Scientific: Fucus vesiculosus [WikiPedia]
Composition: Rich in algin, mannitol, carotene, and zeaxanthing, also contains polysaccharides, polyphenols and volatile oils
Appearance: Kelp (Bladder
wrack) is a brown algae from the genus Fucus. It is widespread along the
coastlines of most parts of the world. The best-known kelp is F.
vesiculosus. Some varieties of kelp are used to make a tea and can be
used in the same way as “kombu” (Japanese kelp). The youngest and
outermost shoots of the seaweed are very tasty. Fucus is dried and sold
as granules, small branches or powder. It has a strong iodine taste and
is very salty. It can be incorporated in cooked dishes and soups and
sprinkled in salads.
Parts Used: The roots and tubers
Common Uses: Seaweeds (kelp)
have been documented to contain many of the essential nutrients such as
omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and bioactive
compounds. For many years, seaweeds have also been cultivated and
utilized directly as food for humans or as feed to produce food for
human consumption. Since seaweeds grow in many climatic conditions
globally, their cultivation has minimal impact on the environment. Kelp
contains 46 minerals, 16 amino acids and 11 vitamins.
Kelp’s mucilaginous thallus has been used to soothe
irritated and inflamed tissues. It was also historically used as a
bulk-forming laxative. People living near oceans or seas have a
historically low rate of hypothyroidism, in part because of ingestion of
iodine-rich food such as seafood and seaweeds like bladderwrack. It has
also been used to counter obesity, possibly because of its reputation
for stimulating the thyroid gland. Clinical research in this area has
failed to confirm that seaweeds like bladderwrack help with weight loss.
Horses, cattle, and sheep have been fed with it. During the second
World War, it was valued as a food for horses; it increased weight gain
and improved the health of sick horses. It is interesting to note that
fucus has a high digestibility and protein content.
Good quality kelp average about 25% protein and 2%
fat. They are one of the richest sources of minerals and amino acids
found in a plant source as we have highlighted above. Their dense
amounts of nutrients are thought to help produce energy, enhance the
immune system, and darken coat color and skin pigment. Kelp is also
rich in iodine and support the endocrine glands (thyroid function). Kelp
provide many health benefits and promote longevity in animals. Some
studies have shown that kelp may be helpful in reducing cancer and they
are thought to contain anti-tumor properties. It is also believed they
may fight heavy metal accumulations in the body by binding to them and
may be helpful after cancer treatments. Kelp is also high in tryptophan,
which is also helpful in fighting cancer. While kelp may taste salty,
it is actually low in salt and are often used as a salt substitute for
conditions requiring low sodium diets. There are also new studies
showing kelp may be helpful for diabetes and heart conditions. Some of
the key features of these foods for dogs is the high mineral content,
phytonutrients, colour enhancement for hair coats and pigment, energy
builders, immune enhancers, digestibility, thyroid support and potential
Main benefits of kelp include:
Topic Specific References:
PLEASE NOTE that herbal and
other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe
and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any
other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.
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