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Seaweed or sea vegetables are a staple in Asian cooking and in TICM. They offer the body an array of benefits. Some of those include helping against diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. Below are the varieties of seaweeds and how they impact our systems.

Seaweed is so beneficial and powerful because they protect our body against environmental toxins and heavy metals, helping the body pick up these unwanted debris and flush them out. Eat seaweed regularly in moderation. 

Kombu (Saccharina japonica) which is a type of Kelp (Laminaria japonica) and Hijiki (Haizao or Sargassum)  members of the brown algae family. They are specifically rich in iodine, alginate, fucoidan, proteins, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers and phlorotannins. They have various biological activities, such as anticoagulant, anti-oxidant, anti-tumor, anti-virus, anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulant activities. They contain fucoxanthin.

In TICM their actions are as follows:

Essence is salty and flavour is cold. 

Channel they enter are Liver, Stomach & Kidney.

Actions: softens hardness, disperses accumulation, resolves phlegm, cleanses heat.

Applications for scrofula, goiter, tumor, oedema, accumulation, testicular pain and swelling

Nori (Porphyra yezoensis and Porphyra tenera) is the most widely known seaweed used for food. Porphyra means purple, which is its color in nature. The Chinese name is zicai, which means purple vegetable. It is classified among the red algae, which have red to purple pigments. Upon processing to yield the food, which is known in Japan as nori, the red pigments are lost and the final product has a dark greenish color.

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