Outside- The Body
I have talked already about the many benefits to the inside of your body by eating seaweed. What about the benefits to outside your body? Legend has long had it that taking a dip in the sea can work wonders for your health. As far back as 400BC, Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was advocating saltwater and heated seaweed baths for curing a variety of bodily ailments.
Go to the ocean to heal– is a quote ascribed to Hippocrates.
Seaweed has been in use for thousands of years, in diet, science and bathing, it boasts a myriad of nutrients, amino acids, and antioxidants that are associated with skin health and beauty. As skin is the largest organ in the body it gives the maximum surface through which its natural source of minerals, vitamins and amino acids in seaweed can be fully absorbed. Seaweed takes the nutrients in the water in a similar way to the way our bodies do, it balances and purifies the ocean through its growth and chemistry. So, bathing in the weeds of the sea can be healthy, balancing and nourishing for the skin and body. Acting as an emoillant which locks in moisture. Our skin is constantly plagued by harmful environmental effects that can speed up the skin’s aging process. Research suggests that seaweed has a revitalizing effect on the skin because of its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to induce blood flow to the skin. A hot seaweed bath is like a wet-steam sauna: the greens from the sea balance body chemistry without dehydrating it. The electromagnetic action of the seaweed acts as a diuretic to release excess body fluids from congested cells. So dissolves fatty wastes through the skin, replacing them with minerals, especially iodine, which boosts thyroid activity. Seaweed is rich in B, C, E and K vitamins, niacin, pantothenic acid and folic acid. Vitamin K boosts adrenal activity, which can help maintain hormone balance for a more youthful body. Scientific studies have confirmed that seaweed bathing helps lower body stress and back pain. Skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and acne are relieved and soothed. It has also been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of muscle aches and joint stiffness helping in combating rheumatism and arthritis.
In 1904 French scientist Rene Quinton published the medical work L’eau de Mer, Millen Organique which translates as Sea Water Organic Medium. Quinton’s study indicated that sea water and human plasma, Blood and Lymph fluid, are almost identical in their composition of mineral salts, proteins and various other elements. Seaweed is one of nature’s sponges so absorbs minerals from the sea. In a bath where seaweed and seawater are infused the mineral concentration within the infusion is much greater than in the water alone. ( This would occur in a treatment bath)
Many people in countries like Ireland and France, where it grows in abundance, have long used seaweed to keep the skin clean, moisture-rich, and rejuvenated. Natural skincare and body care has evolved, but one thing remains true, we still make use of the raw ingredients around us, often using plants our ancestors have used for centuries to help to heal the skin and body. Modern thalassotherapy techniques use seawater and seaweed baths and treatments to deliver their potent combination of beauty properties and healing elements.
France still leads the way with many Spas (thalassotherapy) specializing in seaweed treatments, many of which are associated with body toning, slimming and skin imperfections. We are made up of 65% water and water is the basis for our body’s evaporative cooling system. It flushes out toxic wastes, plumps up our cells, and lubricates our moving body parts.
Ireland has had a centuries-old practice of Seaweed bathing. It has fortified generations who relied on its therapeutic benefits to see them through the cold season, helping with aches and pains caused by the damp climate. Spartan seaweed baths were once popular in Ireland many attributing robust health and energy to the traditional cure of a hot seaweed bath. Now it’s much more relaxing, with many Spas and Hotels offering this service. The Ice House, in Mayo, has the Chill Spa with lovely products created by VOYA.ie it has an outdoor seaweed bath on the deck overlooking the river and is pure luxury. Voya Seaweed Baths is based in the coastal village of Strandhill in County Sligo they offer detoxifying seaweed baths and treatments utilising the natural power of their organic hand-harvested, wild seaweed. For full details of bathing treatments and products visit:
The seaweed used for bathing in Ireland is a wrack called Fucus Serratus, also known as serrated wrack and Fucus Vesiculosus known as Bladder wrack, belonging to the brown seaweed family. Wracks are large seaweeds growing on rocky shores in the northern hemisphere, particularly in Europe and North America. This seaweed has a high mineral content, and is rich in sulphur, iodine and natural oils.
It is possible to try seaweed treatments and baths at home and there are many great companies selling products that are both therapeutic and relaxing. Look for organic and natural companies where possible. Think how great you feel after walking on the beach and having a dip in the sea. A seaweed bathing regimen is thought to have a significant impact on our health and well-being as well as pure relaxation after a busy day.
Well I am totally convinced are you?