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International Journal on Algae
SJR: 0.219 SNIP: 0.261 CiteScore™: 0.24

ISSN Druckformat: 1521-9429
ISSN Online: 1940-4328

International Journal on Algae

DOI: 10.1615/InterJAlgae.v10.i3.80
pages 299-308

Algae, traditional medicine, and pharmacological advances

Samir Malhotra
Department of Pharmacology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, 160012, India
Amritpal Singh
Herbal Consultant, Ind-Swift Ltd, Chandigarh; Department of Mechanical Engineering, TIET Patiala


Algae are important to humans in the form of food and medicine. Algal species are very much valued for nutritional benefits. Algae have been used in traditional systems of medicine such as in traditional Chinese medicine and traditional Indian medicine; Ayurveda. Agar-agar, carrageenan, and alginates are important drugs obtained from algae. Phytochemical and pharmacological investigations have unearthed medicinal and therapeutic utility of compounds produced by algae. Spirulina and Chlorella sp. have been targeted for nutritional and possibly medical use. Investigations have demonstrated antimicrobial, antioxidant, and lipid-lowering activity of several algal species. The review highlights traditional uses of various algal species with emphasis on pharmacological investigations.