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History and Folklore
In Japan and Korea seaweeds are part of the daily diet and their various properties are highly praised. But in western tradition they are mostly ignored, whether as food or medicine. Bladderwrack or Kelp is the only seaweed that has made it into the Materia Medica. It is also a common ingredient of cosmetics, while gardeners value it as a fertiliser for growing vegetables.
Kelp can be regarded as a nutritive agent. It is very rich in minerals and iodine and thus has the ability to restore and remineralise the body. The high iodine content has a stimulating effect on the thyroid gland which affects the metabolism. It has thus been used to tackle obesity that is due to sluggish thyroid function. Its demulcent properties help to keep arteries supple and may ease digestive disorders, heartburn, bronchitis and emphysema. It has been used in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism, for both, internal and external applications.
Seaweeds belong to Neptune. Traditionally they have been used in rituals to protect those at sea. They can also be used to focus on utilising inner resources and to build resilience through flexibility and tenacity.