c. Susun Weed
Alaria esculenta, Laminaria longicruris, Nereocystis luetkeana
“Kelp’s daily life is the deep flow-pulsation of the tides. It is the Ancient Mother of the Ocean, just as corn is the Ancient Mother of the Land.” Larch Hanson, Maine Coast Seaweed
Other names: Wakame, Kombu, Bullwhip kelp
Type: Nourishing, tonifying, protective
Properties: Cardio-tonic, rejuvenative, alterative, emollient, diuretic, calmative; anti-stress, antiradiation, anti-oxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-cancer, anti-rheumatic, anti-pyretic, anti-stress
Part Used: The fronds, dried without being rinsed in fresh water. Whole kelp is preferable to powdered.
Preparation and Dose: In food, soaked with and then cooked with beans, cooked with grains, added to oatmeal and cooked.
Kelp contains: Vitamins A, B1, B3, B5, B6, C, D, E, K, biotin, and folates (folic acid); calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc; lignans, protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids.
Cautions: None. Can be eaten without restraint.
Seaweed is a full-hearted cardiovascular ally. Japanese research over the past several decades has found many cardio-tonic and hypotensive constituents in kelp. It combines all the properties most needed for a healthy cardiovascular system: high quality mineral and trace-mineral content to create a healthy heart muscle, constituents that counter the physical effects of stress and environmental pollutants, fiber to soak up unwanted cholesterol, antioxidants to curb oxidation of LDL cholesterol, lignans and phytosterols to help support cardiac hormones, and special proteins that lower blood pressure.
Seaweeds contain lots of proteins and lipids that are exceptionally healthy for the heart and blood vessels. A review of over a 100 research studies published in 2011 in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found seaweed to be a superb source of heart healthy essential fatty acids. Regular consumption was found to be linked to a reduced risk of atherosclerosis and thrombosis.
Furthermore, specialized proteins in seaweed have been shown to reduce blood pressure. These proteins are broken down into smaller proteins called "bioactive peptides” which act like ACE inhibitor drugs (but without their side-effects).
Regular use of seaweed can strengthen circulation, normalize blood pressure, increase the contractile force of both the heart and the veins, restore and increase cardiac muscle efficiency, nourish and prolong the life of the heart muscle, and restore regularity to disturbed cardiac rhythms.
I think of kelp as a reminding the blood vessels to go with the flow and supporting the muscle of the heart to function to the very best of its abilities. Kelp’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities restore ease and flexibility to the blood vessels. Kelp increases the contractive force in the atria, relieves varicosities, counters atherosclerosis, and warms chilly extremities. It also helps maintain healthy levels of cholesterol.
Note: Kelp eliminates radioactive particles already in the body and prevents them from accumulating from any new sources. My professional radiation experts assure me that there is nothing to fear from eating seaweed, even after the nuclear disaster in Japan. Kelp can clear lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, chemical pollutants, and radioactive elements, including strontium 90, from living tissues so long as it retains all its algin. Algin is so commercially useful, that some seaweeds are de-alginated before being sold. These are usually sold in powdered form, so I avoid buying powdered unless it is done for me by people I know.
Maine Coast Seaweed (Larch Hanson) is a commercial brand I trust.
Ryan Drum, Waldron Island, WA, harvests and sells Nereocystis kelp to individuals