Kick-Ass Kelp

Here is a post about kelp, my new best friend. After losing a lot of weight last year I went in search of herbal assistance.

While doing my online Master Herbalist course last year I came across this little beauty. My weight loss is due to me not being able to digest food correctly and as a result I constantly lose essential vitamins and minerals.

Imagine my excitement while reading when I saw that kelp may help with faulty nutrition.  Thinking “wow that’s me” my next step was to look for kelp to buy and try.

 

What is Kelp

Here are some interesting things about kelp;

  • A large brown algae seaweed which grows to form dense underwater forests.
  • Can be found all around the coast of the UK and are native to the North Atlantic and Western Mediterranean shores.
  • A wide range of sea life uses kelp for food and protection.
  • Kelp forests absorb massive amounts of carbon and produce oxygen. Consequently they help with climate change.
  • Help to regulate the body’s metabolism and this is where the body converts what you eat and drink into energy.
  • Contains Vitamin K which is needed for blood clotting, bone formation and repair. Moreover kelp may help to prevent cancers that target the inner linings of the organs.
  • Rich in iodine kelp supports the functioning of the thyroid gland, metabolises excess fat, as well as aiding physical and mental development.

In fact many seaweeds have been used traditionally as medicines for hundreds of years.

 

Adding Kelp to Your Diet

Drinking

Some people stir a teaspoonful of kelp into a glass of water. I’ve tried this and I’m not a fan. I find the strong fishy smell too powerful and its unpleasant trying to drink the floating bits of kelp.

Another option would be to make a tea to drink up to three times per day. To make a tea;

  1. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the dried herb to a cup of boiling water
  2. Cover the cup and infuse for 15 minutes
  3. Strain
  4. Drink 1/2-1 cup up to three times per day

The strained hot version is better and the smell is not as strong. However if your like me and your not too keen on fishy smells drinking kelp may be difficult for you.

Eating

Alternatively add kelp to your meals. I add 1/2 a teaspoon to hot meals like soups and casseroles. I’m finding that doing this 3 or 4times a week is enough to keep my weight in check.

However everyone is different and require different dosages to be effective. Take a look at my “Herbal Preparation Dosages” post which explains more;

http://theforagingherbalist.com/?s=herbal+preparation+dosages

Kelp can also be sprinkled onto cold foods like salads and muesli but again I find the fishy smell too potent this way. Adding the kelp to hot food is better for me because I can no longer smell it.

Storing Kelp

The first time  I bought kelp I stored it incorrectly. Placing the kelp powder into a glass storage jar I put it on a shelf in the kitchen. After a while the kelp was losing its dark green colour and starting to turn brown. Also when I opened the jar the distinctive “fishy” smell was disappearing.

At the same time the kelp wasn’t helping me anymore and I started losing weight again. As a result this led me to research storing herbs. This helped me to realise that the jar of kelp needs to be in kept in a  cupboard away from direct sunlight. Leaving it out was leaching the kelps potency.

Therefore buying more of the kelp I put it in a dark cupboard. Guess what it’s working again!

I purchase my kelp from Buy Whole Foods Online  because of its good price and it works for me;

Uses for Kelp

There are so many ways that kelp may help to support the body including;

  • Building back up broken-down constitutions
  • Faulty nutrition
  • General debility
  • Glandular ailments
  • Goitre (swelling of the thyroid gland)
  • Assisting to prevent the onset of rheumatism and arthritis
  • Hypothermia
  • Listlessness
  • Maintaining elasticity of blood vessel walls
  • Obesity
  • Rickets
Cautions
  • Do not take if you are suffering from any thyroid problems and taking medication such as thyroxine.
  • Avoid if you have high blood pressure because it can contain large amounts of salt.
  • Do not take if pregnant or breast feeding.
  • Do not give to children under 5 years old.

 

Be aware that you never know if you’re intolerant to something new until you try it for the first time. Therefore only try a tiny amount first and wait a day or two to check that there is no adverse reaction. 

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking any medications, always check with your doctor to ensure that using any of these suggestions don’t contradict them.

 

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