Oct 22, 2009

Use Seaweed to Treat Dry Skin

There are many reasons why a person can develop dry skin and given that we are in a world which is full of pollution it is very easy for the skin to become dry. It is therefore essential to have a range of products and other steps in action in order to be able to care for dry skin effectively.

Taking care of dry skin is important because if not treated the condition can become worse as the skin can start to peel and also even crack. And if this were to happen it could lead to a potential severe infection within the skin.

Now there are many treatments that are available for dry skin and as you enter any store or shop that sells only skin products, you will be spoilt for choice as to what to actually buy and what will prove to beneficial for your skin.

The main challenge is knowing what will actually work and help to relieve the symptoms of dry skin such as the itching that is also associated with dry skin. There are a number of recommended treatments that are useful for helping to treat dry skin.

Some of the best ingredients that can be used for treating dry skin are using olive oil. This is considered to be one of best treatments that are available as the oil is considered to be very similar to the oils that are produced by the glands within the skin. It not only helps to prevent the layers of the skin but will help to hydrate the skin and to also leave a layer on the surface of the skin to help retain any moisture content.

If you are not wishing to use olive oil there are other oils such as jojoba oil and also coconut oil. With coconut oil however you need to be aware that it is solid at room temperature, so you need to be prepared this so that it is in liquid form. This is also very good for helping soothing treating very dry and itchy skin and it is also very therapeutic if used warm and it also makes a great scalp massage. So if you are suffering from dandruff, coconut oil will prove to be very useful.

Japanese seaweed is also very useful and is considered to be one of the very best remedies that are available. This is full of vitamins and minerals such as iron and calcium and it is great for helping to keep the skin tight yet moist. This treatment also helps to reduce any swelling that may also be present on the skin too.

There are a number of considerations that you need to make when you select a product to help treat dry skin and you need to be asking yourself a number of key questions such as what does the product actually contain in terms of ingredients. You need to be educating yourself about the skin care industry and what synthetic ingredients are generally used. The main ingredients that you need to be aware of are alcohol, parabens, SLS and other chemical based ingredients.

Some of the ingredients that are used can actually be damaging to a persons health and given that 60% of what is applied to the skin is absorbed into the bloodstream there is a high chance of toxic overload within the body and this could lead to potential illness at some future date.

Oct 14, 2009

Most Commonly Used Species of Red Algae

Algae can be useful in many different situations. Algae are for instance used as food for humans as well as for live stock, and it is also included in various health products and cosmetics. Seaweed is predominately gulped down in South-East Asia, especially in China, Japan, and Korea, but it is becoming more and more popular outside this range for each year that passes.

If you want to include more algae in your diet you can for instance try red algae from the genus Porphyra for the help In Asian cuisine, this alga is commonly referred to as nori. It is not commonly eaten fresh; it is instead harvested, dried and pressed into thin sheets. These sheets are then used in all sorts of dishes, from sushi and soups to sauces and condiments. The two most commonly used species of red algae are Porphyra yezoensis and Porphyra tenera.

Do you think that you have never eaten algae? I think you have! As a matter of fact, the next time you gulp down some ice cream or pour syrup over your desert you might be eating brown algae. Alginic acid, a popular stabilizer for emulsions and suspensions, is derived from brown algae. In addition to the food industry, it is also appreciated by paint producers.

Brown algae are not the only type of algae that can be used to stabilize food for cookies. Red algae are used to make the products Agar and Carrageenan which works wonders when you need to stabilize food products such as puddings and canned meat. Agar is also used by scientists who need to grow bacteria, fungi and cell structures on a nutritious gel, while Carrageenan is a popular addition to shampoos.

Wish to try some mouth-watering algae dishes in your own kitchen? Here is a recipe for Seaweed Soup.

• 1 pound of chicken - sliced
• 2 quarts of water
• 1 cube of chicken bouillon
• 1 (8 ounce) can of sliced water chestnuts
• 3 sheets of nori (dry seaweed)
• 1 egg
• Salt to taste
• 4 green onions
• 3/4 teaspoon of sesame oil
What to do:
1.) Cook the sliced chicken over medium heat until browned. Use a large saucepan because you will be adding more ingredients.
2.) Drain off excess fat.
3.) Add water and bring it to a boil.
4.) Reduce the heat down to medium again and leave the dish to simmer without a lid on for roughly 15 minutes.
5.) Stir in the bouillon cube and make sure that it dissolves completely.
6.) Add the chestnuts.
7.) Break the nori into peaces and add to the saucepan.
8.) Beat the egg in a separate bowl.
9.) Stir in the egg.
10.) Add salt to taste.
11.) Chop the green onions.
12.) Remove the saucepan from the heat before adding the onions.
13.) Stir in sesame oil.
14.) Bon appetite!

Lets try it....

Oct 13, 2009

Seaweed in Sushi Recipe

Sushi is a delicious, healthy and easy to prepare food. Deciding on and finding your ingredients, preparing the beautiful presentation, and enjoying your creation are all part of the fun of sushi. Finding a great sushi recipe is the first step in putting together a wonderful meal.

Sushi, traditionally, refers to rice, but it has developed to include the whole concept of the finger food. It commonly is a fish or vegetable, served with vinegar rice. A sushi recipe can be presented in several ways. Some common ways are wrapped in seaweed, served in a bowl, in bite size pieces or in a cone type wrap. Wide ranges of vegetables, seafood, and shellfish are used throughout a sushi recipe.

There are some common ingredients that you should always have on hand to prepare a good sushi recipe. These include seaweed, called nori, rice, and sushi vinegar. These are the base ingredients you will need to start with for any sushi recipe. Several sauces such as soy sauce, and wasabi; a spicy paste like substance, are commonly served with sushi to enhance the flavor. Common vegetables in a sushi recipe include carrots, cucumber, peppers, and avocado. Common seafood used in sushi recipes are crab, salmon, octopus, and shrimp. This is by no means an exhaustive list of what you can use in your sushi recipe. The sky is the limit. Get creative as you like with your sushi recipe.

Where can you find a good sushi recipe? There are several great places where you can find a good sushi recipe. A great place to start is the Internet. By doing a quick search through a search engine for sushi recipe, you can find some great websites that will provide you with a great sushi recipe. Often, they will provide you with detailed pictures and instructions that can help when preparing your sushi recipe. Also, try bookstores for their cookbook selections or local sushi restaurants to see if they will share their sushi recipe.

There are several pieces of kitchen equipment that can help you in preparing a sushi recipe. One of the most important pieces of equipment is a sharp knife. A sharp knife is essential in cutting and preparing the ingredients for your sushi recipe. It will allow you to cut your fish into thin slices, slice vegetables into attractive shapes and designs, and do all of these with ease. Another very helpful piece of equipment is a bamboo mat, traditionally called sushimaki sudare or makisu. This mat is what you use when you roll your sushi such as in a California roll. It is possible to roll with your hands, but the rice can be very sticky, so the mat can help eliminate a little frustration while preparing your sushi recipe. Other equipment such as rice cookers and sushi presses can also help make the preparation quicker, but they are not essential for preparing a good sushi recipe.

A final touch in the presentation of your sushi recipe is the plates and dishes you serve them on and the utensils that you use to eat them. Patterned china dishes, saucers, and cups are a beautiful touch. You can also use matching dispensers for items such as soy sauce. Often, chopsticks are used when eating sushi. Chopsticks come in all styles from wooded to metal and can complement your presentation beautifully. You can also eat sushi with your fingers, so make sure to have some nice matching napkins with the dishes.

It is easy to find the ingredients you need to complete your sushi recipe. Sushi recipes generally use basic ingredients that can be found easily. Many of the ingredients, if not all, can be purchased at most local grocery stores. If your grocery store does not carry what you need, try asking them to bring it in. Many companies will bring in supplies that are requested by their customers. For more complicated recipes that require special ingredients, many Asian specialty stores carry the more obscure ingredients on a regular basis. These stores can provide hard to find sushi recipe ingredients, often directly from Asian suppliers. A final option for finding your sushi recipe ingredients is online. There are countless websites that you can use to order everything from your good ingredients to equipment to finishing touches such as utensils.

Sushi is a wonderful food style. It's fun to follow a sushi recipe and see your final result. Many people consider preparing a sushi recipe an art form. It can be an exciting addition to your family dinner or an impressive dinner party concept. With a great sushi recipe, you can make out standing delicacies. It can be a great bonding event; gather the family together and everyone can make their own sushi dish. Grab your sushi recipe, your ingredients, your equipment, and have some fun.

Oct 12, 2009

Seaweed the Toxic Eliminate

Did you know that seaweed has a lot of property for the body, such as detoxification.

Detoxification is a disposal process of toxic in the body. Typically, the process is done from within the body, such as drinking eight glass water a day, consuming fruits that contain fiber, and not consuming fatty foods or contain many ingredients such as sugar and salt at the time.

Now detoxification can be done from outside of the body and the one way to do that is with seaweed spa.

Seaweed believed have very good effect for the skin and often used to maintain and humidify the skin, helps the formation of new skin cells, offset mineral content in the body, and eliminate poisons in the body (detoxification) and this can be happened because seaweed containing mineral salt, protein and zinc. Seaweed also containing lot's of vitamin such as A, C, B1, B12, E, PP, K and vitamin D which can help your body to activating new skin cells and also helping your body metabolism to tighten the skin.

Seaweed are one of sea material which are easly merged to the skin and helping the formation of skin. Not only that, seaweed also good for your hair health.

For women who have problems with obesity or excess body weight, the seaweed spa treatment can also be relied upon to keep the process of weight loss and keep the mineral in the body in balance. You do not need strict diet for getting more slender body. Although getting heavy shrink for your body but your skin will remain tight.

The weight loss process using seaweed is very good for keeping your health.

The spa treatment process using seaweed started with body massage which using olive oil to make your body more relaxing and freeing.

Your tense body will come comfortable and relax after getting the massage. This is because the blood circulation in the body flows more smoothly and make the tired felt on your body lost instantly. After the massage finish the next step is put seaweed mask around your body.

After the seaweed mask being dry, the next is covering your body with heating blanket. This function is to remove poisons from the body through sweat that out. Set the heat to the temperature you feel comfortable.

The process using heating blanket is same like if you in a sauna.

The last process are going in to a bathtub filled with warm water and sowing rose sheath.

This seaweed spa need 90 minutes in time. If you don't have 90 minutes time, you still can use this threatment by reducing the amount of therapy.

Oct 8, 2009

Seaweed as Fertilizer

Seaweed is an all-natural, effective alternative to synthetic fertilizers.

Seaweed extract is highly regarded as one of the best natural fertilizers. Different varieties of kelp have proven to be effective in seed germination, root development, and disease resistance. An all-natural fertilizer, seaweed is a great organic gardening additive.

Kelp contains many healthful nutrients, including potassium to promote metabolism. Many extracts, such as algamin, are rich in amino acids and trace minerals that are low in other fertilizers. Some seaweed varieties contain up to 60 different chelated nutrients that boost the health of plants.

Leafy crops especially benefit from seaweed fertilizer. Tomatoes, peppers, and corn all benefit from vegetable-based fertilizers. Ask your garden care expert about which fertilizer is right for the plants you want to grow. Dried, crushed, and desalted seaweed may be mixed with other fertilizers to produce a superior composite.

Seaweed fertilizer can be used in hydroponics gardening. The proper extract will not gum up drip emitter lines. You'll get healthier shoots and stems. Seaweed is an all-natural, effective alternative to synthetic fertilizers. As many seaweed extracts are 100 percent soluble, they're ideal for the organic garden..

Seaweed fertilizers are an especially usefull product in organic gardening. They contain almost every micro-nutrient in a fully chelated (immediately available) form. They deliver a healthy dose of natural plant hormones. Seaweed is also loaded with carbohydrates, which the plants use as a building block and which large populations of beneficial micro-organisms use as a food source.
There are many agricultural and garden applications for seaweed. It aids in seed germination, assists in nutrient uptake, helps plants resists insects, disease and frost; it aids in root development, conditions soil and acts as a fertilizer.

In addition to the horticultural applications, studies have shown that adding seaweed to livestock feed improves fertility rates, aids in gestation and birthing and reduces lameness. There are basically 4 forms of seaweed fertilizers you can use.

  • Liquid supplements
  • Kelp meal additives
  • All purposes fertilizer
  • Concentrated supplement
Seaweed is high in trace elements and potash. It is suitable for use around larger plants and some gardeners claim that the minerals in seaweed make plants resistant to frost damage and prolong the harvest of autumn tomatoes.

There are green, brown and red seaweeds, all of them good to use. Soft fleshy seaweeds rot fairly quickly, (kelps for example), while seagrass rots very slowly........There is no need to wash the salt off seaweed, especially if it is just one among many mulches....... Seaweed is absolutely weed free, doesn't harbour any plant diseases or insects and looks much better than you think. Let's try!

Oct 7, 2009

Seanol - Most Powerful Antioxidants From the Sea

Most people think of seaweed as something to avoid at the beach or as an ingredient in Asian foods. However, scientists are discovering the many health benefits of seaweed health products that have been used in Asian countries for years. For centuries, plants have been used for nutritional and medicinal purposes for all sorts of ailments and detoxification. Seaweed is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants on earth. It is rich in vitamins and minerals that include calcium, magnesium, potassium, iodine, iron and zinc as well as vitamins C, B1, B2, B6 and B12. The ocean is an excellent source of nutrient rich plants compared to land based plants that are affected by depleted nutrient levels in our soils. Often land plants are bombarded with harmful pesticides and insecticides, containing harmful toxic chemicals. Seanol is a natural and effective health promoting seaweed extract free of any toxic chemicals. Recent scientific studies are discovering the many benefits of this miracle supplement.

Seanol, Powerful Ingredient

Seanol is another breakthrough supplement that improves your cholesterol and has many other benefits. Cholesterol and cardiovascular problems run deeply in my family history and my goal is to find natural supplements to take care of my problems and prevent problems before they start. Divers harvest the seaweed by hand, let it dry naturally and the key nutrients are extracted manually to protect the nutrient content of this ocean grown superfood. Seanol is made from the ocean grown superfood, a powerful nutrient with incredible health benefits.

This super anti-oxidant is extracted from the Ecklonia cava marine algae, which grows 100 feet below sea level off the coast of Japan and Korea. This powerful extract is called Seanol and is up to 100 times stronger than anti-oxidants contained in land-based plants. Clinical studies have shown remarkable improvement in mental alertness, circulation, joint function, energy and cardiovascular health. It is an all-natural food supplement that is safe. Additionally, it can be taken with medicines and other supplements without risk of reducing their effectiveness. The Fibronol website offers two of the most beneficial supplements available with this rich seaweed extract. Both products offer tremendous benefits for improved health.

Fibronol Supplements

If you are looking for nutritional supplements to improve both your health and quality of life, you have come to the right place. Fibronol and FibroBoost are two of the best products on the market that have been clinically tested and shown to significantly improve health and quality of life. Our seaweed based Fibronol supplement has additional nutrients and vitamins added that help you to sleep better, lose weight, improve your heart health and increase your energy. Many fibromyalgia patients find our product beneficial in treating their debilitating symptoms. For increased energy and stamina on days when you need the extra energy, we recommend FibroBoost. It contains only Seanol for more powerful results and energy. Order your seaweed health products today and improve your health.

Taking Seanol for just 8 weeks can improve your cholesterol and helps raise your protective HDL (good) cholesterol. There are not many nutrients that can raise your HDL cholesterol. Seanol improves your cholesterol, keeps your mind alert, and comforts your joints. Nearly every part of your body responds to this amazing product.

Seanol contains two antioxidants called polyhenols and phlorotannins. Phlorotannins is the one that does the magic. The two special antioxidants are found in sea vegetables and are not found in land-based plants. The sea is where Scientists expects to find our next nutritional discoveries and Seanol is one of the first.

Benefits of Seanol:

*Promote cardiovascular health
*Enhance circulation and blood flow
*Promote normal cholesterol levels
*Increase protective HDL cholesterol
*Increase blood flow to the brain
*Boost attention and mental sharpness
*Keep you alert
*Improve joint function and joint comfort
*Provide powerful antioxidant protection to your entire body
*Boost your energy levels
*Improve your stamina

Oct 6, 2009

A Cure from the Sea - seaweed beauty

Traditionally the seaweed bath is used to re-hydrate and moisture skin, relieve of conditions like psoriasis, acne, aid back and muscular pain; ease rheumatism and arthritis and assist circulation. Now it is different; the emphasis more on health, cleaning, detox; on nourishing the skin, body’s cells, regeneration, improve of micro circulation, elasticity, appearance, tone. Protection of skin and hair, assist in weight loss and wellness, de-stress, relax, re-vitalizing and aging.

Since seaweed is packed with easy-to-absorb proteins, vitamins, minerals and lipids, it can protect against environmental pollution and even ward off aging.

These nutrients are known for there nourishing benefits for the skin. Give the skin greater pliability and improves elasticity. The colloidal form of the minerals is very important, meaning that these minerals have retained their molecular identity while in liquid suspension. Colloids are very small in size and easily absorbed by the body’s cells. Therefore also beneficial effects on cellular repair, cellular growth and tissue regeneration which have let many to believe that seaweed can lessen the signs of ageing.

Scientific research also indicates that seaweed’s ability to increase micro circulation and the metabolism promotes detoxification and enhances slimming and weight loss; improve vitality and to maintain a youthful appearance.

By increasing the circulation, a positive effect on local fatty overloads and helps maintain the tone of the tissue. To firm the skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite!

Seaweed is a natural product. No genetic manipulation, the use of pesticides or fertilizer, just the sea, waves and light.

Most of our customers use seaweed flakes.

  • (Add a spoon full of flakes to big pot and boil it and steep it for half an hour. Pour it through a sieve and add the liquid to the bath).
  • Other will fill muslin bags, large tea infusion balls, or old stockings with dried seaweed.
  • (The bags are needed to keep the seaweed from going down your drain. Boil water in a large pot, add the seaweed and steep for half an hour or so. Pour into the bath (seaweed in its bag and all).

The boiling water will help to extract more nutrients from the seaweed. By boiling it, you will at the same time destroying others sensitive silky oils and substances like Vitamin C. If you choose to add it straight to the bath place a fine sieve at the drain to make sure your drain does not get blocked.

We sell flakes not powder for use in a seaweed bath to minimize/avoid these problems. Another option: wrap the seaweed in linen, cheese cloth before use.

Massage: Softly rub your body using a sponge, massage it into your skin using long strokes towards the heart, starting with your feet, ‘It’s excellent for soothing itchy and dry skin and helps detoxify by pulling out toxic waste from the pores.

Aromatherapy oils like lavender, make your soak in the tub even more relaxing.. ‘It’s a great way to de-stress after a long day at work.

Some claim that seaweed can reduce/absorb toxins by up to 50 percent of its dry weight. Rinse off with warm water.

It is very important to create the right environment at home.

Use something that appeals to every sense you have. Good music, For scent, light candles that produce the scents of flowering plants (such as plumeria or citrus).

But most important: make the Sea or Ocean experience a regular part of your routine, you reap a bounty of beauty and health benefits, you need it. It takes just 20 minutes. Try to control the environment/ avoid disturbances, choose the time/moment carefully. Not only cleansing and relaxing but make it revitalizing and rejuvenating as well.

Use between one and two ounces of seaweed. Our hydrated seaweed contains less than 10 % moister. Its wet weight is between 15 times its dried weights.

Caution: Those with high blood pressure or other health problems should consult their doctors before having a hot seaweed bath.

Oct 5, 2009

Seaweed Supplement

For most of us the word seaweed conjures up images of beaches strewn with brown weed, particularly after stormy weather, when it lays in great heaps along the high tide mark. Not so long ago the idea of eating seaweed or kelp as it is also known, would have been considered very strange to say the least.

Times change, however, and seaweed along with many other exotic and unusual foods are now considered practically mainstream for people wanting to improve their health and well-being. Of course some food sources, that we considered unusual have been known to other cultures for centuries and have long been used for health or healing purposes.

The knowledge about plants and their beneficial properties has been handed down through the generations with little or no scientific evidence to back it up. Only now can modern research techniques find out so much more about these plants and pinpoint the sources of goodness they contain.

Findings in recent years, from the research that has been done on seaweed suggest that it is very beneficial in several ways. It is well-known that seaweed contains iodine, vitamins and minerals as well as the by-products, algin and agar. Algin offers good protection against pollution carcinogens and toxins and is also used to normalize bowel functions.

What is not so well known, and is the subject of much more research, is the ingredient known as Fucoidan. One of the major health benefits of Fucoidan is the ability to interact with and modulate the immune system. Modulation in this context is a term describing the process of reducing the extremes of cellular activity. Fucoidan has also shown an ability to regenerate cells, thereby enabling tissue and organ regeneration. This is beneficial for a long and healthy life, since it helps to slow the aging process.

Fucoidan has also been shown to help maintain a healthy blood flow. Tests also suggest that it helps to slow the absorption rate of glucose or sugar into the bloodstream. A slower absorption rate can help to minimize the potential damage caused by high blood sugar levels. Due to the modulating properties of Fucoidan it has also been shown to support joint function and cartilage health.

In layman's terms these benefits are:

· Assisting the immune system and the increase of circulating white blood cells

· Enables tissue and organ regeneration thereby assisting longevity

· Supports the circulatory system allowing better blood flow and cardiac functions

· Decreases the clotting ability of blood

· Reduces high blood sugar levels

· Maintains healthy levels of cholesterol

· Supports proper joint functions and cartilage health

· Assists in the elimination of harmful cells

· Aids in maintaining proper gastrointestinal function and health

· It is a potent antioxidant

· Plays a significant roll in maintaining optimal kidney function

· It is an aid for low thyroid activity

It would appear that the brown weed washed up on the beaches is beneficial to health in more ways than we can imagine! So why aren't we eating it by the bucket full? Well some Asian countries like Japan do, and their longevity is renowned. For the western world though the taste of seaweed has stopped the use of this wonder food.

The good news now is we don't actually have to eat it. Kelp or seaweed in tablet form has been available for some time, but even so the taste is hardly palatable. However, with suspended gel technology the manufacturers are able to create a very palatable version.

Oct 4, 2009

Seaweed - Fucoxanthin Extract

Fucoxanthin is a natural compound found in brown seaweed. For hundreds of years Asian cultures have consumed seaweed as a regular part of their diet. When researchers realized Asian cultures were much healthier than those in the west, Asian diets were examined. Brown seaweed was one of the food sources that interested these researchers and Fucoxanthin was found to be a benefit of this diet. Over the years researchers found many interesting results surrounding seaweed and the Fucoxanthin extracted from this seaweed.

Today Fucoxanthin extract is found in a long line of Fucoxanthin supplements available to the public. The extract has several common uses and people all over the world are consuming Fucoxanthin and Fucoxanthin extract for these reasons. Continual research continues to reveal surprising results and the extract has become quite popular as new research results are revealed.

There are several extraction processes that are utilized to extract Fucoxanthin from the brown seaweed. One process utilizes organic compounds in the extraction process while another uses a freeze dried method. Both processes result in extraction of Fucoxanthin from the brown seaweed found in supplements today.

As stated above Fucoxanthin is found in brown seaweed and this brown seaweed may be the best natural source of Fucoxanthin. But seaweed is not palatable to many people where Fucoxanthin extract in gel cap form is quite easy to ingest with no unpleasant taste. Another benefit of these supplements is the high dosages available in supplements. If a little is good then surely more must be better, that's the motto for many and these supplement manufacturers seem to subscribe to this line of thought as well. You can find Gel caps containing as little as 5 mg all the way to 1200mg available for purchase.

Oct 2, 2009

Seaweed and daily diet

Of all the snacks on the shelf of the junk food section in a hypermarket, one particular packing just seemed to have grabbed my attention the most. The label read: "Japanese Crispy Seaweed". There is also some description stating that the product is "delicious with good nutrients from the sea".

Seaweed has been consumed in Asia since a very long time ago. Here are some of the health benefits which were proven by the science and technology of our era.

We can get all the vitamins and minerals we need for our body. These minerals include calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iodine, iron, and zinc; and vitamins such as A, B1, B2, B6 and B12. We can hardly get any vitamin V12 from land vegetables.

The consumption of seaweed leads to the expulsion of toxic pollutants from our body. Seaweed contains alginic acid, which bonds with heavy metals in our intestine to form an indigestible substance. This substance then leaves the human body along with all the other indigestible matters we consume.

Seaweed also promotes a healthier hair growth. Notice that most Japanese have nice long hair. The high mineral content in seaweed helps turn the existing hair into a much thicker and shinier hair.

Besides all the points mentioned above, the consumption of seaweed would help to enrich our bloodstream, plus to maintain the youthfulness our mind and body.

With all these health benefits, no wonder the Japanese are consuming seaweed as part of their daily diet and nutrition. Perhaps we could follow them so as to have a healthier life.

Oct 1, 2009

Seaweed wines are more healthy but have antioxidation issues

Green seaweed (chlorophytes) and red seaweed (rhodophytes) are commonly consumed as vegetables in Eastern Asian countries. The sulfate polysaccharide in seaweed is believed to have functional properties related to health, including thrombus prevention, antiviral and anti-cancer activity.

Scientists at the University of Georgia and elsewhere wanted to produce healthy wines using green and red seaweed and to determine their chemical and sensory attributes. Their work indicates that seaweed wines might be better consumed fresh because they eventually lose their antioxidation activity.

In experiments, both green and red seaweed were heated at 90 C for 1 hour and adjusted to an acidity of 0.7 to 0.8 mg per 100 ml and to a range of 22 to 23 brix. Researchers then inoculated the seaweed broths with Saccharomyces cerevisae. The broths were fermented at 22 C to 23 C. Volatile compounds from the wine samples were analyzed using gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (MS). The sulfate content of the products was monitored using the rhodizonate method. The investigators determined the sensory qualities of the samples as well as of commercial fruit wine products using quantitative descriptive analyses.

Investigators found that the alcohol content in the green and red wines was 12.7% and 12.4%, respectively. The sulfate content in the green seaweed wine was 12.6 g per ml, while that in the red seaweed wine was 14.23 g per ml. After a 12-month storage period, the DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl) free radical scavenging capacity declined by 34.6% to 41.3%. The phenylethyl alcohol volatile compound levels in green seaweed wines were 54.15 ppm and 74.45 ppm in red seaweed wines. The levels of diethyl succiate were 2.59 ppm in green seaweed wines and 1.79 ppm in red seaweed wines. The levels of these compounds closely approximated the levels found in grape wines.

The absorbencies at 270 nm were 1.32 to 1.27 for the green seaweed wine, and 1.22 to 1.16 for the red seaweed wine during a 12-week storage period. The sweetness level of both seaweed wines was close to the level found in Burgundy wines. Astringent scores were lower than those found in Bordeaux wines.

Further information. Yao-wen Huang, Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602; phone: 706-542-1092

Seaweed gives clues about early humans in Americas

WASHINGTON -- Remains of meals that included seaweed are helping confirm the date of a settlement in southern Chile that may offer the earliest evidence of humans in the Americas.

Researchers date the seaweed found at Monte Verde to more than 14,000 years ago, 1,000 years earlier than the well-studied Clovis culture.

And the report comes just a month after other scientists announced they had found coprolites -- fossilized human feces -- dating to about 14,000 years ago in a cave in Oregon.

Taken together, the finds move back evidence of people in the Americas by a millennium or more, with settlements in northern and southern coastal areas.

The prevailing theory has been that people followed herds of migrating animals across an ancient land bridge between Siberia and Alaska, and then moved southward along the West coast. Proof has been hard to come by, however. The sea was about 200 feet lower at the time and as it rose it would have inundated the remains of coastal settlements.

A team led by anthropologist Tom Dillehay of Vanderbilt University reports on the new seaweed study from Monte Verde, Chile, in Friday's edition of the journal Science.

There is a continuous mountain chain along the western side of the Americas, Dillehay explained in a briefing, with thousands of rivers and streams flowing down the mountains to the ocean.

This would have encouraged north-to-south migration, he explained, with some groups choosing to turn and follow rivers inland.

Places like the Paisley Caves in Oregon and Monte Verde in Chile are ideal locations for such settlement, he said.

"We really don't know," he added, but genetic and linguistic evidence is beginning to build a fairly strong case that movement was primarily along the coast, he said.

"I tend to think that, even if they came down the coastline, it is a slow process," Dillehay said. "We're just not finding all of the archaeological sites, yet."

Nine species of seaweed and marine algae were recovered from hearths in the ancient settlement, about 500 miles south of Santiago and about 10 miles inland.

Between 20 and 30 people appear to have lived at the site. Other food remains found there include vegetables, nuts, shellfish, an extinct species of llama and an elephant-like animal called a gomphothere.

Some of the seaweed had been chewed, including two types still used by local natives for medical purposes. Other examples were burned, indicating cooking.

Beach stones and other materials were also found at the inland site, Dillehay said, indicating the people at Monte Verde had a stronger coastal tradition than was previously known.

Dillehay said Monte Verde was originally studied several decades ago, but the seaweed remains were only just discovered in a new analysis of recovered materials.

The materials in Oregon and Chile were radiocarbon dated at 12,500 years ago which, Dillehay said, translates to between 14,200 and 14,500 calendar years ago.

The research was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, Chile's National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development, the National Geographic Society and the University of Chile.

Sep 30, 2009

Use Seaweed Extract in Your Garden

Liquid seaweed extract is something that many people would not think is something they would ever use in their garden but you should think again.

Seaweed has been use for agriculture and gardening for hundred of years and there is even a system used in Northern Ireland and Scotland called "lazy beds". These were long ridged beds which used to have seaweed dug into them as a fertilizer. The seaweed was washed to remove salt, presumably by letting the rain do the work, and then dug underneath the surface of the soil. They were used to grow potatoes in on often very poor and peaty soil.

People living near to the coast are still able to collect and used seaweed like this and if you are lucky enough to be able to do this please make sure that you only collect seaweed which is on the shore, not seaweed which is still attached to rocks. This is still growing and although harvested commercially this is done by experienced collectors. Seaweed is a favourite in compost bins.

For gardeners like me who cannot gather their own seaweed from the seashore, I can buy commercially produced organic seaweed extract which has a lot of benefits to the soil mix in my High Density Garden as seaweed and can do the same for your garden.

Seaweed is not really a fertilizer but it quickly decomposes and releases alginates in to your soil mix. This is a jelly like substance which helps to develop the humus content of your soil and also helps to bind the crumbs of soil together. It also acts in your soil as a plant tonic and a growth stimulant as well. Having said that, seaweed and seaweed extract does contain the major plant nutrients but in fairly small quantities. They also contain many trace elements as well.

Tests have been carried out which show that applying seaweed extract has helped to promote strong and healthy growth in vegetables as well as other garden plants. It also has the added benefit of helping to improve resistance to fungal and insect attacks. It has also been demonstrated that its use helps reduce symptoms of transplanting shock, as well as heat and frost damage. I use a liquid seaweed extract from one of the major suppliers which I dilute and water on to the surface of my soil mix. I also have an automatic feed system for the tomatoes and cucumbers in my greenhouse and I often add seaweed extract to the fertilizer tank so this is automatically applied to my crops.

Seaweed extract is a good addition to your garden soil and I am happy to use it so it is something you need to consider as well. I buy it in half gallon containers, (about 2 litres), but it can be bought in smaller sizes as well. There are also companies which sell seaweed extract in 220 gallon, 1000L containers. This is far too much to use in a normal backyard but it is aimed at farmers and places like golf courses. These commercial users would not be paying a lot of money for a product which does not do anything so I follow their lead and if it is good enough for them, then seaweed extract is good enough for my High Density Vegetable Garden.

Sep 29, 2009

Health Benefits of Seaweed


In the Chinese Book of Poetry, written almost 3000 years ago, there is a poem that describes a woman who cooks sea plants. Always considered a delicacy, Asians also offered sea plants during sacrifices to the ancestors.

Today, we know the plants as seaweed, which has many health benefits:

  • According to Seibin and Teruko Arasaki, authors of Vegetables from the Sea, “All of the minerals required by human beings, including calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iodine, iron, and zinc are present in sufficient amounts. In addition, there are many trace elements in seaweeds.” Edible plants from the sea also contain important vitamins including vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), B1, B2, B6, niacin, vitamin C, pantothenic acid, and folic acid. Analysis has shown trace amounts of vitamin B12, which rarely occurs in land vegetables.

  • Sea vegetables classified as brown algae, including arame, hijiki, kombu and wakame, have been shown to cleanse the body of toxic pollutants. Specifically, scientific research has demonstrated that these plants, which are abundant in alginic acid, bind with any heavy metals in the intestines, render them indigestible, and cause them to be eliminated from the body.

  • Seaweed feeds the shafts and the ducts of the scalp to help improve the health of the hair. It has been said that the thick, black, lustrous hair of the Japanese is partly due to their regular diet of brown sea vegetables such as arame. Research has shown that minerals are important to healthy hair growth, and arame has a high mineral content.

  • Other health benefits, according to Carlson Wade’s book Health Secrets from the Orient, include regulating the hormones, enriching the bloodstream, assisting in metabolism, promoting a youthful skin color, and helping to warm the body to promote mental youthfulness.

Seaweed has always been part of the staple diet of the Asians, who lived near the sea and depended upon it for sustenance. It may well be the “secret” for a long and healthy life for you.

Many health shops and oriental grocery houses sell seaweed in various forms. In dried form, it may be used as part of a raw vegetable salad or crumbled and sprinkled over a salad as a natural tangy seasoning. You may also use seaweed as a snack, together with a fresh, raw vegetable juice.

Sep 28, 2009

Seaweed: Rhodophyta

The Rhodophyta are a unique group of organisms, which, like the Chlorophyta, are thought to be very ancient. No cell, including reproductive cells, is ever flagellated. Like the Chlorophyta, the chloroplast is encircled by a double membrane, but thylakoids occur singly and are not stacked.

Only chlorophyll a is present, and cells are distinctively colored by the accessory pigments, phycocyanin and phycoerythrin, which occur in hemispheric granules on the thylakoids. The photosynthetic product is a highly branched form of starch and is stored outside the chloroplast. Most red algae belong to the Class Floideophyceae, which is characterized by proteinaceious "pit" plugs occluding the connection between cells (due to incomplete cell cleavage at mitosis). Most red algae are multicellular and marine, but unicellular and freshwater taxa also occur.

Sep 27, 2009

Brown Seaweeds

Brown seaweeds are the most common type of seaweed found on rocky beaches. They normally have a method to strongly attach themselves to rock surfaces.The brown colour of the seaweed is due to the brown pigment fucoxanthin overriding the green pigment chlorophyll. Both pigments are used in the photosynthesis of light, fucoxanthin improving the process when the algae is covered by water.

Each species has its own niche on the shore, the major factors being the amount of time they are left uncovered by the tide and the degree of shelter the beach offers. These niches are often strongly defined allowing the species of brown seaweed found on a beach to be used to zone it, or classify it shelter or exposure level, particularly relevant in the case of the wracks.

The richest area of brown seaweed with its accompanying abundant animal life is the kelp forest. This forest is rarely seen, its fringe only being uncovered with spring tides. The forest is dominated by large brown seaweeds such as kelp. These large seaweeds have strong holdfasts to grip the rock face, but with strong storms even these are ripped from the forest, the seaweeds becoming stranded en masse on the shore. After a storm not only will the seaweed thrown up on the beach, but even the anchorage rock the plant was attached to. This is the only easy opportunity to study these seaweeds.

Species of Brown Seaweeds In Cornwall:
Thongweed Himanthalia elongata
Japweed Sargassum muticum
Sea Lace Corda filum
Sea Balls Leathesia difformis

Thongweed Himanthalia elongata

The major distinctive feature of this seaweed is its mushroom shaped disk. The disc is about an inch across. From the disc grows a long branched frond reaching up to 6 feet in

length, on which the conceptacles form. The frond is eventually detached, leaving the disc behind.

Mushroom Shaped Disk

Thongweed Himanthalia elongata

Sea Lace Corda filum

Long boot lace like seaweed attached to the sea floor, by a holdfast with fronds easily reaching twenty feet in length.

The fronds are flexible and very tough, tending to become hollow with age. They are slimy and covered with small hairs.

Sea Lace Corda filum

Sea Balls Leathesia difformis

Now and again small ball like seaweeds get washed ashore. These are Leathesia difformis a stalkless epiphyte.

This epiphyte fastens itself to rocks and other seaweeds.

Japweed Sargassum muticum

Introduced from the Pacific it is thought to have been imported with oysters by accident. This fast growing seaweed is a threat to some native flora which it out competes. It has been in British waters for less than forty years, and it has already got a strong foothold in Cornwall.

Japweed Sargassum muticum

Their branched fronds reach a meter in length. The branches have flotation bladders and receptacles.

Japweed Sargassum muticum. Branches with flotation bladders.

Flotation Bladders

Sep 24, 2009

Porphyra pp. ('Kim' in Korean)

The thallus of the erect frond of Porphyra species is in the form of a flat, lanceolate or broadly elliptical blade. The fronds are composed entirely of either small rectangular or rounded cells which are arranged in one or, more rarely, two cell layers. They are dark purplish to brownish red. In the wild, Porphyra species normally grow attached to rocks or as epiphytes in the intertidal or shallow subtidal and are generally highly seasonal in their appearance and growth.

There are about 16 species of Porphyra growing on the coast of Korea. Common cultivated strains of Porphyra in Korea are: Porphyra yezoensis, P. tenera and P. kuniedae (Kang 1972). Since 1980, many strains have been introduced from Japan in a free-living conchocelis condition. These new strains have contributed to the increased production of Porphyra in Korea but not to its quality. The current trend in the Porphyra industry is towards harvest of wild P. kuniedae, P. dentata and P. seriata at the south-west coast, owing to the high market price of its dried laver.

Cultivation history of seaweed began with Porphyra. According to the oldest records on Porphyra the alga was processed by chopping and drying earlier than 1425 (Bae 1991). Another story, passed from generation to generation, tells that it was in 1623-1649 that Porphyra was cultivated around Taein Island when a fisherman found some floating bamboo twigs with Porphyra attached to them and began his own cultivation by planting bamboo twigs along the sea shore (Kang and Koh 1977). This bambo twig cultivation method was used until 1986 around Taein Island and its vicinity on the south coast. The method is no longer in use.

Seeding of Porphyra is usually done in March or April. Oyster shells are used as they can be obtained cheaply and easily from oyster culture grounds. The conchocelis filaments grow densely within these shells. The seeding shells are laid and cultured on the floor of shallow concrete tanks or wooden boxes which are covered with polyethylene film. Alternatively the oyster shells may be tied into string in sets of 10 and dangled from rods to be suspended in deep tanks of seawater. Cultivation nets are seeded with spores from the conchocelis phase within the oyster shells from late September to early October. During this period, the seawater temperature begins to drop below 22-23℃. The temperature during this period is variable depending on where the cultivation grounds are located.

Oyster shells, containing the Porphyra conchocelis, are applied to groups of cultivation nets (30-50 nets, approximately 1.8×4m in size), which are tied to bamboo or PVC frames. Each set of nets has about 100 shells laid on top, then all of the nets are covered with a polyethylene envelope (Sohn and Kain 1989a). Modified methods are being implemented mainly in the south-west region. Large sections of net (approximately 1.8×20m) are grouped into larger sheets (1.8×40m). Then about 150 oyster shells are crushed into small pieces and enclosed in a slender polyethylene sac which is placed on each set of cultivation nets.

Sep 23, 2009

Green algae

The "green algae" is the most diverse group of algae, with more than 7000 species growing in a variety of habitats. The "green algae" is a paraphyletic group because it excludes the Plantae. Like the plants, the green algae contain two forms of chlorophyll, which they use to capture light energy to fuel the manufacture of sugars, but unlike plants they are primarily aquatic. Because they are aquatic and manufacture their own food, these organisms are called "algae," along with certain members of the Chromista, the Rhodophyta, and photosynthetic bacteria, even though they do not share a close relationship with any of these groups.

The above picture shows a dense growth of sea lettuce (Ulva), growing in a tide pool at the Berkeley Marina. This is a marine species of "green algae" often found attached to rocks, and exposed at low tide.

Over 5,000 species of green algae are known, mostly unicells or simple filaments from fresh water, but there are diverse green algae in tropical marine habitats. Like land plants, the greens store starch (amylose or amylopectin) and have chlorophyll a and b as well as secondary pigments : carotenes, lutein, zeaxanthin. (Some Chlorophyta also have siphonoxanthin.) The chloroplast endoplasmic reticulum is absent in green algae, and t heir cell walls are often composed of cellulose, hydroxproline, glycosides, xylans, mannans or sometimes calcium carbonate.

Sep 22, 2009

Red Slime Algae (Cyanobacteria)

Red slime algae is actually not a "true" algae at all, but classified as a cyanobacteria. Often considered to be the evolutionary link between bacteria and algae, cyanobacteria are one of the oldest forms of life on earth and date back at least 3.5 billion years.
These organisms produce oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis, and scientists believe that if it weren't for this microscopic organism, there would be no blue skies on Earth. Commonly referred to as "red slime" algae, the name cyanobacteria literally means "blue-green" algae. Despite the naming, only about half of these organisms are actually blue-green in color. Most forms found in saltwater are other colors, ranging from blackish green to blue-green, from orange-yellow to reddish-brown, and often appear deep purple to fully black in color. Starting out as small patches, it spreads out from there as a mat of sheeting covering.

What Makes Slime Algae Grow and Solutions For Eliminating This Problem

We suggest that you don't try to put all of these solutions into action at one time, because if you do, when the problem subsides you'll never really know where the problem was coming from and which solution worked to fix it. Start with one solution and see what results you get, and if that one doesn't work, try another one, and so on, until the problem is resolved. Now, in order for all forms of algae to grow, they require only two things; light and nutrients.

  • Lighting: The use of improper bulbs, lack of maintenance, and extended lighting hours are contributors that can lead to all sorts of algae problems. While these organisms do well in the 665 to 680 nanometer (nm) wavelength range, they are quite active bewteen the 560 and 620 nm range as well.
    • Solutions: Only use bulbs that are designed for aquarium use, run the lights 8 to 9 hours a day, and following the basic wattage rule of thumb, try different types of bulbs to increase the intensity and the spectral qualities of the light in the aquarium, particularly when it comes to any type of full-spectrum or color enhancing tubes being used.
  • Nutrients: Phosphates (PO 4 ), DOCs (Dissolved Organic Compounds), and nitrates (NO 3 ) are primary nutrient food sources for red and other slime algae.
    • Phosphates (PO 4 ) are commonly introduced into aquariums by means of using unfiltered fresh tap water, and through many aquarium products that may contain higher than normal concentrations of this element, such as sea salt mixes, activated carbon, KH buffers, foods, and many other sources. Also, for established reef tanks the long-term use of kalkwasser precipitates phosphates out of the water, and these phosphate based compounds can settle on and in the live rock and substrate.

Sep 20, 2009

What is carrageenan?

Lots of foods can contain some pretty weird-sounding stuff. That's because processed foods have some amazing things they have to do. For example, a cookie might get made in Texas, trucked across the country in the middle of the summer, sit in a warehouse for a couple of weeks before it is sold and then ride home in the trunk of your car. And when you open the package, you expect the cookie to look perfect. Not an easy thing to accomplish, it turns out.

seaweed close shot
Carrageenan is a seaweed extract common in the Atlantic Ocean near Britain, Continental Europe and North America.

Things like liquids and cheese can be even more problematic, because their natural inclination is to separate, foam, melt, precipitate, et cetera, especially after they bounce down the road for a thousand miles.

That's why many foods contain chemicals known as gums. Two gums that are pretty familiar are gelatin and corn starch. If you look at processed food, you see all sorts of other gums like carrageenan, xanthan gum, cellulose gum, locust bean gum, agar, and so on. Food scientists (not cooks -- food scientists make processed foods) use these substances for four main reasons:

  1. They thicken things: Ice cream, marshmallow fluff, pancake syrup, etc., all benefit from thickening.
  2. They emulsify things: They help liquids to stay mixed together without separating.
  3. They change the texture: Generally, a gum will make something thicker or chewier.
  4. They stabilize crystals: A gum might help prevent sugar or ice from crystallizing.
These are all handy capabilities when making food products that have to look good for several months after trucking them across the country. The reason why a normal cook usually does not need to use things like carrageenan or xanthan gum is because the food a normal cook makes gets eaten quickly and is not mistreated. A cook can also use less expensive things like gelatin, flour or eggs because the time span between cooking and consumption is so short.

Carrageenan, by the way, is a seaweed extract. This particular type of seaweed is common in the Atlantic Ocean near Britain, Continental Europe and North America. You boil the seaweed to extract the carrageenan. In that sense, carrageenan is completely "natural" -- it's not much different from tomato paste in its creation.

Sep 18, 2009

Seaweed comes Ashore

Seaweed is good for the garden. Mixed in the soil, it slowly releases nutrients that plants need, while improving soil texture. Since it is particularly rich in micro-nutrients such as iron, copper, zinc, boron and manganese, seaweed offers a natural remedy for soil with a micro-nutrient deficiency. Seaweed also contains large quantities of hormones that stimulate plant growth. Plants in seaweed amended soil grow faster and larger than plants in soil with a comparable amount of conventional fertilizer.A traditional soil amendment in coastal gardens, seaweed is now formulated in extracts and granular products that you can find on garden center shelves and in catalogs of garden suppliers (see sources on p. 32). Fresh seaweed and dried granular seaweed must break down in the soil to release their nutrients and hormones. A foliar spray of seaweed extract and water makes the nutrients and hormones available to plants faster. Research has shown that plant health can improve within days after the spray is applied. Foliar seaweed sprays rapidly correct nutrient deficiencies, improve fruit set and help a plant endure environmental stress, including drought and frost.

Where it started

Coastal gardeners have long collected seaweed and composted or used it fresh as mulch in their gardens. In the British Isles, 19th century gardeners grew potatoes of superior flavor in layers of sand and seaweed on bedrock. Traditionally, seaweed is raked from the sea by hand, piled into skiffs and brought to shore. It is time-consuming, heavy work. A small boatload of fresh seaweed weighs 4,000 lb. to 5,000 lb. Not surprisingly, the discovery of synthetic fertilizer sin this century eclipsed labor-intensive and slow-acting organic amendments, seaweed among them. Seaweed's emergence as a tonic for plants began with British experiments with seaweed as a replacement for hemp during World War II. Scientist learned that as a rope substitute, seaweed was hopeless because it dissolved in water. This discovery, however, led to a process for liquidating and concentrating seaweed, making it possible to bottle and to transport economically it's minerals and hormones. Drying seaweed over low heat led to the production of seaweed meal, a source of minerals and vitamins for livestock feed, and a concentrate soil amendment. Today, gardeners can readily find seaweed extract and seaweed meal.

The primal supermarket

Seaweed is a rootless plant in the Fucus family that floats freely or clings to rocks by holdfasts (root-like or disc-shaped plant parts that attach seaweed to rocks but don't absorb nutrients). Seaweed photosynthesizes the sunlight that reaches it through shallow water and it absorbs nutrients from seawater through its leaves. Since the ocean receives runoff from the entire earth, it contains all known minerals, trace elements and vitamins. This primal supermarket supplies a more complete diet for sea plants that any plot of rich soil or fertilizer provides for land plants. Seaweed contains 60 or more minerals and several plant hormones. It is not, however, a complete fertilizer. It has a fair amount of nitrogen and potash, but very little phosphorus, a major plant nutrient. Only a few seaweeds are harvested commercially. Norwegian kelp (Ascophyllum nodosum) a brown algae, is the seaweed most used in gardening. Norwegian kelp is gathered off the coast of England, Ireland and Norway and both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America where it is called rockweed. Gulfweed (Sargassum) a floating sea plant, is harvested off the coast of North Carolina. Giant kelp (Macrocystis) is collected in the Pacific Northwest.

How seaweed enhances plant growth

Seaweed is constantly worn down by tides and eaten by fish, so it must grow rapidly to survive. Studies at the University of California showed that a frond of seaweed can grow a foot a day, given optimal conditions. The same growth hormones that prompt such rapid growth in seaweed, when applied to plants as a foliar spray, can increase the speed of cell division and elongation in those plants. The hormones also increase root growth when applied to the soil as meal, or when a seaweed extract is used as a root dip.In recent turf test at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, plots sprayed with seaweed extract had 67% to 175% more roots that untreated plots. Plots treated in fall showed a 38% increase in spring growth over untreated plots and showed 52% more roots.In test at South Carolina's Clemson University, seeds soaked in liquid sea weed extract showed rapid germination and the resulting seedlings and increased root mass and stronger plant growth that seedlings from untreated seeds. They also had a higher survival rate. Soaking plant roots in seaweed extract reduces transplant shock and speeds root growth. Seaweed foliar sprays promote faster, stronger stem and leaf growth and earlier blossoming and fruit set when sprayed on leaves and flowerbeds.

Seaweed as fertilizer

Seaweed improves soil fertility in several ways. Seaweed's nutrients and hormones are directly available to plants. Mannitol, a compound found in seaweed, enables plants to better absorb nutrients from the soil. The rapid breakdown of carbohydrates in seaweed stimulates beneficial soil bacteria that fix nitrogen and make it available to plant roots. These activities reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, and when seaweed is used with them, enhance their effects.Robert Kourik, an organic gardening specialist, suggest using 1 lb. of seaweed meal per 100-sq. ft. of soil or 1/4 tablespoon of liquid concentrate to 1 gal. of water for a foliar spray in intensive vegetable gardens. No matter what formulation is used -- fresh, dried or liquid - don't exceed the recommended quantities because excessive amounts of seaweed can stunt plant growth rather than encourage it.

Seaweed as pest control

Some scientists believe that seaweed has developed antitoxins to fend off bacteria and viruses in the ocean. In the gardens, these antitoxins interrupt the reproductive cycles of some insects and appear to repel others. Seaweed also reduces fungi when applied to plants or soil. In test at the University of Maryland, seaweed meal reduced soil nematodes in turf grass plots. Clemson University studies showed fewer aphids and flea beetles on foliar threatened plants, and other studies showed resistance to spider mites and scab. In Clemson studies, fruits and vegetables treated with seaweed didn't grow mold and thus had a longer shelf life.

Using seaweed

You can apply seaweed as mulch or as a soil additive, or incorporate it in a compost pile (its ability to activate soil bacteria makes seaweed an excellent compost starter). But the preferred method of application is as a foliar feed. For a head start on the growing season, you might want to presoak seeds in diluted seaweed extract for 20 minutes before planting. Then water the seedlings regularly with the same solution until strong growth appears. Apply seaweed meal to the soil as soon as the ground can be worked in spring because the meal needs time to break down. Work the meal in to perennial beds when the plants break dormancy.Apply foliar sprays once or twice a month during the growing season. Spraying in late fall supplies phosphorus and zinc to plant roots and increases the frost tolerance of grass, vegetables, and perennials. A late season foliar treatment can yield a longer harvest of vegetables.A balanced organic fertilizer can be created by mixing fresh seaweed or seaweed meal with manure or fishmeal, both of which supply sufficient phosphorus. Seaweed is also a good soil conditioner and can add as much humus to the soil as manure can.

Sep 17, 2009

Brunei, Aquaculture gold a plenty in Brunei seas

There’s gold awaiting to be harvested from Brunei's seas and shores; gold that can never run out unlike oil that faces depletion in the near future.

The gold is seaweeds, shellfishes and fish from cage rearing.

Seaweeds, for instance, if cared and managed properly, will contribute half a billion dollars of income annually for Brunei. And the capital and labor needed to attain such wealth is peanuts compared to setting up an oil rig.

Why? Because Brunei, in the words of a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture (UNFAO) Corporate Document Repository titled South China Sea Fisheries Development and Coordinating Programme, is perfect for aquaculture.

Aquaculture in Southeast Asia is ideal in places like southern Philippines, Indonesia and Brunei where there are coastal intertidal swamps, mud flats of rapidly extending coasts, embayments as well as the ponds and reef flats, the report said.

Such topographical and geographical advantages are given tooth by the fact that Brunei is typhoon-free, typhoon being the most destructive enemy of sea farming.

The Programme has been carried out in cooperation with Director-General of Fisheries of Malaysia and the Sabah Fisheries Department by the Marine Colloids, Inc, of Rockland, Maine, in the United States. It covered and studied in detail Malaysia, Brunei, southern Philippines and southern Bali and southwestern Sulawesi of Indonesia.

Seaweeds are a multi-billion dollar industry because they are used as medicine, food, agars, colloids, gels and gums for industries; and lately as synthetic material for spaceships in outer galactic exploration.

The most important but highly expensive seaweed is carrageenan, which reaches US$10 ($15) per pound.

There is no specific farm size recommended in seaweed production, thus it allows for a range of commitment levels. Experience shows that households decide on their own level of farming activity depending on cash needs and other obligations and commitments.

For income projection purposes, the standard off-bottom farm module is that of 50 square metres which requires a labour input of about 2 hours per week. Ideally, this allows seven harvests a year yielding 600kg or 1,320 pounds. At US$10 a pound, a Bruneian fisherman can attain a gross income of US$13,200. A 200 square metre area manageable by a family can earn a gross of US$52,800 or B$80,000.

Sargassum, a brown seaweed, is highly significant as source of iodine. Iodine is needed by the development of the thyroid hormones and is partly responsible for human intelligence..

The Graciliaria seaweed, bountiful in Brunei, is an important source of agar. It is as expensive as sargassum and carrageenan.

Brunei's Bay is a potential mega seaweed farm site. With an area of about 250,000, hectares, much of which are vital mangroves, it can be utilised for seaweed culture. The mudflats and sandflats at the mouths of the major estuaries provide outstanding conditions

The freshwater flowing into the bay via a labyrinth of interconnecting channels and waterways will contribute to the needed aquacultural requirements for the seaweed industry . The major rivers entering the Brunei Estuary like Limbang, Temburong, Bangau and Trusan can protect the seafarms from silt accumulation and pollution.

In a recent cluster meeting on small and medium enterprise development by the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) aquaculture culture has been identified as a potential export industry for the said countries. This comes after the German GTZ completed a study on Seaweed Industry Project: Value Chain on seaweeds followed by a BIMP-EAGA Seaweeds Conference in Tawau, Malaysia on the need to identify areas of cooperation in the seaweeds cluster (production, possessing and trading/marketing).

According to FAO, fisheries as part of the national development sector in Brunei is given high priority but this industry is young and its development is overshadowed by extensive development of the oil resources. Local production fluctuated from year to year, estimated at 4,000 metric tonnes to 5,000 metric tonnes a year.

Fish consumption is gradually rising, having reached 5,600 metric tonnes in 1985. It includes finfish, crustaceans and molluscs. Additional imports of processed fishery commodities (frozen, canned, processed, etc.) of fluctuating amount is also being made each year to complete total consumption needs. These commodities amount to a consumption of 8, 200 metric tonnes in 1985. With a growth rate of 3.3 per cent annually, it is expected that fish consumption will increase steadily.

To reach self-sufficiency in fish and and earn from the the billion dollar aquaculture industry in the Asean region, FAO contended that Brunei authorities have to hasten manpower training in the industry. Under BIMP-EAGA , the Philippines has agreed to assist in training fishermen to adequately carry out the fish production programme. The state should likewise conduct positive fisheries programmes that offer incentives to the fishery sector, FAO added.

There are about 3,000 to 4,000 full-time fishermen in Brunei. The reason for the low number of fishermen is that their earning power is much lower than those in government jobs or those involved in the oil industry work force.

Hence, many of those who were fishermen and their children tend to flock to the urban areas for the desired government or oil company jobs.

FAO is urging Brunei inland fishermen to go into fresh-water pond culture.

The government has a demonstration and training station for this aspect. In the case of the small-scale full-time or part-time coastal fisherman, they can go into seafarming.

Cage culture of valuable species of marine finfish such as groupers, seabass and snappers which have already established local market can greatly bolster fishermens income. Open water culture of molluscs including mussels and oysters is also another possible venture.

A private commercial venture on mussel which was started only in 1985 has indicated technical feasibility of this aquaculture activity.

Brunei's plan outlined under the BIMP-EAGA named fisheries, Halal meat production, horticulture, biopharmaceuticals, financial, transport and construction services, eco and cultural tourism as the sectors it is developing to be globally competitive.

As oil may run out one day and the state is pushing for increased diversification in several industries, aquaculture provides an opportunity for Brunei to harvest vast richness from its sea and inland waters.

Sep 16, 2009

Alaria esculenta (Linnaeus) Greville

Description: Plants with olive or yellow-brown fronds to 4 m long and 25 cm wide. Attached by a root-like holdfast at the base from which a narrow flexible stipe arises which continues into the leafy part of the plant as a distinct mid-rib. The reproductive structures, apparent as dark-brown areas, are confined to unbranched leafy appendages borne on the stripe, usually in two rows.

Habitat: Generally growing on rock in very exposed places, often forming a band at low water and in the shallow subtidal, but also occurring in tidal pools in the lower shore.

Distinguishing features: This is the only kelp-like plant in Ireland and Britain with a distinct midrib and is the only one with sporangia borne at the base of the frond in special leaflets called sporophylls.

Seaweed’s potential experimented on Could mean big business for Bicol region

THE BUREAU of Agricultural Research (BAR) has developed 20 products from processed seaweeds, opening up a new potential for the fisheries commodity in the Bicol region.

Some of the products that could open a new market for seaweed farmers include seaweed candies, seaweed noodles, seaweed chips, nata de seaweeds, seaweed jam, seaweed chocolate, seaweed longanisa, and macaroons with seaweed.

"We developed and created new products which are not only affordable but are also nutritious," said Aida S. Andayog, manager of the Regional Fisheries Research and Development Center.

New products that will likely open a new market for seaweed farmers include seaweed candies, seaweed noodles, pickled seaweeds, seaweed chips, nata de seaweeds, seaweed tart, seaweed jam, seaweed chocolate bar, seaweed longanisa, macaroons with seaweed, fish lumpia with seaweed, seaweed morcon, seaweed marmalade, seaweed kropek and seaweed juice.

"These products have competitive advantage in the market considering the uniqueness, taste, and nutritional value," Ms. Andayog said.

"Seaweeds are a low-calorie food, with a high concentration of minerals, vitamins, proteins and digestible carbohydrates, and some lipids," she added.

Seaweeds, which are rich in iodine, iron, magnesium, sodium, calcium and phosphorous, is used here and abroad as an ingredient in human and animal food, cosmetics, fertilizers, medicines and also in wastewater treatment.

In 2003, an on-farm research and a seaweed nursery were put up by the agency through funds from a community-based participatory action research project.

The facility became a model seaweed production farm for the coastal municipalities of Sorsogon and eventually, in the whole region, the BAR said.

The project, dubbed the "Product Development/Improvement and Commercialization of Seaweeds in Bicol Region," was targeted to create a comprehensive development and commercialization of seaweeds and processed seaweed products in the region and to put up village-level seaweed production and processing enterprises.

Trainings and seminars were held to educate seaweed farmers on the principles of good manufacturing practices and sanitation standard operating procedures required for export products.

Furthermore, products underwent sensory evaluation to assess the product appearance, odor, flavor and textures and its nutritional value through nutritional evaluation, the BAR said.

The project is funded by the BAR under its National Technology Commercialization Program that aims to promote agribusiness in the country and create jobs.

Early this month, the BAR said it was developing pigeon pea coffee as a healthy alternative drink. Products also being developed from pigeon pea include organic vinegar, basi wine, handmade paper, vermi-compost, syrup, cookies and other flat bread baked from pigeon pea flour.