Sea kelp has been used for thousands of years for its health benefits, especially in Asia and, in particular, Japan. The wrapping of sushi is actually sea kelp. What else do you know about sea kelp? Well here is our low down.
Where does it come from?
Sea kelp comes from the sea - yes it's seaweed. It is an edible seaweed that is rich in minerals and vitamins, especially iodine. Kelp can be eaten raw which is a bit of an acquired taste or taken in supplements - I bought the powder once but to be honest, the smell was so strong, I wished I had bought the supplements.
Kelp can also be applied topically in skin and hair care products.
Kelp is part of the everyday diet in many cultures, particularly Japan. It is used in soups, in salads, as a garnish, in sauces and in cakes.
What is it?
Sea kelp is the name given to large seaweeds of the brown algae family (Phaeophyceae in the order Lamiinariaies). It thrives on sunlight and grows along cold water coastlines. The common kelp is laminairia digitata and it varies in colour from dark brown to olive green. It can grow up to 2.5m long and 60 cm across. Kelp anchors to rocky surfaces via tentacle-like roots and from these grow slender stalks with blade-like leaves.
Kelp is packed full of goodies from the sea, including 46 minerals (principally iodine, salt, iron, potassium, phosphorus and calcium), 16 amino acids (which are the building blocks of proteins) and 11 different vitamins (mainly Vitamins A, B1, B2 and B12, C, D and E).
Kelp is an alkaline food so is good to maintain balance in the body's pH.
What does it do?
There are many benefits of sea kelp including:
- THYROID: The most common use for kelp is for maintainence of a healthy thyroid gland with the rich source of iodine. The thyroid is responsible for metabolism so a healthy thyroid helps weight control, regular bowel habit and healthy skin.
- ANTI-INFLAMMATORY: The high anti-oxidants in sea kelp aid in control of inflammation by mopping up free radicals. As such sea kelp has been used to treat arthritis and rheumatism. Kelp contains fucoidan, which is a polysaccharide, that has been shown to act against the inflammatory cascade, so reducing inflammatory disorders
- CANCER CONTROL: Statistics show that Japanese women have lower rates of ovarian, breast and endometrial cancers and this has been put down to the high levels of sea kelp that they have in their diets. The fucoidan in sea kelp has been shown to aid in the destruction of cancer cells
- NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES: Studies showing the benefits of fucoidan in inflammation have also shown that there may also be benefit in treating neurone generative diseases
- NAILS: Kelp has been used for decades for strenghtening nails and is helpful if the nailbed is damaged, for example after the removal of acrylic nails. It is taken orally for this purpose
- HAIR: Because of the abundance of minerals in sea kelp it has also been used to stimulate hair growth to give stronger, thicker hair. A European company patented an active ingredient of sea kelp called Tricalgoxyl and this has been used for hair loss. Tricalgoxyl is rich in sulphated polysaccharides from kelp. We have a hair shampoo and hair treatment system that contains Tricalgoxyl, so if you suffer from thinning hair, message us or speak to the person who sent you to the site and ask about the Nutriol products.
- EYELASH TREATMENT: We also have available in the North American market, and hopefully in other markets soon, a Nutriol Eyelash Treatment which acts as a primer for mascara. It also contains Tricalgoxyl and so strengthens and thickens the lashes.
- SKIN: Sea kelp is an ingredient of our pre-treatment facial gel used with our handheld galvanic home spa system. Combined with marigold and vanilla extracts, the pre-treatment gel removes impurities allowing pores to breathe and soothes and conditions the skin.
- WEIGHT LOSS: Although I could not find a lot of supporting evidence, sea kelp has been used for weight loss and has even been used in body wraps and in baths. It is also said to have a diuretic effect which may impact weight loss that is mainly water loss.
Sea kelp may cause an allergic reaction in some people so be careful the first time you try it.
What's the Low Down?
Sea kelp is full of minerals and vitamins and has been used for centuries for its health benefits. It is a good source of iodine and if you have thyroid problems, I would highly recommend it.
We have some products that have contain this great product. Message us or speak to the person who sent you to the site for more information on these products including:
- Nutriol hair shampoo and treatments
- Nutriol eyelash treatment
- Galvanic facial spa
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