There`s a buzz about Fucoidan, the super ingredient of some seaweeds, such as Limu Moui. What is this substance and can it help lower blood pressure?
Man has consumed seaweed for centuries believing it to be a healthy tonic, full of vitamins, enzymes, and minerals. But it`s not just down to hearsay that these health claims are believed.
Extensive research has identified the active ingredient in Limu that promotes good health. Fucoidan!
This complex carbohydrate is only found in marine algae and not in land vegetation.
Facts About Limu Moui and the Natives of Tonga
The people of Tonga, a group of islands in the South Pacific, east of Fiji, have been harvesting this super food for centuries. Originally the women did the harvesting of Limu on the tidal flats, while the men did other fishing.
They have gained knowledge over the centuries as to which seasons and conditions are best for harvesting it, and they have learned how to conserve the limu crops by picking only the tops of the sea algae, allowing the plants to regenerate and replenish.
But now that Limu has become highly commercialized, the men do the majority of the harvesting.
Before commercialization, Limu was harvested and eaten mostly by the poorer natives living in and around the coastal areas. It was only when hurricanes, natural disaster emergencies and the like occurred, that Limu was eaten more extensively by the inland dwellers.
What Does Limu Moui Look Like?
It is a dark brown color but looks lighter under water. It is very slippery and jelly-like which is an identifying factor that you have the right seaweed. It is the fucoidan which causes the slipperiness.
This species of marine algae does not grow in warm water. It flourishes in temperatures ranging from 20 to 35 degrees and is harvested in the cooler months of May through to September.
The Super Ingredient
As a nutriceutical, Limu has gained popularity, but it has always been promoted by the islander`s traditional healers and midwives as a therapeutic remedy for a variety of ailments. It was not until repatriated islanders who had lived abroad and had adopted unhealthy diets and lifestyles, that those people claimed Limu was good for high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, the consequences of their adopted habits. This is not hard to believe! Numerous health organizations such as the American Heart Association, the British Heart Foundation, the Canadian Heart Association, the Indian Hypertension Society, the American Hypertension Society, the British Hypertension Society, so on and so on, continue to shed light on the connection between high blood pressure and nutrition.
Later as Limu became a subject of research, the food was certified as a nutriceutical.
In recent years scientific research has discovered a substance in Limu called Fucoidan. There has been over 700 studies conducted that have shown that this substance helps support the bodies healing processes, supporting the immune system, and in maintaining optimum health.
It is a sulfated polysaccharide, that is, a sulfur containing complex sugars.
Could fucoidan have any effect on blood pressure?
Scientists have discovered that it is an anticoagulant similar to the bodies own anti-blood clotting agent so it helps maintain a strong flow of blood. It has anti-inflammatory reaction and it supports liver and kidney function.
These factors all contribute to the health of the cardiovascular system.
This all makes good sense, but the real proof of the pudding is in the eating!
Because fucoidan is an anti-coagulant, taking it along with aspirin, warfarin or other blood thinning agents could be dangerous. You should consult your doctor before taking herbs.