by Dr Kate James, MBBS, Integrative Medical Doctor
Article Summary: This article is written with the aim of bringing together the very best of the current evidence we have at our fingertips about the therapeutic properties of edible algae. It is written to detail both Medical Research and concepts pertaining to The Western Allopathic Medical Model and also Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), whilst touching briefly on Ayurvedic Medicine i.e. Traditional Indian Medicine. As an Integrative Medical Doctor with a British Medical Degree it is my hope we can make use of these and other wonderfully natural and adaptogenic foods. I seek to illustrate that this can support our patients alongside more conventional methods and treatments, bridging the gap between Eastern and Western Medical Practice and bringing the very best of everything we have together to enhance patient care and well being.
Algae, in particular Spirulina and Chlorella have been prescribed by doctors and herbalists in China and Japan for centuries, and used intuitively by tribes in parts of Africa, America, Mexico and elsewhere for thousands of years . More recently Russian doctors have advocated the therapeutic use of edible blue green algae to help patients recover from radiation exposure, including the effects of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. Since the 1930ʼs chlorophyll, found in its most concentrated natural source in algae, has been used topically to promote the healing of ulcers, including those which have become gangrenous.
More recently NASA scientists have started researching algae use for astronauts during space missions due to its unique concentration and bioavailability of life sustaining nutrients. Blue- green algae is in fact fully assimilated in about 90 seconds with the expense of very little energy.
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