Kelp (Kun Bu)

Botanical Name: Western – Algae/Laminariales (brown algae family), Ascophyllum nodosum. Eastern – Saccharina japonica.

 Kelp has been celebrated as a food in Asian cultures for centuries. It is recognized in the West for its rich supply of iodine, iron, calcium, and potassium. All of these make it a wonderful food and medicine. Iodine is critical to the thyroid’s functions of making sex hormones and metabolizing fats.

Watch a short video, from Ann Christensen, Founder and Creator of White Rabbit Institute of Healing™ – Why Iodine, Found In Kelp, Is So Important To Overall Health…

Below is an overview of kelp, combining the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of kelp.

How to take FULL advantage of Kelp's healing powers...

Kelp (Kun Bu)

JOIN ME in an exploration of the healing herb, Kelp (Kun Bu). Explore the benefits and applications of Kelp, from Eastern and Western perspectives, and so much more!


Western Name: Kelp

Also Known As: Seaweed, Kelp Forests

Organs/Systems: Metabolism/Thyroid, Support to female cycles (menses, pregnancy, and menopause)

Key Actions: Rich Source of Iodine, Anti-inflammatory, Anticancer, Antibacterial, Diuretic, Detoxifying, Antioxidant, Hormone Regulation

Medicinal Uses: Thyroid regulation and support, immune enhancement, cancer prevention, natural diuretic aiding detoxing, strengthens hair and nail growth, helps prevent anemia, supports female hormonal conditions: regulates menses, eases menopause, helps lactation, and induces labor. Helps protect against radiation and heavy metals, lowers blood pressure and blood sugar levels, diabetes, and chronic hepatitis C, and protects the brain.


Pin Yin: Kun Bu​

Also Known As: Kombu in Japanese

Meridians: Kidney, Liver, Stomach

Key Actions: Clears Heat, Tonifies Yin, Strengthens the Spleen, Tonifies Stomach Qi, Dissolves Phlegm, Promotes Urination, Reduces Swelling, Strengthens Joints, Tonic, Eliminates Toxins

Medicinal Uses: Nodules, goiter, feelings of heaviness or obstruction in the chest, leg edema, restless leg syndrome, aching joints, support Liver function, and Kidney systems function, acute sore throat, bronchitis, coughs, improve blood clotting, cancer, anti-aging, skin health, psoriasis, aids removal of heavy metal and radioactive toxins, support immune function, reduces swellings, promotes hormonal health, infertility, bladder weakness, inflamed bladder, ovarian diseases, lowers cholesterol, insomnia, lowers blood sugar, lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, lymphatic swellings, swelling and pain of the testes, joint pain especially in the back and hips, sprains, bruising.

Basic Habitat / Botany:

Kelps are fast-growing, large seaweeds that belong to the brown algae in the order of Laminariales. They can grow to be 100-260 feet tall. They have leaf-like structures known as blades, which originate from stem-like structures called stipes. Gas-filled bladders form at the base of blades in American species helping to keep the blades close to the surface of the water.

It is thought the plant appeared in the Miocene period, 23 to 5 million years ago. Kelp grows in underwater “forests”, in nutrient-rich shallow ocean waters, in temperatures of 43-57 degrees. Along the Norwegian coast, it provides a high-density ecosystem.

Parts Most Frequently Used: Blades​

Flavors/Temps: Salty, Neutral, Cold, Dry

Caution: Considered safe used in proper doses. Overeating or dosing of iodine, found in high levels of kelp, can disrupt thyroid function. Too little iodine also harms the thyroid. Caution if using during pregnancy.

Key Constituents: Rich in Iodine and Alkali. Alginate, Fucoidan, Vanadium, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, and other Minerals (70 trace minerals and trace elements), Zinc, Antioxidants

History/Folklore: Iodine is known for its support of thyroid functions, in particular, the creation of sex hormones and fat metabolizing (burning fat). Since medieval times it has been used to treat goiter. Farmed in the 19th century in Scotland to obtain soda ash (sodium carbonate), the crash in kelp pricing there led to the great emigration of the Scottish to the US in the 1820s.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), kelp is known for Clearing Heat and Resolving Dampness. It is said that goiter that has become rock-hard can only be treated with kelp. It is used to treat edema, hormonal imbalances, poor nutrition, cancer, and metabolic issues including weight control and fat burning. The Chinese often combine it with Hai Zao (Sargassi) to treat goiter and scrofula.

In Chinese slang “kelp” is used to describe an unemployed returnee (someone returning home after being dismissed). The negative overtones of this slang imply the person is drifting aimlessly with the homophonic expression meaning literally “sea waiting” versus the employed returnee who has the dynamic ability to travel across the ocean and is called the “sea turtle.”

The earliest evidence of human use comes from the Stone Age sites in Africa. It has been suggested that the growth of kelp around the Pacific Rim may have facilitated the early migration of humans across Northeast Asia into the Americas. It is called the “kelp highway hypothesis.”

Kelp is very efficient at creating methane and sugars that can be converted to ethanol, so it is possibly an eco-friendly energy source.

It is used in Japan as a food and cooked with beans to reduce flatulence because it can help convert indigestible sugars.

Want Kelp (Kun Bu)?

Here are some options…

Did you know?

Ice Cream Thickener

Alginate a kelp-derived carbohydrate is used as a thickener for ice cream, jelly, salad dressings, and toothpaste.


Dental Impressions

Kelp is used in dentistry to make dental impressions.

Fun fact!


Outsiders sometimes call the natives of the Falkland Islands “Kelpers.”

Take FULL advantage of Kelp (Kun Bu)!

Connecting Eastern and Western perspectives on HOW and WHY this herb works. Find out how to safely and effectively use this healing herb for treating conditions and for your Body, Mind, and Spirit. Find True Health. Explore uses, safety information, benefits, history, recipes, gardening tips, essential oil information, if it applies, and much, much more in this online course.

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ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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