Sea kelp is really just another term for the regular old seaweed that washes up every day on beaches all over the world.
It has been used for many thousands of years as a medicine to treat a variety of illnesses, and as is so often the case, modern science is now confirming that our ancestors knew all along, that a traditional remedy is in fact grounded in solid science.
Sea kelp grows in underwater forests and only in nutrient-rich areas, soaking up the bounty of the sea in a potent package of vitamins, minerals and natural fibers.
What does it contains?
Sea kelp like any green plant, contains chlorophyll, which is a powerful detoxifying agent and can be used to cleanse the body of impurities both external and internal.
It is also a good source of essential fatty acids, which the body needs for a variety of purposes including maintaining a healthy heart and circulatory system, healthy joints, and optimal brain function.
These fatty acids can also help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by strengthening the arteries and preventing plaque from building up in the blood vessels.
Studies have shown decreased risk of complications due to heart problems when patients took essential omega 3 fatty acids on a regular basis, the same essential fatty acids that are present in sea kelp.
Rich source of Vitamin A
Sea kelp is also a rich store of vitamin A, which is an excellent antioxidant, helping to protect the body from potentially harmful free radicals.
And sea kelp contains a wealth of protein and amino acids, the building blocks of protein, which are essential for the synthesis and maintenance of healthy muscle tissue (the majority of our bodies are comprised of muscle tissue, including our hearts).
Studies have shown that sea kelp can help to regulate the thyroid gland, and some people swear by it as a protection against cold and flu viruses.
It is also prepared as an ointment and applied topically to treat skin conditions and rashes such as eczema, as well as flesh wounds and sores, which it is particularly suited for given its high vitamin A content.
Vitamin A is essential for strong, healthy, elastic skin.
Sea kelp might be used for treatment of cancer
Crucially, sea kelp also contains iodine, which is being strongly researched as a treatment for cancer.
Studies indicate that iodine can play a major role in preventing the formation of tumors, as well as restricting the growth of those already formed.
Experiments involving liquid kelp preparations are being investigated to see if these iodine-rich plants are able to confer their myriad other health benefits to aid in the treatment of cancer too, and so far the signs are optimistic.
With offshoot studies into the beneficial effects of kelp on estrogen related illnesses also underway, there looks to be a promising future for this humble seaweed in medicinal circles.
Perhaps the most famous of all sea kelps is the Digitata Laminaria, which grows natively in the seas off Nova Scotia in Canada.
This particular type of kelp is believed to contain the highest levels of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acid, and is prized for its healing properties.
Kelp supplements are available in standard pill and capsule forms, as well as powders and tinctures to suit your supplemental needs. Kelp ointment is also available to treat external wounds and skin conditions.
Kelp can also be eaten raw or cooked, and is quite a dietary staple in some areas.
Other effective uses
Sea kelp is also being used increasingly for cosmetic purposes, due to its high vitamin and mineral content, as well as its essential fatty acids and chlorophyll for detoxification purposes.
Users of sea kelp shampoo swear by its capacity to keep hair shiny and nourished, which is little surprise if you have ever touched sea kelp on the beach and felt its astonishing smooth texture and elasticity.
The vitamin and mineral content of sea kelp, along with its rich chlorophyll content, make it ideal as a detoxifying skin treatment, and it is often used for face packs and similar beauty treatments.
Similarly, this potent combination of natural elasticity and high vitamin content makes sea kelp and ideal ingredient in many cutting edge beauty creams and anti-wrinkle treatments.
Proponents of sea kelp beauty therapies swear by its natural richness and nourishing qualities, praising its ability to revitalize both skin and hair with astonishing results.