Ascophyllum nodosum , Laminaria digitata

Description - Kelp is known as "seaweed" or "brown algae." It has a great therapeutic properties for building our immune system. It is a regular food for Japanese people. It helps to regulate the metabolism andd provides nourishment for proper functioning of the thyroid and other glands, strengthens tissues in the heart and brain.

It contains approximately 30 trace and major minerals vital to health including high levels of natural calcium, potassium and magnesium (excellent for nails, hair and skin). It also supports the elimination of waste and toxic metals from the body. For many years Kelp was the best possible source of iodine for human consumption. The concentration of this essential thyroid nutrient led to its use in the treatment of goiter and obesity.

Pharmacology - The medicinal virtues of kelp are primarily related to its content of viscous fiber called algin. Algin is responsible for the use of kelp in the treatment of obesity, atherosclerosis and as a blood purifier. Algin absorbs most nutrients as well as toxins from the digestive tract in much the same way that a water softener removes the "hardness" from tap water. This results in less toxins entering the circulatory system and reduces caloric intake. Kelp contains mucilaginous compounds that enhance the detoxifying and eliminative functions of the digestive system. These compounds absorb toxins from the bowel and provide bulk to the stool. Kelp is an excellent herbal source of calcium, magnesium, sodium and iodine. Iodine is essential to normal thyroid function. It is used to increase the metabolic rate and strengthen connective tissues including the hair, skin and nails.

Medicinal Uses - Kelp has properties which enhance health and rebuild the immune system. Brown algae has a component called "fucoidan" which has demonstrated in animal studies to have anticoagulant and fibrinolytic activities. Kelp is useful in supports of proper thyroid function, lymphatic congestion and high blood pressure. It is also helpful for those exposed to nuclear emissions or heavy toxic metals. Kelp stimulates the metabolism and is, therefore, helpful in nourishment and weight loss. Kelp has been used to treat hypothyroidism, enlarged glands, debility, fatigue, eczema, psoriasis, arthritis, and obesity.

Contra-indications - Eating too much kelp can result in too much iodine and interfering with normal thyroid function. People with thyroid disease should check with a doctor before taking supplements that contain kelp. Not recommended for use with high blood pressure.

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