Taste (Rasa): Sweet, Bitter, Astringent
Energetics (Vipaka): Cooling
Doshic Effects: Soothing for Pitta
Benefits & Use: Spirulina, an aquatic vegetable called the "Ultimate Super Food" all over the world, has a unique nutritional profile that nourishes, supports and gently strengthens the whole body. It is an easily digestible and concentrated source of protein that contains the potent antioxidant phycocyanin. Spirulina is rich in a wide range of essential nutrients including vitamin A, B6, B12, iron, magnesium, iodine and calcium, which makes it perfect for treating any form of nutritional deficiencies: Vitamin A protects against free radicals and strengthening the skin; B Vitamins which nourish the nervous system, help generate red blood cells, synthesize DNA and aid the metabolism of protein and fat; and iron which is vital for the health of the blood as it forms part of the hemoglobin protein (enables oxygen to be carried around the body). Spirulina is also a source of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) which helps reduce inflammation and support immune function.
Additional Uses: removes heavy metals; eliminate candida; lowers blood pressure; reduces cholesterol; alleviates sinus pressure
In the Kitchen: The two most common forms of commercially available spirulina are powder and tablets and is a common ingredient in protein and energy-boosting powder mixes. With the powder, you can stir a small spoonful into a glass of water or juice and drink it straight, or you can add some to a smoothie. Its intense earthiness can help offset a sweet smoothie or juice. If you go the smoothie route, balance out the overall flavor by combining the spirulina powder with sweeter fruits like bananas, pineapple, and mango. If you prefer juice, try stirring it into a naturally sweet orange or pineapple. I like to use this superfood in desserts and treats (like the recipe below) for an added boost. Store open bottles or bags of spirulina powder and tablets in the refrigerator. Spirulina doesn't have any oils that could potentially go rancid over time, but the amount of oxygen-sensitive nutrients will diminish the longer it sits after opening. Consume it within a few months of opening.