The Salty Flavor: Seaweed – East West School of Planetary Herbology

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Bladderwrack

To finish up the flavors for the year, we have one left – salty. Most herbs that are salty are subtly so. Yet salty can include herbs with mineral salts, such as nettles. Here I want to discuss a true salty herb: seaweed. Seaweed is not unknown as a medicinal herb. Irish moss and bladderwrack are also seaweeds used as herbs. China, Korea, and Japan have long used seaweed as food and medicine.

Most people don’t think of seaweed as an herb but rather as a food. Seaweed is widely used in macrobiotics for its health benefits and mineral/vitamin content. As well, seaweed is a staple of sushi. We include seaweed with every pot of beans we cook. My son relished strips of roasted nori and I snack on these myself today. Seaweeds are also used as binding agents in such commercial products as toothpaste and fruit jelly, and a softener (emollient) in organic cosmetics and…

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