The dark green algae is up to 1 meter long (3ft) and 20cm (8in) broad and frilled.

Family: Laminariaceae

Which probiotic is it in?: Kelp is a key herb in Sustain

Habit and cultivation: Native to the north east coasts of the Pacific but now grows over much of China, Korea and Japan’s coast lines. Lives for 2 years (over 2 winters) and will rot if sea temperature is higher than 23 degrees. Grows in underwater forests.

Actions (known for): Anti-viral, acne and immunostimulant.


Shinran-shonin a famous Buddhist priest is said to have been the first to propagate kelp in the early part of the 17th century. Large scale farming was established in the 1950s. Russia now cultivates around 10,000 tons per year.

Parts used:

Whole algae.

Constituents (bio available chemicals):

Methane, ethanol, alginic acid and indocarbons.

Nutritional constituents:

Vitamins: A, B12 and C. Minerals: iodine, calcium, magnesium and sodium.


Hypertension, reducing cholesterol, metabolic syndrome and oestrogen balancer.


4-12g daily for up to 2 months.

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia

Cautions for therapeutic doses

Can cause gastric upset.

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