Sugar kelp – sugar kelp

(Laminaria saccharina); seaweed; laminaria saccharista 

Perennial brown algae of the kelp family. Algae are attached to the rocky soil of the seabed with the help of rhizoids. The slime of the sugar kelp is a ribbon-like, soft, slimy, greenish-brown smooth or reticulate-wrinkled plate of various widths up to 7 m long, which narrows in the lower part into a stem-like formation up to 1 m long and 1 cm in diameter. The whole slime kelp lives for several years, and the plate changes every year. In the fall, after the spore release is complete, the lamellar part of the elm is completely destroyed. At the same time or a little later, a new plate appears in the intercalary growth zone, which occupies the base of the plate and the top of the stem-like formation, the growth of which continues until the end of spring.

Spread. The area of ​​kelp occupies the entire coastal zone of the western half of the water area of ​​the Arctic Ocean. It grows in the sublittoral at a depth of up to 20 m.

Procurement and storage . For medicinal purposes, the lamellar part of kelp is used. Raw materials are harvested in June – August. Seaweed is caught with long rakes from the boat. Salt plants torn from the bottom and thrown ashore during a storm are also suitable for use. Dry raw materials in the sun on nets or hangers, protecting from rain and dew. Artificial drying is carried out at a temperature of 55-60°. 10-12% of dry raw material is obtained. The shelf life is 3 years. Powder from kelp slime is available in pharmacies.

Chemical composition. The dry mass of kelp contains salts of alginic acid (up to 25%), laminarin (up to 20%), mannitol (up to 30%), 1-fructose (up to 4%), fiber (5-6%), protein substances (about 9 %), vitamins (A, B 1 , B 2 , B 12 , C and D), macro- and microelements (iodine — 2.7—3%, bromine — 0.02—0.9%, potassium, sodium, calcium, manganese, copper, cobalt, boron and arsenic).

Pharmacological properties and use . The therapeutic activity of kelp is due to its high content of iodine. It is used to treat hyperthyroidism, mild forms of basal disease, and to prevent endemic goiter and atherosclerosis. Along with this, kelp is effective for chronic atonic constipation, chronic and acute enterocolitis and proctitis. The softening effect of kelp is due to the ability of polysaccharides to swell. By increasing their volume, they irritate the receptors of the intestinal mucosa and contribute to its emptying. Sugar kelp is contraindicated in nephritis, hemorrhagic diatheses, pulmonary tuberculosis, tendency to bleeding, during pregnancy and in other cases where iodine cannot be consumed.

Medicinal forms and applications . Internally – kelp powder (Pulvis Laminariae) is taken 0.5-1 teaspoon at night, washed down with water (as a laxative – once, in case of thyroid dysfunction – for 15-30 days).

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