Qualities:

Contractive

Alkalizing

Cooling

Promoting both buildup and breakdown

Sea vegetables energetic characteristic include adaptability, regenerative power, flexibility, ancient and primitive memory restoration, physiologically and psychologically cooling, elimination of toxins and internal environmental balance.

Sea vegetables short range effect is diuretic and laxative, calming heat and inflammation conditions. In the long run sea vegetables will stimulate the thyroid function and hasten metabolism, making the body warmer.

Sea vegetables are extremely concentrated sources of nutrients, rich in protein, a variety of minerals including calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, sodium, zinc and of course iodine because they grow in sea water. They also contain appreciable amounts of vitamins A, C and the B complex. Sea vegetables are especially valuable in diets low in animal protein or dairy.  Sea vegetables are known to aid the healthy growth of nails, hair, bones and teeth, they ensure proper metabolism, reduce blood cholesterol, stimulate the reproductive organs, act as antiseptics, help digestion, and keep the endocrine glands, especially the thyroid, functioning well. Bodies starving for minerals and trace elements (which mean more or less everyone) begin to feel renewed and vitalized.

Sea vegetables have a strong cleansing effect on the oceans, and the same effect on our bodies. Once ingested, they begin purify the internal environment, both the lighter free floating waste and by regular use and time the stubborn deeply stored old toxins. Sea vegetables are recommended for prevention of cancer, are useful for clearing radioactive particles from the body and for healing from radiation therapy.

Most marine algae are purchased in dry form. They can be baked and ground into a powder for use as a condiment. When used for cooking, marine algae are first reconstituted by soaking in water, where they increase in size and actually come back to life.

The brown variety of algae, such as Hiziki and Arame, when soaked, release blackish brown tannin like substance that turns the soaking water brown.  The soaking water should be discarded and the algae rinsed before cooking.

The green variety of algae, such as Kombu and Wakame, should be rinsed and soaked for ten minutes before added to cooking. The soaking water can be used in cooking if desired.

Wakame

Wakame is a green, tender, serrated leafy sea vegetable, supported by a durable and flexible spine. It is especially supportive for the liver, cleansing the liver and the blood, and clearing excess heat from the blood. Wakame also contributes to physical and mental flexibility.

Mixed with roasted black sesame seeds (GomeWakame; 1 part wakame: 6 parts sesame), it is nourishing blood and good for women after childbirth. Can be added to miso soup, cooked with grains or made into a salad.

Wakame properties will balance both excess Pitta andexcess Pitta-Kapha conditions, served as a salad. Served in miso soup, it is also appropriate for Vata conditions.

Higiki

Very cooling, Higiki is diuretic, resolves heat induced phlegm (yellow or green), detoxifies the body, softens hardened tissue areas and masses, benefits the thyroid and moistens dryness. Higiki is an excellent source of calcium, iron, and iodine, builds bones and teeth, soothes nerves and support hormone function.

Higiki is indicated for Yang and Blood deficiency conditions, such as in anemia, especially involving the bones, teeth, nails and hair.

Arameh

Very cooling, Arameh moistens dryness, softens hardened areas and masses in the body and excellent for alleviating high blood pressure from hardened blood vessels. One of the richest sources of iodine to benefit the thyroid, highly concentrated in iron and calcium, builds bones and teeth, promotes the growth of glassy hair and prevent its loss, provide a clear complexion and soft, wrinkle free skin.

Arameh is great for Vata conditions of excess dryness and an irregular digestion; it will nourish the body in situations of mineral depletions and can sooth an irritated and dry digestive tract. 

Kombu

Very cooling, Kombu moistens dryness, increases Yin fluids, softens hardened areas and masses in the body, help transform heat induced phlegm (yellow or green), benefits the kidneys, diuretic, anti-coagulant effect on the blood, is a natural fungicide, relieve hormone imbalance, and especially affects the thyroid.

Kombu is used to treat goiter, arthritis, rheumatism, high blood pressure, prostate and ovarian problems, lymphatic swellings, swollen and painful testes, edema, leucorrhea, diabetes, sterility in men, rheumatic fever damage, heart pain, blood clots, difficulty in swallowing and anemia. Reduces tumors and other growths, cools and soothes the lungs and throat, relives cough and asthma, aids in weight loss, increases depth of breath and restores tired muscles, eradicates fungal and candida yeast overgrowth.

Kombu greatly increases nutritional value of all food prepared with it, as it is considered the most completely mineralized food. Kombu is an excellent addition to beans to aid their digestibility.

Kombu is an excellent Kidney tonic and can supplement both Yin and Yang of the Kidney; therefore it is a great match for Vata conditions of deficiency and depletion.

Caution: use sparingly, if at all, during pregnancy. Avoid if digestion is weak (loose, watery stools with signs of coldness)

Preparation:

Break or cut with scissors

To soften, soak for 20-30 minutes (possibly less) in warm water.  Add to long cooking such as beans, soup or brown rice.

Roast and grind to a powder to use as a condiment

Nuri

Very cooling, Nuri is diuretic, softens hardened body areas, transforms and resolves heat induced phlegm (yellow or green). Nuri is highest among seaweeds in protein content, and the most easily digested. Rich in vitamins, decreases cholesterol, treats painful and difficult urination, goiter, edema, high blood pressure, cough with yellow mucus, fatty cysts under the skin, warts, aids in digestion, especially with fried foods.

Nuri crisp is the best choice for Kapha-Pitta conditions as it helps disperse accumulated heat in the body and keep the body light and airy. Nuri rapping of sweet sticky rice, as in sushi, is a decent option for Vata’s as well, as long as digestion is ready and able.

Preparation:

Comes in sheets and can be used as is, for sushi

Can be crisped by passing over a low flame and crumbled over food such as salads, stews, casseroles, dressings, spreads or deserts.

Dulse

Dulse has a red and blue pigmentation. It is very cooling, exceptionally concentrated in iodine, rich in manganese and is a remedy for the herpes virus. Dulse has been traditionally used in soups and as a condiment in Europe.

To use, freshen in water and drain, use like any leafy vegetable. Or, toast in the oven or roast quickly by passing over low flame and eat crunchy like chips.

Agar-Agar

Known in Japan as Kanten, agar-agar is used as a gelatin. It has a very cooling thermal nature, slightly sweet flavor, moistens the lungs and the Large Intestines, reduces inflammations and heat conditions affecting the lungs and is mildly laxative. This seaweed is used to sooth the digestive lining, promote weight loss, treat bleeding hemorrhoids and carry toxic and radioactive waste out of the body. Agar-agar is a good source of calcium and iron.

Agar-agar is a great medicine to subdue excess Pitta and burning sensations. Also, it will make cooling and refreshing deserts to combat a steaming summer.

THE WISDOM OF EATING 5-DAY CHALLENGE (May 18-22)

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