Kelp is a common name for leafy algae or seaweed – a nutritious “vegetable of the sea” – and is harvested off the coasts of many of the oceans of the world. Kelp carries all the positive qualities of the sea and the numerous, rich elements that the oceans produce. Among its many uses for mankind, nutrition is one of them. It is an important part of the diet in Japan, Norway, and Scotland; and for vegans (vegetarians who eat no animal products), Kelp supplies Vitamin B-12, which is normally found only in animal products.
The term Kelp is used to describe a number of brownish-green species, prepared from several species of fucus and laminariae, etc. (including Macrocystis pyrifera, Laminaria digitata, and Ascophyllum nodosum, etc.), and they may grow from a few feet to over one hundred feet in length, sometimes growing as much as two feet in one day. They generally grow in enormous beds just below the surface of the water and do not have any roots. Rather, they cling to rocks with “holdfasts” (grippers), which are hardy enough to withstand fierce storms. The entire plant is used in herbal medicine.
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The composition of human plasma, or fluid surrounding cell membranes, is similar to that of seawater. Relying solely on land-based food sources may lead to deficiencies in these micronutrients and electrolytes. Poor nutrition and a diet lacking micronutrients will adversely affect every function, structure, and detoxification function of the human cell. Good nutrition will enhance the structure and function of all organs in our bodies. Our brains, muscles, hearts, arteries, joints, bones, skin, hair, hormones, immune system, vision, digestion, kidneys, and liver will carry out their jobs much better. Metabolically, our lipids and sugars can be optimized, thus providing more overall energy, minimizing weight problems, and improving sleep. These nutrients improve mental function and memory. They reduce depression, harmful effects of stress, and mood swings.
Rich In Iodine
Kelp is particularly rich in iodine and was the original source of iodine, discovered by Courtois in 1812. It is interesting to note, however, that earlier, in 1750, an English physician, Dr. Russell, burned dried Kelp and used it as a treatment for goiter, and in 1862, Dr. Dupare employed Kelp as an aid to obesity, two uses that depended upon Kelp’s iodine content. Iodine does not appear in nature in uncombined form but is distributed in the form of iodides and iodates, which are found in sodium and potassium in seawater, some seaweeds, and mineral springs. The iodine in Kelp was extracted by “kelp burning” and distilling, which remained viable until the twentieth century when newer, cheaper methods of extraction were employed.
Chemical constituents in Kelp include iodine, bromine, alginic acid, sodium and potassium salts, magnesium, calcium, iron, protein, alginates, mannitol, essential fatty acids, silicon, nitrogen, phosphorus, cellulosic, selenium, zinc, boron, laminarin, vanadium, molybdenum, beryllium, B-vitamins and vitamin C. The trace mineral content of Kelp is among the highest of any single known source.
Kelp Is Everywhere!
Kelp is found in virtually all classes of products such as confectionery, lozenges, peel-off masks, beauty products, fibers for surgery, dental impressions, gelatins, and the creamy texture in products such as ice creams and puddings.
One of Kelp’s greatest effects is on the thyroid gland which regulates whether the problem is under-active or overactive thyroid. Because of this balancing effect on the thyroid gland, the body can accelerate the burning of excess calories thereby becoming a natural diet aid. Other glands that the thyroid helps to rejuvenate in the endocrine system are the pineal, pituitary, hypothalamus, and lymph glands.
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This lowers principles that have a sparing effect on cardiac and neural tissues saving them from unnecessary stress and prolonging their effective lifetime, increasing their efficiency. Kelp promotes the healthy growth of hair, skin, and nails. It helps to balance the effects of stress, guards against sickness, aids digestion and respiration, and generally promotes a healthy functioning balanced system.
Kelp also contains alginic acid, which absorbs toxins like heavy metals in the system so that they can be more easily removed. Kelp also has a protective reaction against radiation; there is a factor called Sodium Alginate, which binds with strontium-90 in the intestines and carries it out of the body.
Helpful in these areas:
Acne (thyroid), adrenal weakness, Adrenal Gland, Anemia, Arteries (cleans), Arthritis, Birth defects, Bursitis, Cancer, Colitis, Complexion, Debility, Diabetes, Digestion, Eczema, Endocrine glands, Energy, Fatigue (thyroid), Fingernails, Gallbladder, Gas, Glands, goiter, Hair Loss, Headaches, Heart disease, Hypothyroidism, Infection, Kidneys, Lead Poisoning, Leg Cramps, Menopause, Morning Sickness, Nails, Obesity, Pancreas, Pituitary Gland, Pregnancy, Prostate Gland, Psoriasis, Radiation Poisoning, Thyroid, Tumors, Vitality, Water retention.
Little Herb Encyclopedia, by Jack Ritchason; N.D., Woodland Publishing Incorporated, 1995
The Ultimate Healing System, Course Manual, Copyright 1985, Don Lepore
Planetary Herbology, Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., Lotus Press, 1988
Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, by James A. Duke, Pub. CRP Second Edition 2007
The Complete Medicinal Herbal, by Penelope Ody, Published by Dorling Kindersley