Mexico and some African countries. They have been sold as a supplement in the US since the late 1970s.

Blue-green algae products are used for many conditions, but so far, there isn't enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not they are effective for any of them.

Blue-green algae are taken by mouth as a source of dietary protein, B-vitamins, and iron. They are also taken by mouth for anemia and to stop unintentional weight loss. They are also used for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), hay fever, diabetes, stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, weight loss, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and other women's health issues such as menopause.

Some people use blue-green algae for treating precancerous growths inside the mouth, twitching of the eyelids, boosting the immune system, improving memory, increasing energy and metabolism, improving exercise performance, lowering cholesterol, preventing heart disease, healing wounds, and improving digestion and bowel health. Blue-green algae is also taken by mouth for high blood pressure, HIV/AIDS and HIV-related conditions, cancer, fatty liver disease, hepatitis C, and arsenic poisoning.

Blue-green algae are applied inside the mouth to treat gum disease.

Blue green algae is also used as a food or for food coloring.

Blue-green algae are commonly found in tropical or subtropical waters that have a high-salt content, but some types grow in large fresh water lakes. The natural color of these algae can give bodies of water a dark-green appearance.

Some blue-green algae products are grown under controlled conditions. Others are grown in a natural setting, where they are more likely to be contaminated by bacteria, liver poisons (microcystins) produced by certain bacteria, and heavy metals. Choose only products that have been tested and found free of these contaminants.

You may have been told that blue-green algae are an excellent source of protein. But, in reality, blue-green algae are no better than meat or milk as a protein source and cost about 30 times as much per gram.

How does it work?

Blue-green algae have a high protein, iron, and other mineral content which is absorbed when taken orally. Blue-green algae are being researched for their potential effects on the immune system, swelling (inflammation), and viral infections.

Traditionally used for

Seasonal allergies (hayfever).
Insulin resistance due to HIV medication.
Arsenic poisoning.
Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Tics or twitching of the eyelids (blepharospasm or Meige syndrome).
Exercise performance.
High cholesterol.
High blood pressure.
Long-term fatigue.
Menopausal symptoms.
Precancerous mouth sores (oral leukoplakia).
Gum disease (periodontitis).
As a source of dietary protein, B-vitamins, and iron..
Boosting the immune system..
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)..
Heart disease.
Wound healing.


1g daily (for 6 months).


19g daily (for 2 months)

Possible Side Effects

Spirulina products that are free of contaminants are SAFE for most people when used short-term. Doses up to 19 grams per day have been used safely for up to 2 months. Lower doses of 10 grams per day have been used safely for up to 6 months. Side effects are typically mild and may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, fatigue, headache, and dizziness.

But Spirulina products that are contaminated are POSSIBLY UNSAFE, especially for children. Children are more sensitive to contaminated Spirulina than adults.

Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of Spirulina during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

"Auto-immune diseases" such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), pemphigus vulgaris (a skin condition), and others: Spirulina might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it's best to avoid using Spirulina.

Bleeding disorders: Spirulina might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bruising and bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Phenylketonuria: Spirulina contains the phenylalanine. This might make phenylketonuria worse. Avoid Spirulina species blue-green algae products if you have phenylketonuria.

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