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.

Recipe: Spirulina Superfood Coconut & Date Balls


Sachi Doctor

Elemental Alchemy, 90 Rio Vista Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94611

Sachi Doctor is an Ayurvedic practitioner and holistic health coach who founded Elemental Alchemy with the mission to provide a resource for those navigating their way towards optimal mind-body health.

Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease at a young age, Sachi has spent over twenty years exploring different health modalities, treatment plans, diets and mindfulness practices to help alleviate chronic pain and restore balance.

After years of looking to others for a model of health with no relief, Sachi realized that the answers she sought were not hidden in someone else’s prescription for wellness but unique to her, and that the first step towards discovery was actually tuning out what was right for others and tuning into herself.

As she tapped into the wisdom of her own body, she discovered that the elements foundational for health  — the blueprint she so fervently sought — was within her, within each of us. Since then Sachi has been passionate about helping others also cultivate clarity and inner wisdom for vibrant health.

In addition to her Ayurvedic and nutrition education, Sachi has completed over 800 hours of yoga teacher training and continues to study with her mother, her first yoga teacher, for whom these practices are a way of life.

Sachi is a board member of the Prison Yoga Project at San Quentin State Prison and serves as an ambassador for Yoga Gives Back, a non-profit that raises funds within the US yoga community to support microcredit programs for women in India. She holds a Msc in Development from the London School of Economics.