Kelp is a valuable sea vegetable which nourishes and supports the glandular system, particularly the thyroid. Kelp is perhaps best-known as a popular natural remedy for treating hypothyroid conditions.
Kelp has long been used in Oriental medicine to moisten and soften dry, hardened tissues in the body such as cysts or tumors. Kelp also enhances kidney function and corrects hormone imbalances, especially relating to the thyroid gland. Kelp's rich supply of nutrients improves digestion and respiration, helps reduce the effects of stress upon the body, increases immunity, and promotes general well-being. Kelp is considered a diuretic, anticoagulant, and natural fungicide.
Kelp is commonly used for anemia, angina, arthritis, asthma, candidiasis, coughs, debility, diabetes, difficulty swallowing, enlarged glands, fatigue, fungal infections, goiter, hair loss, high blood pressure, male sterility, prostate and ovarian problems, rheumatic fever damage, obesity, radiation/heavy metal poisoning, rheumatism, thrombosis, tumors and foreign growths, ulcers, wounds, and inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Kelp is also recommended where there is chronic coldness in the hands and feet, trembling in the fingers when the hands are extended and fingers spread, brittle hair and nails, "thickness” in the neck due to an enlarged thyroid, discomfort from wearing clothes fitting tightly around the neck, and even non-specific anxiety or fears.
Kelp is rich in iodine salts (up to 1%) and amino acids which enhance thyroid function and stimulate metabolism to help the body burn excess fat. Iodine is an integral component of the thyroid hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which actually regulate the body's metabolism, as well as assist nervous system functions. Iodine also promotes greater energy and endurance, and increases circulation, especially to the brain. Iodine supplementation may help prevent arteriosclerosis, commonly known as hardening of the arteries, by maintaining a healthy rate of fat metabolism. Incidentally, thyroxin has been shown to enhance carbohydrate absorption, protein and cholesterol synthesis, and the conversion of betacarotene into vitamin A.
Kelp contains a viscous fiber called algin, which stimulates the detoxifying and eliminative actions of the digestive system. Algin absorbs carcinogens, heavy metals and toxins from the bowel, including radioactive barium, cadmium, mercury, zinc and Strontium-90, known to be particularly damaging to bone marrow. It also absorbs the toxic chemicals created by Candida yeast. Furthermore, algin has been used effectively as a bulk laxative for treating constipation, without causing irritation or side effects. Algin's remarkable filtering ability makes kelp an effective blood purifier capable of treating such toxin-related conditions as atherosclerosis and rheumatism.
Many species of kelp exhibit anti-carcinogenic properties. Scientific studies show kelp prevents breast cancer in women, particularly Japanese women who consume kelp as food. Additional research suggests kelp may inhibit certain cancers linked with the improper metabolism of bile acids, sterols and steroid hormones. Recent research confirms kelp's anti-tumor activity, perhaps due to the presence of a sulphated polysaccaride called fucoidan. Research does show fucoidan is responsible for kelp's anti-coagulant (blood-thinning) and fibrinolytic (able to dissolve fibrin, the insoluble protein component of blood clots) properties, as demonstrated in animal studies. Studies show kelp exhibits anti-thrombotic effects (the ability to prevent formation of a thrombus, or blood clot), increases the strength of heart contractions, and improves cardiovascular circulation.
Kelp contains polysaccharides which provide immune-stimulating activity. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, kelp also demonstrates antibacterial action against numerous gram positive and gram negative bacteria. Researchers believe kelp's natural antibiotic action is due to the presence of brominated phenalic compounds.
Kelp is a rich source of many nutrients, including carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, protein, and several amino acids. Kelp also contains almost every mineral and trace mineral needed by the human body, particularly calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, selenium, sodium, and zinc. Furthermore, kelp provides numerous B-complex vitamins, as well as vitamins A, D, E and K.
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