KELP - Pacific (Nereocystis luetkeana)
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COMMON NAMES: Bullwhip Kelp (Pacific)
Also known as; kelp, seaweed
LATIN NAME: Nereocystis luetkeana Heterokont
PART(S) USED: Leaves (blades)
OVERVIEW: Kelp (Pacific) is a brown alga that grows in colder coastal marine habitats around the world. Several kelp species attach to rocks or hard substrates in deeper near shore marine waters along the Pacific coast. The stipes, or stems, can grow up to 10 to 80 feet long as the plants reach for light at the water’s surface. Kelp is an extremely important marine plant that provides habitat, refuge, substrate, and nutrition for a myriad of marine fish, mammals and invertebrates. Many brown algal plants, or kelp, are highly nutritious for humans, providing important vitamins, minerals and beneficial fiber. Kelp is a natural source of B vitamins, micronutrients, antioxidants, iron, iodine and dietary fibre. Iodine helps protect against radiation and is also important for the thyroid, immune system, and female hormone regulation. It has long been known that Japanese women, whose diets are rich in kelp, have lower rates of ovarian, breast, and endometrial cancer. A study at UC Berkeley found that a diet containing kelp lowered serum estradiol levels in women and had phytoestrogenic properties. The fucoidan in kelp is a complex carbohydrate that is a powerful anti-inflammatory and has also been shown in studies to have the ability to induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells.
PREPARATIONS: Keep dry. Store in an airtight container in a dry cupboard away from light. Will keep for many years. Kelp is usually ingested as a salt substitute. It can be sprinkled over salads, stews, and in some cases, eaten directly (as ‘chips’).
PRECAUTIONS & CONTRAINDICATIONS: Therapeutic use is not recommended in hyperthyroidism. Long-term therapeutic use is not recommended. Take with adequate liquid.
We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, have allergies, or are on any medications. Although most herbs are generally safe, it is recommended that you avoid self-prescribing especially when there is an underlying ongoing medical condition.
This information is for educational purposes only, has not been evaluated by Health Canada, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.