Kombu, a seaweed from the Laminaria genus, is a major staple of Japanese cuisine. It grows naturally in the deep waters of the ocean and is a variety of very thick, wide and dark green kelp. While it is commonly used in cooking, specifically to make soup stocks, candy and condiments, Kombu is also useful in natural cures and home remedies.
Because Kombu, like all other seaweed, is harvested from the ocean, it is extraordinarily rich in mineral elements that provide immense nutritional benefits. Believed to be beneficial to beauty and diet, Kombu is also very low in calories.
The nutritional benefits of Kombu stem from it being naturally rich in the following vitamins, minerals and nutrients:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1
Known to reduce rates of breast cancer in women, the Lignans in Kombu are specifically believed to be responsible for the lower incidence of the disease in Japanese women who consume diets rich in sea vegetables, including Kombu.
In people with under-active thyroids or who are deficient in proper levels of iodine, Kombu is also known to help increase physical energy. In fact, it is widely used in natural cures and home remedies to treat both of these disorders.
Other natural cures and home remedies for which Kombu is commonly used include the treatment of:
- Excessive phlegm
- The common cold
- Liver cirrhosis
- Liver enlargement
- Kidney disorders
- Stomach issues
- Testicular swelling
As a naturally rich source of dietary fiber, Kombu is also commonly used to treat bowel issues, including constipation, and other digestive ailments.
Symptoms of Deficiency
Because Kombu is so rich in nutrients, such as iron, iodine and magnesium, those with deficiencies who wish to regain optimal health, often use this kelp to do so. Classic symptoms of being deficient in one or more of these minerals, as well as other vitamins, may include:
- Breathing difficulties
- Frequent headaches
- Pale skin
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Cold feet and hands
- Increased occurrence of infections
- Loss of appetite
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- Odd cravings (such as for dirt, clothing starch, etc.)
Kombu is commonly used in Japanese recipes as a base for seasoning or in recipes that call for the use of actual seaweed. A few of these include:
- Miso soup
- Kombu-maki (also called tangle rolls)
- Onigiri (also called rice balls
- Ochazuke (rice with tea)
Those with hyperthyroidism who consume a lot of Kombu and other sea vegetables are advised to restrict use these to once weekly, as there may be a correlation between overconsumption of seaweed and this disorder.
Rich in flavor, Kombu is also able to provide an impressive array of vitamins and minerals, which are so necessary to the body’s overall good health. When health has been compromised and illness has taken root, natural cures and home remedies are often preferred by those who favor a holistic health approach to their own recovery. As such, Kombu is able to support a lot of natural treatments. For its nutritional benefits, as well as for its effectiveness as a medicinal plant, Kombu is highly recommended.