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Herbs & Plants

Porphyra

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Botanical Name : Porphyra umbilicalis
Family: Bangiaceae
Genus: Porphyra
Domain: Eukaryota
Phylum: Rhodophyta
Class: Rhodophyceae
Order: Bangiales

Common Name :Laver

Habitat :It grows in the intertidal zone, typically between the upper intertidal zone and the splash zone in cold waters of temperate oceans. In East Asia, it is used to produce the sea vegetable products nori (in Japan) and gim (in Korea), the most commonly eaten seaweed. There are considered to be 60 to 70 species of Porphyra worldwide and seven in the British Isles.

Description:
Porphyra is a foliose red algal genus of laver, comprising approximately 70 species.Porphyra displays a heteromorphic alternation of generations. The thallus we see is the haploid generation; it can reproduce asexually by forming spores which grow to replicate the original thallus. It can also reproduce sexually. Both male and female gametes are formed on the one thallus. The female gametes while still on the thallus are fertilized by the released male gametes, which are non-motile. The fertilised, now diploid, carposporangia after mitosis produce spores (carpospores) which settle, then bore into shells, germinate and form a filamentous stage. This stage was originally thought to be a different species of alga, and was referred to as Conchocelis rosea. The fact that Conchocelis was the diploid stage of Porphyra was discovered by the British phycologist Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker in 1949 for the European species Porphyra umbilicalis. It was later shown for species from other regions as well.
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You may click to see  :The Seaweed Site: information on marine algae

Species
*Porphyra abbottae V.Krishnam., Red laver
*Porphyra leucosticta Thur.
*Porphyra linearis Grev.
*Porphyra miniata (C.Agardh)
*Porphyra purpurea (Roth)
*Porphyra tenera
*Porphyra umbilicalis (L.) J.Agardh.
*Porphyra yezoensis Ueda

Food Use:
Most human cultures with access to Porphyra use it as a food or somehow in the diet, making it perhaps the most domesticated of the marine algae, known as laver, nori (Japanese), amanori (Japanese), zakai, gim (Korean),[8] zicai (Chinese), karengo, sloke or slukos. The marine red alga Porphyra has been cultivated extensively in many Asian countries as an edible seaweed used to wrap the rice and fish that compose the Japanese food sushi, and the Korean food gimbap. In Japan, the annual production of Porphyra spp. is valued at 100 billion yen (US$ 1 billion).

Medicinal Uses:
Sloke gives off a green liquid, thought to be rich in iron (used as a dietary supplement). There is a story of one woman having had a case of dropsy cured by drinking two bottles of sloke water.  In Scotland, the natives ate the laver boiled, and dissolved into oil. It was said that if a little butter was added to it one might live many years on this alone, without bread or any other food, and at the same time undergo any laborious exercise.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porphyra
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Norwegian Kelp.

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Botanical Name:  Norwegian Kelp.

Domain: Eukaryota

Kingdom: Protista

(unranked): Chromista

Phylum: Heterokontophyta

Class: Phaeophyceae

Order: Fucales

Family: Fucaceae

Genus: Ascophyllum

Species:
A. nodosum

Norwegian Kelp is a large, common, brown alga, in the Class Phaeophyceae. It is seaweed of the northern Atlantic Ocean, also known as Ascophyllum nodosum, Knotted Kelp, knotted wrack or egg wrack. It is common on the north-western coast of Europe (from Svalbard to Portugal) including east Greenland and the north-eastern coast of North America.

It is is very popular amongst the science community and has been claimed to be both the best known seaweed on the planet as well as the most researched by the academic community

Kelp (acophyllum nodosum) is a seaweed with a long history of use as a food and as a source of assimilable iodine. Ascophyllum nodosum is a species of kelp that only grows deep in ocean waters. Other off shore kelps may absorb heavy metals and toxins. That is why Now Foods kelp is wild grown Norwegian Kelp, and is comprised only of valuable nutrients from ocean floors. We use the whole dried kelp plant.

Kelp is a large, leafy brown algae that belongs to the seaweed family and grows in the colder waters of the world’s oceans. It is a good source of marine minerals, including potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron. It is also an excellent source of iodine, which has been shown to support healthy thyroid function. Your thyroid gland is responsible for producing the hormones that support normal cellular metabolism. As with most green foods, kelp also contains vitamins and cell salts essential for good nutrition.*

Description and ecology:
Ascophyllum nodosum has long fronds with large egg-shaped air-bladders set in series at regular intervals in the fronds and not stalked. The fronds can reach 2 m in length and are attached by a holdfast to rocks and boulders. The fronds are olive-brown in color and somewhat compressed but without a mid-rib. [4]
....
This seaweed grows quite slowly and can live for several decades; it may take approximately five years before becoming fertile.

Life history is of one diploid plant and gametes. The gametes are produced in conceptacles embedded in yellowish receptacles on short branches.

Ascophyllum nodosum is found mostly on sheltered sites on shores in the mid-littoral where it can become the dominant species in the littoral zone.

Polysiphonia lanosa (L.) Tandy is a small red alga, commonly found growing in dense tufts on Ascophyllum whose rhizoids penetrate the host. It is considered by some as parasitic.

Varieties and forms:
Several different varieties and forms of this species have been described.

Ascophyllum nodosum var. minor has been described from Larne Lough in Northern Ireland. [9]
There are free floating ecads of this species such as Ascophyllum nodosum mackaii Cotton, which is found at very sheltered locations, such as at the heads of sea lochs in Scotland and Ireland. [10][11]

The species is found in a range of coastal habitats from sheltered estuaries to moderately exposed coasts, often it dominates the inter-tidal zone (although sub-tidal populations are known to exist in very clear waters). However it is rarely found on exposed shores, and if it is found the fronds are usually small and badly scratched.

It has been recorded as an accidental introduction to San Francisco, California, and eradicated as a potential invasive species there.

Distribution
Recorded in Europe from: Faroe Islands, Norway, Ireland, Britain and Isle of Man Netherlands North America: Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Baffin Island, Hudson Strait, Labrador and Newfoundland.

Uses:
Ascophyllum nodosum is harvested for use in alginates, fertilisers and for the manufacture of seaweed meal for animal and human consumption. It has long been used as an organic and mainstream fertilizer for many varieties of crops due to its combination of both macronutrient, (eg. N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S) and micronutrients (eg. Mn, Cu, Fe, Zn, etc.) It also host to cytokinins, auxin-like, gibberellins, betaines, mannitol, organic acids, polysaccharides, amino acids, and proteins which are all very beneficial and widely used in agriculture.

Ascophyllum nodosum along with Macrocystis pyferais harvested in Ireland, Scotland and Norway from which alginates are extracted it is one of the world’s principal alginate supply.

Medical Uses:
A long history of use as a source of assimilable iodine. Some benefits include:
– Contains many nutrients absorbed from the sea.*
– Naturally Pure Wild Grown Norwegian Kelp
– Natural Potency of Iodine.

Norwegian Kelp may reduce, or even eliminate, not only bacterial plaque and dental caries but also arteriosclerotic plaque, atherosclerotic plaque, pleural plaque, renal calculus, biliary calculus, and prostatic calculus.

Furthermore, the medicinal and dental uses have been recognized for well over a century.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.herbalremedies.com/14500.html
http://www.champerene.com/horses.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ascophyllum_nodosum

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