Seaweed (brown seaweed): useful properties, methods of use and contraindications

Brown algae (seaweed) is widespread in Japan, China, the Kuril Islands, and is also known to many residents of other territories, because it contains many useful substances, and in some regions it is their only source.


Ascophyllum nodosum in the people can be called bubbly or rocky algae, rocky weed, fucus. Ascophyllum has the shape of an irregularly branching bush and is capable of growing up to 1.5 m. The olive-shaped thorn-like branches in some places have extensions, the so-called air bubbles, usually located in pairs. On the sides of the branches are shorter branches, which are characterized by a squeezed-cylindrical shape with an absent middle vein.

During the maturation of reproductive cells, an increase in the club-shaped lateral branches occurs. As a result, they become like a large berry.

Distribution and used parts of ascophyllum

Ascophyllum is a typical marine plant. This algae most often lives in the seas of temperate latitudes, forming dense thickets. It grows on rocky and sandy soil in places protected from the surf of the middle and lower littoral.

A multicellular marine plant is actively used in medicine, cosmetology and dietetic nutrition. Asoscophyllum thallus is used in food.

Composition and useful properties

Algae, like a sponge, absorb all the beneficial substances from the surrounding water - micro and macro elements, vitamins.

The healing properties of ascophyllum have been known since ancient times. The elements that make up its composition supply the skin with energy and the necessary nutrition, help restore its balance and stimulate cell activity. Since the mineral composition of the plant is similar to the plasma of the human body, they are physiological (related) to each other. Due to this feature, all useful substances are absorbed in the body to the maximum, practically eliminating the risk of negative reactions.

Botanical features of brown algae

The composition of brown algae:

  • minerals and vitamins;
  • alginic acid and its salts (contribute to the hydration and healing of the skin, free the body from unnecessary substances);
  • amino acids (take part in the processes of the body at the cellular level);
  • proteins and lipids (involved in the construction of cells).

A number of useful properties that a marine plant possesses do not contain any other representatives of the flora. The use of ascofillum produces the following actions in the body:

  • restoration and maintenance of the body's defenses;
  • removal of toxins and toxins;
  • improved microcirculation;
  • stimulation of lymphatic drainage;
  • removal of excess fluid, relieving edema;
  • fat breakdown;
  • saturation with vitamins and minerals;
  • tightening the skin, increasing tone, elasticity and firmness;
  • moisturizing, regenerating, softening and nourishing the skin, relieving inflammation.

Due to the lymphatic drainage effect, brown algae play a major role in anti-cellulite creams and slimming wraps. In addition, the plant is famous for its high iodine content.

The role of ascophyllum in human nutrition

The use of algae for food has been going on for at least hundreds of years. A study of a marine plant by scientists has confirmed their benefits. The components included in their composition increase antioxidant protection, warning the body against oxidative stress.

The rich cellular structure of ascophyllum (containing 38% soluble fiber), has a beneficial effect on the digestive system, lowering cholesterol and blood sugar, which is especially important for people with impaired carbohydrate metabolism. The interaction of fiber with liquid leads to a feeling of satiety, protecting against overeating.

Since the habitat of the algae is the sea, they contain huge portions of minerals:

  • calcium, which plays a role in most body functions (muscle contraction, blood coagulation, activity of the nervous system, healthy development of teeth and bone tissue);
  • magnesium (enzyme activation and bone development);
  • iron (immune system activity, oxygen transportation).

Despite a storehouse of minerals and vitamins, the value of ascofillum is that it is a rich source of organic iodine. No terrestrial flora can compare with it.

The use of brown algae in folk and traditional medicine

Natural substances that make up ascofillum have a positive effect on the body in the following cases:

  • Pathology of the thyroid gland, formed as a result of iodine deficiency.
  • Excess weight. Thanks to stimulation of the intestine with the help of dietary fiber, metabolic processes are normalized, and sugar level is reduced.
  • Menopause and problem menstruation. Having a positive effect on the synthesis of sex hormones, the menstrual cycle is normalized and menopause is facilitated.
  • Unhealthy hair and skin, weakened immunity. A convenient biochemical structure can replace the multivitamin complexes offered by pharmaceutical campaigns.

At home, ascofillum is used in the treatment of cellulitis, constipation, diarrhea, thyroid pathologies, diseases of the musculoskeletal system, with insect bites and dermatological problems.

Useful properties of seaweed

The content of substances that contribute to the cessation of the formation of new blood vessels that feed malignant tumors, algae are used in the fight against cancer.

Ascophyllum has found application in traditional medicine. It is added to drugs and nutritional supplements (dietary supplements) that help to overcome problems such as:

  • sleep disturbance;
  • neurosis;
  • depression;
  • circulatory disorders and anemia;
  • skin ailments (eczema, acne, psoriasis).

About Kelp Brown Algae

As an additional source of iodine and soluble dietary fiber, Kelp supplement is used. Ascophyllum extract is the basis of the therapeutic and prophylactic supplement. In addition, the preparation contains essential amino acids and vitamins, micro and macro elements, which are indispensable and accessible for assimilation by the body. Experts recommend taking 1 tablet once a day with meals.

Kelp is available in tablets and capsules. Regular use of the drug helps to normalize the functioning of the thyroid gland and metabolic processes, restore the body's defenses, improve mental activity.

Brown algae in cosmetology

The plant, being a source of minerals, restores the epidermis, moisturizes, and prevents the appearance of wrinkles. In cosmetology, Askofillum is used in the production of:

  • nourishing face masks;
  • scrubs.

Ascophyllum powder is sold at specialized points of sale and pharmacies. To conduct deep detoxification of the skin, it is necessary to add the product to the bath, carry out wraps and wipes.

Contraindications and harm to brown algae

Despite the enormous benefits of the use of ascofillum, an overdose of it can cause side effects:

  • thyroid dysfunction;
  • brown algae is prohibited for women during pregnancy and lactation, as well as for patients before surgery;
  • since the plant absorbs seawater, it may contain heavy metals;
  • It is not recommended to use the product in conjunction with drugs designed to thin the blood and treat the thyroid gland.

How to cook brown seaweed

Ascophyllum should not be taken in all forms if there is an allergic reaction to iodine. If there are no contraindications, brown algae is recommended to be used in cosmetology and included in the diet. It is advisable to use a fresh product, but for lack of it, use Kelp tablets or similar drugs, while it is important to consider that dietary supplements are not recommended for children under 3 years of age and pregnant women.