Biology and Ecology
Ascophyllum nodosum is a brown seaweed belonging to the order Fucales. It grows on rocks at about the mid intertidal level in exposed areas, where it replaces Fucus that prefers calmer waters. The brownish-green thalli grow in tufts, each of them composed of strapshaped fronds of different ages all growing from a common holdfast base. These thick flattened straps can reach a length of 1 to 1.5 m and have nodes at intervals along their length with air bladders that serve as floats so that the plant can stand upright in the water. They are irregularly branched with short lateral branches. The age of the seaweed can be deduced from the number of nodes — they can often live for more than fifteen years.
Harvesting takes place throughout the year on the upper intertidal zone. This is done in way so as to preserve the resources by cutting more than 20 cm above the holdfast so that the thallus can grow back again quickly.
Kelp is a fantastic source of all major minerals: Calcium, iodine, magnesium and iron, as well as trace amounts of zinc, copper and chromium. Contain vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D and K.
- Can be used to treat weight gain associated with hypothyroidism.
- Used in the treatment of blood pressure imbalance.
- Alleviates kidney, reproductive, circulation and nerve problems.
- Reduces Vata.
- Used as a digestive aid and colon cleanser.
- Can be very useful in detoxing the body of heavy metals, as with all sea vegetables, as they chelate minerals and metals.
- Make sure that they aren't cooked in aluminium pans for this reason.
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