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Dulse DULSE  

Botanical:  Palmaria palmata
Family:  Palmariaceae
Class: Rhodophycota (red seaweeds)
Other common names:  Sea Parsley, Dillisk

Look to the sea once again.  Think Dulse, and think nutrition.  It is a red seaweed that is remarkably wholesome and a rich source of important minerals, vitamins and proteins and is gaining popularity worldwide as a wonderful tonic for good health and as a supplement for dieters.

The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Dulse is another highly nutritious gift from the sea that grows attached to rocks on both sides of the North Atlantic and the Northwest Pacific coasts.  It is a common red seaweed that is found on large boulders and kelp between tides, growing into deep water and preferring sheltered and moderately exposed areas. The fronds of these marine algae may vary from rose to reddish-purple in color and can grow from approximately eight inches to three feet in length.  Dulse grows directly from the holdfast and is picked by hand at low tide and left to dry.  It grows quickly in the summertime and may be collected every two weeks during that time.  Sun-dried Dulse is eaten as is, or as a powder, or cooked, or fried into tasty chips.  Un-dried, fresh Dulse is leathery and unpalatable, but after drying, it becomes pleasant to chew with little fat.  It is commonly used in Ireland and on the Atlantic coast of Canada both as a food and medicine and is now generally shipped around the globe.  Its botanical genus, Palmaria, is derived from the Latin, palma, because of its resemblance to the palm of the human hand; and in Irish, two names are used, Creathnach (feminine and smaller plant) and Duileask (masculine and larger plant, giving the plant its English name).  Currently, they are both believed to be the same species, but may ultimately be in a separate class.  It has been used in Ireland since the twelfth century as an important nutritive that was eaten as a vegetable and also used as an important source of animal fodder.  A vitamin-and-mineral-rich supplement, Dulse is an important source of many daily dietary requirements and includes non-animal protein, an unusual carbohydrate (floridoside), dietary fiber (alginates), calcium, iron, iodine, fluoride, magnesium, copper, zinc, nickel, manganese, chromium, potassium, B-vitamins and vitamins C and E.

Beneficial Uses:
Dulse is best known as a remarkably nutritious dietary supplement that provides most of the vitamins and minerals necessary for daily function.

Dulse's fluoride content is believed to be good for strong teeth.

Dulse is popular among vegetarians as a source of non-animal protein and is a popular and complete supplement for dieters.   As a rich source of dietary fiber, especially soluble alginates, Dulse may influence satiety (helpful for dieters), as well as glucose uptake from foods, which, according to 2010 research from Scotland's University of Abertay, may indicate blood-glucose regulation potential.  Moreover, these soluble polysaccharides may also act as prebiotics, stimulating growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon.

Because Dulse is a supplement rich in iodine, it is believed to stimulate thyroid activity and may thus be helpful in cases of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

Currently, there appear to be no warnings or contraindications with the use of Dulse Herbal Supplement; however, the iodine content in Dulse may cause hyper- or hypothyroidism if taken in excessive amounts and may interfere with existing treatment for abnormal thyroid function.  Seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner if you wish to use Dulse as a food or medicine in these cases.

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