Organic NZ

Herbs of THE SEA

Growing up as a ‘landlubber’ rural child in the Mackenzie Country, seafood was foreign to me until teenage years found me urbanised on the coast. A young romance with a fisherman’s son accelerated my exploration of ocean-going life. But eating seaweed? I was reluctant.

Given its many nutritional benefits, I have over time integrated edible seaweed into my existence, and seven years living in Hong Kong further exposed me to their use in cuisine and natural medicine.

Now, as a medical herbalist, I fondly acknowledge seaweeds as our ‘herbs of the sea’. Botanically these plants are macroalgae and not herbs, but in this article the term seaweed is used interchangeably with sea vegetables.


There are three main categories of seaweed from a botanical perspective: brown, red and green. Although the physical colour of the seaweed often aligns with the name of the category, this is not always the case. Seaweeds are categorised according to many different botanical qualities, not only their

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