Seaweed in much more than just the slightly smelly stuff that you find washed up on the shore line full of strange bits of blue/orange twine and the odd seagull corpse, it is jam-packed with things that Are Good For You.
It can, allegedly:
- Help with weight loss (by stimulating thyroid activity)
- boost your immune system
- decrease blood sugar
- decrease cholesterol,
- Increase gastro-intestinal tract function (whatever THAT means)
- Decrease the symptoms of arthritis joint pains.
Mr Seaweed Man sells both dried and fresh seaweed and his website says: ''Sea vegetables are really a healthy superfood packed with vitamins and minerals; A, B, B12, C, E, K, + iron iodine and 60 trace elements, incl Mn, Fe, Cu, Co, B. S." Sounds perfect - and even better, you can eat it or BATHE in it. Given my fondness for a paragraph or two from the ancient poem Gilgamesh, I opted for the goddess bathing option.
Well, who hasn't fancied themselves as a mermaid?
Our bath is a huge Victorian cast iron thing that conducts the heat out of the water terribly quickly, so we don't luxuriate in a bath very often. This was going to be GREAT!
Once the bath was drawn, I slipped beneath the surface and settled back into the soothing arms of my seaweed bath, listening to gentle violin strains wafting from the radio. I gave a huge contented sigh.
The classical music stopped.....and Michael Ball started to interview Dolly Parton.
Much frantic splashing then ensued. No offence to Mr B or Ms P, but I wanted...nay, NEEDED....classical music. This was MY time to relax. I dragged myself out of the bath - not so much Venus rising from the Deep, more Dr Who Sea Devil.
After a couple of minutes fiddling with the available stations (filled with chat and not much music), I admitted defeat and twiddled back to Dolly and Mike.
Shivering, I returned to my weed-filled bath.
Fuck. I had forgotten to light the candles. These candles have been sitting in their wall sconces patiently waiting for this EXACT sort of bathroom sojourn for about 10 years. This was their big chance to shine, or at least glimmer. I sighed and hauled myself out of the bath again, lit the candles, remembering (thankfully) to turn out the main light and the bathroom disappeared into a flickering Stygian gloom.
THEN I realised that I'd forgotten to scoot my slippers close to the bath for getting out. I raised myself up for the third time. I'd been out and in like a fiddler's elbow. Bugger the slippers. I sank beneath the warm water letting my fingers drift through the weeds.
I felt a feeling on my thigh? Was that a tiny crab? I glanced down; nothing. The seaweed is all washed and cleaned before it is delivered, I reminded myself....relaxxxxxxxx.....
I opened and closed my legs in a scissor movement - to try to waft some more of the warmer water around me, the bath was losing heat now, but it was really relaxing and I didn't want to get out. The seaweed made me feel oddly decadent - and I liked that feeling.
After 3/4 of an hour, I emerged from my Ophelian weeds. My skin felt lovely. I didn't have any fishy or seaweedy smell on me. The old enamel bath wasn't stained.
Slattern that I am, I didn't drain away the water immediately. Next day, I used the bathwater to feed my roses and I even put the seaweed on the rose bed too.
The relaxed feeling lasted about 2 days and I am longing to repeat the experience. I've also bought some stuff for cooking and eating - watch this space :-)
This was the fresh seaweed that I tried out here. I'd recommend it, whether the minerals soak into your skin or not, it's a very relaxing experience.