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