HEALTH BENEFITS OF SEAWEED
The benefits of seaweed and its extracts are numerous and can be attributed to the great wealth of material that it contains. Summarised are some of the amazing facts about our seaweed:
- In reality, seaweed is a simple and fascinating plant that is a treasure chest of natural chemicals and beneficial ingredients. Seaweed or Algae is the oldest form of life on the planet. All life began in the mineral rich waters of our oceans. Seaweeds draw from the sea an incomparable wealth of mineral elements, macro-elements, vitamins and trace elements. The mineral content of some seaweeds accounts for up to 80% of its dry matter.
- The Iodine or Iodine-Protein complexes which are prevalent in seaweed are essential for the thyroid gland, to regulate the body’s metabolism. An under-active thyroid can lead to weight gain, fatigue, cold sensitivity, loss of hair and slow pulse. The WHO classifies Ireland as an area of borderline dietary iodine deficiency and says that Ireland’s intake is well below recommended levels.
- In ancient Polynesia, the people knew of the curative properties of seaweed and used it to treat various wounds, bruises and swellings. Seaweed Alginates are now used as a dressing for severe burns/wounds. These oils in seaweed have long been used to recuperate from illness, by detoxifying the body and helping the renewal of damaged skin cells. Seaweed was known as “Sailor’s Cure” by ancient mariners.
- Natural anti-ageing and anti-cellulite properties. It can improve suppleness and the elasticity of the skin. It can stimulate the renewal of damaged skin cells. It can detoxify and cleanse, tone the skin, naturally smoothed and moisturises the skin.
- Algae extracts have a pronounced moisturising effect on the hair, increasing hair lustre and softness and decreasing its’ electrostatic charge. Treated hair has more body and is less fly away.
- Seaweed has the ability to react with protein to form a gel which has a pronounced moisturising effect on the skin, softens the hands and body, and produces soothing face packs or masks. It has been known for a long time that seaweed is an emollient with smoothing, tissue renewal and anti-inflammatory properties that can have a positive effect on problems such as facial wrinkles. It acts as a moisturiser by its hydrating and protective action of forming a layer on the skin that reduces loss of skin moisture through evaporation.
- Essential Fatty Acids that are contained in Seaweed are a part of the lipid layer in your skin, and help maintain the suppleness and elasticity of skin. These fats have long been known to be necessary for the body’s functioning, their deficiency results in the skin losing moisture and leading to hardening and drying. Only recently, however, has their role in skincare become clearly understood. Essential Fatty Acids along with Ceramides, Oxidants, Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Vitamin A & E work harmoniously to ensure that the skin is nourished from deep within. They are now an important constituent of products for intensive skincare.
- Seaweeds contain Algal polyphenols & Carotenoids which have been proven to be powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that protect against cell damage inflicted by molecules called oxygen-free radicals, which are a major cause of disease and aging. Like beta carotene and vitamins C and E, polyphenols protects the cells in your body from an unstable form of oxygen called a free radical. The antioxidant combines with the free radical to prevent it from attaching to and damaging the cells in your body.
- Seaweed has been used as an effective treatment for conditions like Psoriasis, Eczema, Dermatitis and Acne. Certain seaweed species have been used in China for the treatment of cancer. Research has indicated cancerous tumours seem to be inhibited by long-chained polysaccharides found in seaweeds.
- Preliminary studies carried out by Dr Peter Smyth from the Conway Institute of Bimolecular and Biomedical Research at University College Dublin and Dr Stefan Kraan, Irish Seaweed Centre, Martin Ryan Institute, in VOYA Seaweed Baths indicate that there is a measurable uptake of minerals by the skin from seaweed baths.
As seaweed sources it’s nourishment from the sea, it absorbs an incomparable abundance of beneficial ingredients, remember life began in the sea.