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 Caring for Skin & Hair with Sea Vegetables by Main Coast SeaVeg

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Messages : 5846
Date d'inscription : 24/11/2008
Localisation : The Best in the West, MTL, QC

MessageSujet: Caring for Skin & Hair with Sea Vegetables by Main Coast SeaVeg   Ven 15 Mai - 23:52

In Japan and other Asian nations, beautiful, healthy hair, skin and nails are attributed to the regular use of sea vegetables in the daily cuisine. Most traditional formulas for shampoo and soap in these countries invariably include at least one sea vegetable ingredient.

What properties of seaweeds are responsible for great hair and nails? That’s still under investigation, but it’s probably a combination of many factors, such as the abundance of organic colloidal minerals, particularly calcium, silica, iron, and phosphorus; the emulsifying alginates that cleanse surface toxins (they emulsify oils and de-acidify); and the abundance of iodine, amino acids, active enzymes, beta carotene, B vitamins, etc.

We all sense the connection between inner health and outer beauty. Here’s a good example from MCSV’s “fan mail.“ Carolyn Neel of Chico, California, writes, “I am 60 years old and began turning gray in my 30th year—mainly around the temple area . . . After I had been using (eating) dulse for at least 6 months, I began to notice darker hair coming in around the temple area and around the neck line. I had been about 90% gray. It is now down to 20% . . . There are a lot of products for the hair that claim wonderful results but I’m staying with dulse flakes.

Here’s another story about seaweed and hair from a book about Japanese beauty secrets called Inner Peace, Outer Beauty, by Michelle Leigh. “The upper class wives of Samurai used seaweed shampoo, and it was said that this was the source of their strong, shining, beautiful black hair. Seaweed not only removes dirt and excess oil but also improves and imparts a rich supply of nutrients leaving hair lustrous, thick, and easy to arrange. The deep sea aroma can be heady; women of all Japan used so much water to rinse their seaweed-washed heads that public baths charged higher rates for women bathers!

In her book, Michelle gives a simple recipe for Sea Tangle Shampoo, using 1 teaspoon of powdered dried seaweed to 3/4 cup of water. Kelp would be an obvious choice here as it has plentiful alginates that will thicken the shampoo and give your hair great body. If you don’t have kelp powder, Michelle suggests blending dried hiziki or kombu into powder. Where fresh seaweed is available, rinse it for 10 to 20 minutes to remove some of the salt, and purée it before adding it to a little water. She recommends preparing the mixture at least 30 minutes before use, probably to allow the alginates to fully hydrate.
When applying this shampoo it may be massaged into the scalp or left for 20 minutes if desired as a “pack.“ Rinse well at the end, and add a teaspoon of rice vinegar to the final rinse to eliminate organic odors, if there are any.

For those of you not wanting to give up your usual shampoo, Michelle suggests a seaweed tea rinse. This is made by pouring boiling water over a strip of dried kelp or kombu, allowing it to steep for 30 minutes, then removing the kelp before using the warm rinse with a scalp massage.

Now that you have washed and rinsed your hair with seaweed, perhaps you are ready to immerse the rest of your body in a seaweed bath. For that there is no one more enthusiastic than Linda Rector Page, N.D., Ph.D., whose “Healthy Healing“ books have turned many folks on to many kinds of natural remedies, including the merits of sea veggies, which she often refers to as “sea greens.“ No one can say it better, so I will quote her exactly on the subject of bathing and seaweed.

“Seaweed baths are nature’s perfect body/psyche balancer. Remember how good you feel after a walk in the ocean? Seaweeds purify ocean pollutants and they can do the same for your body. Rejuvenating effects occur when toxins are released from the body. A hot seaweed bath is like a wet steam sauna only better because the kelps and sea greens balance body chemistry instead of dehydrate it. Electrolytic magnetic action of the seaweed releases excess body fluid from congested cells and dissolves fatty wastes through the skin, replacing them with depleted minerals, particularly potassium and iodine. Iodine boosts thyroid activity, taming the appetite and increasing metabolism so that food fuels are used before they can turn into fatty deposits. Eating sea veggies regularly also has this effect. Vitamin K is another key nutrient in seaweeds. This precursor vitamin helps regulate adrenal function, meaning that a seaweed bath can also help maintain hormone balance for a more youthful body."

To actually take a bath with seaweed, simply choose your favorite dried plant or plants from your pantry and place them in something like a cheesecloth bag whose mesh is fine enough to keep the plants from clogging your drain but loose enough to let the mineral and mucilage into your bath water. Or if you are daring, try a piece of whole kelp, kombu, or alaria without the bag. If you live near the ocean, bring fresh seaweed back (rockweed, kelp, even dulse will work), rinse it thoroughly, and let it loose in your tub. The fresh water will slowly pop the cells, and you will benefit from all that rich intercellular material. You may also notice your water becoming a bit brown from natural dyes and your skin a bit slippery from the mucilaginous material that is released.

Another way to treat your skin to sea veggies is a seaweed body pack. This is a traditional Japanese use that “stimulates, tones, heals, purifies, rejuvenates, and nourishes,“ according to Michelle in her book on Japanese beauty secrets.

She recommends whole wakame but alaria, kelp, or kombu should work equally well. Simply soak the whole dried fronds for 20 minutes to soften. After cleaning your body thoroughly, cover as much of it as possible (or as much as you choose) with the seaweed pieces, and recline for 30 minutes. After removing the seaweed, rinse with cool water.

Wow, what a feeling!

There are also numerous soaps, skin creams, and lotions that are formulated with seaweed in them, usually kelp. A customer just notified us of a “Creme De La Mar“ at $140.00 per jar in a New York City department store. There is something simpler and cheaper you might try first. Hydrate some agar flakes or kelp powder and add a little to your favorite facial cream or hand lotion.

Tina, who works here at Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, actually made a great looking soap with kelp powder, and it was a big hit with our crew. She simply added a few tablespoons of our kelp powder (Laminaria digitata) to a basic clear, unscented soap recipe. The result was a misty green bar with a hint of ocean spray!

Be creative. Join the long tradition of nourishing skin and hair with seaweed.

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