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and Laminaria

This page contains information on seaweed and how it is used as a herb in alternative herbal treatments to treat cellulite.



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This page differs from our other pages in the herbal index, since seaweed is not really a herb.

Please note that we are not advocating that people stop using their normal medication, but would like to make people aware that some alternative therapies can be very effective to help treat problems and create a healthier, younger and more vital you.

For more information on our range of products, please click here.

Although we believe in the therapeutic and healing properties of herbs, care must be taken in the use thereof, as they are powerful compounds.

Botanical classification of seaweed

Although people commonly refer to seaweed, it really refers to a wide selection of sea algae - but we only look at Fucus vesiculosus and Laminaria digitata, as they are the two seaweeds used in our Cellumend anti-cellulite cream.

Although these seaweeds are not the main active ingredient in our cellulite treatment gel, it does have very good cellulite reducing capabilities, and is a perfect addition to our formula, to work in synergy with the other herbal ingredients.

Fucus vesiculosus L.

The common name by which this seaweed, or marine algae (flora) is known is Bladderwrack and this plant belongs to the family of brown algae in which the green color of the chlorophyll has been masked by other pigments, mainly fucoxanthin, which is brown.

This marine plant is used both internally as well as in topical lotions for obesity, rheumatism and in the fight of cellulite, and is also referred to as the anti-fat herb.

Fucus reaches lengths of between 0.1 and 1 meter and is often dichotomic with small vesicles full of air in its tape-like frond, which serves as floats to keep the plant erect. The thallus is held on to the rock by a basilary lamina with hooks (rhizoids). When the conceptacles on the tips of the thallus come loose, they secrete red or yellow mucus, antheridia, which are male elements and oospheres, which are female elements. The fusion is carried out in the water and brings about immediate germination.

All seaweeds are rich in compounds that are of specific use in the cosmetic industry, such as polygalactosides, fucose polymers and ursolic acid. Polygalactosides react with the protective outer surface of the skin and the Ion-ion interaction form a protective moisturizing complex, while the fucose polymers are hygroscopic and act as hydrating agents and the ursolic acid helps form a protective barrier on the skin.

Fucus contains abundant non-essential and essential amino acids such as proline, glycine and lycine - all of these which are found in the elastic fibers of the skin. With this in mind, these ingredients alone would be helpful for the skin's elasticity by increasing hydration and thereby maintaining and improving the skin's elasticity.

Fucus contains a high degree of vitamin C and a small amount of provitamin A (carotenoids, fucoxanthin) and trace elements, mainly iodine (0.02 -0.1%) which is partially as iodide and partially bound to protein or amino acids; diiodotyrosine plus iodine derivatives of thyronine; polysaccharides, alginic acid, plus a linear polymer with various sequences of B-(1->4)-D-mannuronic and a-(1->4)-L-guluronic acid residues; fucans, (a-(1->2)-L-fucose-4-sulfate residues); polyphenols (phloroglucinols of high molecular weight >10,000); phlorotannins; sterols as free fucosterols; polar lipids, sulfated, or phosphate esters of glycosyl diglycerides and sulfated C18-C30 aliphatic alcohols. REF 5 & 6Iodine compounds such as TEA-Hydroiodide have effective lipolytic properties by stimulating lipases.

Dried, the seaweed still contains 10-12% water and contains 15% mineral salts (0.3-0.8% iodine and appreciable quantities of potassium), 1-2% fatty acids and fucosterol, 4-5% proteins and 65% condensed carbohydrates, basically algin or alginic acid and also a certain amount of cellulose. Alginic acid is a polymanuronic acid made up of units of D-mannuronic acid in a pyranous shape with 1-4 links. Beside the mannuronic acid there is glucuronic acid and the two are differentiated by their positions in the carboxylic group. Alginic acid is insoluble in water and swells by absorbing water up to 100 times its weight.

The alginates and magnesium alginates are soluble in water but the calcium alginates and the alginates of the heavy metals are not. Alginic acid is precipitated through the addition of an acid to a solution of alcaline alginate. Fucoidan is a reserve polysaccharide, which is soluble in water and is made up of units of L-fucose with 1-2 links in the shape of I-glycoside and with groups of sulphuric esters in C4. The great viscosity of fucoidan makes it a useful substance.

It was in 1862 that Didresne-Duparc talked of seaweed as having the property of absorbing fats. The first signs of slimming were seen after two weeks of taking baths with a large handful of seaweeds or by rubbing the fatty parts of the body with the fresh seaweed.

Laminaria digitata - Atlantic kelp

There are various sea or marine plants - and although they are sometimes collectively grouped as algae - they all have various unique points, as well as a range of similarities. Laminaria digitata is sometimes also referred to as Atlantic kelp.

All seaweeds are rich in compounds that are of specific use in the cosmetic industry, such as polygalactosides, fucose polymers and ursolic acid.

Polygalactosides react with the protective outer surface of the skin and the Ion-ion interaction form a protective moisturizing complex, while the fucose polymers are hygroscopic and act as hydrating agents and the ursolic acid can help form a protective barrier on the skin.

They contain abundant non-essential and essential amino acids such as proline, glycine and lycine - all of these, which are found in the elastic fibers of the skin as well. With this in mind, these ingredients alone would be helpful for the skin's elasticity by increasing hydration and thereby maintaining and improving the skin's elasticity.

Scientifically, Laminaria digitata belongs to the family of brown algae. They are 3 to 4 meters long and the thallus is composed of a cylindrical caulome and a frond which is wide, long and cloven or split depending on the species. They contain mucilage glands, which are covered in groups of sporangia at certain times of the year, and are held on to the rocks by rhizoids.

The constituents are calcium, potassium, iodine, mannitol, as well as fat, protein, carbohydrates and vitamins E, C, B12, B6, B3, B, A and Zn, F, Cr, Co, Mn, I, Na, Fe, P, Mg, K, Ca.

Laminaria in dry form contains 12% water, 15% mineral salts (chlorines, sulphates and iodines). Iodine is particularly abundant in this kind of seaweed, which can contain as much as 0.5% in terms of its dry weight and has higher iodine content than that of Pacific kelp.

Iodine compounds such as TEA-Hydroiodide have effective lipolytic properties by stimulating lipases.

The dried Laminaria digitata seaweed contains less than 1% lipids, some 5% protides and 65% or less of its content is represented by sugars, represented by the following: Mannitol (12-15%) -Soluble condensed glucosides (15-40%) and particularly Fucoidine and Laminaran. Laminaran is a glucane which exists in two forms, one insoluble in cold form and the other soluble. The two forms are made up of D-glucose (1-3), but there are also proportions of 1-6 links and remains of mannitol. Their content varies depending on the time of year when they are collected, and represents as much as 35% of the dry weight. Algin: 15-40% of the dry weight.

Laminaria is used mainly in treatments against cellulitis and obesity, either alone or combined with other extracts to enhance its activity.

The mineral salts and especially iodine stimulate the general metabolism and cause an increase in the osmotic exchanges thus bringing about elimination of the excess fluids.

This phenomenon is made use of in the treatment of cellulitis and obesity, which is why Laminaria extracts are used in preparations for massage or topical application.

The alginic acid or algin present in Laminaria has thickening and emulsifying properties, and these are also very useful in cosmetic science, and antibacterial properties have also been attributed to this seaweed.

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Our product range

Skin care

  • Healing cream
    • To assist in wound healing while soothing skin complaints – such as eczema and psoriasis, acne and piles and moisturizing and protecting the skin. This product has shown its effectiveness over a wide range of problems and judging from sales over more than a decade – it is the trusted healing cream to help with all mishaps, allergic reactions, irritated, burning, itchy and uncomfortable skin conditions.
  • Face wash
    • This face wash will properly clean your face and remove all impurities and environmental pollutants, without drying the skin. It contains eight herbal extracts to help promote a clear, vital and healthy complexion and a younger looking skin.
  • Moisturizing day cream
    • This day cream is formulated to help fight the signs of aging on various fronts. It helps to reduce free radical damage which, if left unchecked, leads to premature aging. The herbal extracts help to promote cell rejuvenation and regeneration and provide moisture and hydration to the skin.
  • Nourishing night cream
    • This nourishing night cream penetrates the skin extremely well and does not make the skin feel oily. It contains a host of herbal extracts to help in the fight against premature aging and has added vitamin E as well. Apart from the moisturizing effect and the anti-aging properties it also softens and smoothes the skin.
  • Eye gel
    • An effective refreshing eye gel to help reduce puffiness and dark rings around the eyes, while fighting wrinkles and lines. This is a very clever combination of herbal extracts and the base formula has its roots in a clinically proven formula.
  • Mud face mask
    • With this skin treatment product we combined a special selection of herbs in a base of thermal mud with oligoelements. This recommended weekly treatment will boost circulation to the skin, help to fight wrinkles and lines, improve firmness while at the same time improving suppleness and elasticity of the skin.


Hair care

  • Shampoo with rosemary extract + 7 other herbals
    • Our shampoo is in a class of its own – and granted – it is far more expensive than cheap supermarket shampoos, but no other shampoo has the active ingredients we have in our shampoo. The rosemary will boost the health of the hair and scalp, while the other seven herbal extracts will help strengthen the hair and make it shine, increase the volume and make it manageable.
  • Rosemary hair treatment conditioner
    • We have found that this hair conditioner should really be used as a conditioning treatment. This then removes the need to condition the hair every time you wash – and can be used once a month. It is a superb hair tonic and helps in the control of sebum secretion of the scalp. Although not formulated for dandruff – the ingredients will assist with this as well, while supporting the health of the scalp.


Specialized herbal gels and lotions

  • Hand and body lotion
    • When formulating this hand and body lotion we created a rich nourishing, protecting and reviving lotion, which will not leave the skin oily or tacky, but will create a well moisturized, hydrated and supple skin. After applying this lotion it will quickly be absorbed by the skin, leaving it silky soft, smooth and well moisturized.
  • Stretch mark gel
    • Although nothing can remove already formed stretch marks (only surgery can do that) – thousands of satisfied clients confirm that this gel improves the appearance of old stretch marks. The gel will help in PREVENTING stretch marks (a 92% success rate) and is used with great success by expectant mothers and body builders who may form marks when bulking-up. The formula of this gel is based on clinical studies done in France, to which we added other herbal extracts.


Herbal supplements

  • Apple cider vinegar (liquid) with Centella asiatica
    • The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are combined with the therapeutic properties of Centella asiatica. This old folk remedy is still used with great effect by thousands of people daily.
  • Digest capsules
    • If your digestive system is under-par and you struggle with constipation or you simply need to boost the health of your digestive system then this capsule is for you. Fenugreek is a general digestive tonic and psyllium is a magical bulking agent that will help proper bowel movements, without using a laxative.
  • Urinary and bladder health capsules
    • Using an all natural approach, our capsules will help the discomfort and burning urine sensation of urinary tract infection and help clear up foul smelling urine. We combined cranberry, dandelion, uva ursi and vitamin C in a single capsule to effectively fight bladder infections and to stop the burning sensation when urinating.
  • Tri- Mushroom blend capsules
    • If you need an immune system boost then have a look at our combination of maitake, reishi and shiitake mushrooms. These mushrooms have showed to be a great help in boosting the immune system – and form a good nutritional supplement support for HIV/Aids patients and people receiving chemotherapy. Any person with even a slightly compromised immune system may benefit from this supplement.
  • Sexual supplement (previously known as Vuka Nkuzi)
    • Men normally don’t admit when they have a declining libido although it is a most common problem. We combine in this supplement seven different natural ingredients to boost sexual health – without any side effects often experienced with such medication. After more than a decade, and thousands of regular Vuka Nkuzi clients we still offer this well priced supplement to boost the libido.


Other products

  • Jojoba oil
    • This liquid golden ester not only moisturizes and penetrates the skin but also helps to fight wrinkles and lines while promoting a clear and unblemished skin. Jojoba does not clog the pores but helps to restore skin elasticity and smoothness. It will leave the skin supple and velvety soft without any oiliness and can be used neat on the skin.
  • Almond oil
    • This light and deeply moisturizing oil has a softening effect on the skin and can be used on the face and body. Almond oil has excellent emollient properties and helps to balance water and moisture loss in the skin. It can be used neat on the skin and also makes an excellent massage base.

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