How to Detox with Seaweed

Updated April 17, 2017

Seaweed has long been valued in Asian countries for its nutritional and medicinal qualities, and Western cultures have now embraced it for its health benefits, particularly its ability to cleanse or detox the body. Brown algae, or kelp, is one of the most common types of seaweed which is believed to rid the body of toxins and heavy metals that cause a variety of health problem such as obesity, arthritis and high blood pressure. Rich in minerals like iodine and potassium, seaweed also believed to boost the body's natural immune system and improve thyroid and liver function which also helps with detoxification. Baths, body wraps, seaweed foods and diet supplements are methods used to detox with seaweed.

Put approximately four ounces of the dried kelp inside a stocking and boil it in a gallon of water for about 30 minutes. Pour the mixture into hot bath water and soak for 30 to 45 minutes. Drinking several glasses of water prior to a seaweed bath is believed to help flush toxins and waste out of the body.

Mix an 227gr package of kelp powder, for a seaweed body wrap, with approximately one cup of water to form a paste similar in consistency to other types of body creams. Apply the paste liberally on all parts of the body and wrap up in several warm, dry towels. Relax for roughly an hour and then shower off the dried paste.

Mix approximately 113gr of kelp powder into a paste for wraps targeted for specific parts of the body. In addition to flushing toxins from the body, seaweed is believed to exfoliate and deeply moisturise the skin. It is also credited with reducing the appearance of cellulite. Apply the paste to whichever part of the body is being treated. Wrap with warm towels and relax for one hour before showering.

Soak prepackaged dried kelp in water before cooking it and using it as a part of a diet that helps the body detox. Kelp can be chopped and used as a garnish for soup, or added into a vegetable mix or stew. It can also be cooked and seasoned as a side dish. Kelp is considered a good source of vitamin B and adding it to a diet is another way to take advantage of its ability to detox the body.

Talk to a doctor or health care professional before opting to detox with kelp supplements. The iodine content in kelp supplements can regulate an underactive thyroid which can be the cause of water retention. Flushing out that excess water is a method of detoxing. However, supplements contain different amounts of iodine, and a high levels may harm rather than help thyroid function. Most health food stores carry several different varieties of kelp supplements, but there is no standard preparation and no federally approved daily dosage.


To supplement a regular diet: capsules, tables and powder supplements are available at health food stores and online.


Although Seaweed, and particularly kelp, is hailed as providing a wide range of health benefits including detoxification, the American Cancer Society and other reputable scientific groups point out there is no clinical evidence to support any of those claims. They also warn that kelp can cause acne, goitre and its high sodium content can increase blood pressure to dangerous levels. Some brands of kelp supplements have also been found to contain high levels of arsenic. Also, because of the lack of regulatory testing and control over dietary supplements, there are no comprehensive studies about how kelp interacts with medications.

Things You'll Need

  • Package of dried kelp
  • Old stocking
  • Gallon of fresh water
  • Large pan
  • Kelp powder
  • Towels
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About the Author

Laura Scott has been reporting for Gatehouse Media New England, Essex County Newspapers and other regional publishers since 1997. She won several New England Press Association awards for her coverage of the fishing industry and coastal communities. Scott is a graduate of Vassar College and has a master's degree in American studies from Boston College. She also attended art school in Italy.