Also known as Norwegian kelp, this species of brown algae is found along the coasts of Ireland, Britain, Greenland and northeastern North America.
Because kelp is high in potassium, nitrogen and calcium, it is used in organic fertilizers. Kelp granules, which are a good source of iodine and minerals, are also sprinkled onto foods.
Kelp is a brown seaweed harvested from the Atlantic coastline of eastern North America, Greenland, Norway, Britain and Ireland. Like other varieties of kelp, Norwegian kelp is a rich source of natural iodine. It also contains at least 14 vitamins and 18 minerals, including folate, niacin, vitamin K, calcium, zinc, potassium and manganese.
Aside from the nutritional boost, kelp is also added to bath water and to foot
soaks to help ease muscle aches, stiff joints and minor skin irritations.
Ascophyllum nodosum is a large, common brown alga of the
Fucaceae family, it has long fronds with large egg-shaped air-bladders set in
series at regular intervals in the fronds and not stalked. The fronds can reach
2 m in length and are attached to rocks and boulders. The fronds are
olive-brown in color and somewhat compressed but without a mid-rib. Its
history is of one diploid plant and gametes. The gametes are produced in conceptacles embedded in yellowish receptacles on short branches.
Common names & nomenclature
The common name cut weed refers to the way the plant is harvested—being cut from the rocks to which it attaches.
Also known as:
Kelp, rockweed, norwegian kelp, knotted kelp, knotted wrack, egg wrack, cut weed, bladderwrack, seawrack, sea-tang, seaweed.
Ancient seafarers were well acquainted with the kelp beds off England and France. Early fisherman burned the plant for fuel and wrapped, baked, and ate fish in it. Unlike the Japanese, who eat a great deal of seaweed, Europeans never developed much taste for kelp.
For several decades, Europeans and North Americans harvested kelp for its iodine. The fronds were cut off exposed rocks at low tide, hence one popular name cut weed. Eventually other iodine sources replaced kelp, and the harvesting ceased.
Kelp is definitely high in iodine. Back in the days before iodized salt, when iodine deficiency was a real problem, kelp was a real blessing. But today, iodine deficiency is virtually unheard of in developed countries. To function normally, the body needs only a minute amount of iodine (150 micrograms a day)—an amount more than supplied by iodized salt. Additional iodine has no significant effect-until you consume enough to cause iodism, which is almost impossible just from eating kelp.
Kelp grows in the cold water off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America. It has a strong, foul odor when fresh, but baking deodorizes it. Authorities discourage usingkelp collected close to shore because it may be contaminated by industrial pollutants. If you use kelp, buy it from commercial sources.
Some research indicates kelp consumption can help curb radioactive absorption by the body. Research is still outstanding.
United State, North Atlantic
Mucopolysaccharides, Lipids, Iodine, Phlorotannin, Phenolic compounds
Dried, pelletized or powdered