We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Kelp?

Niki Acker
By
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Kelp is a type of seaweed or algae belonging to the order Laminariales. Though its appearance is similar to that of plants, it is technically not a plant, but a protist. There are many different kinds, making up around 30 genera.

This seaweed grows in underwater forests, in shallow, clear waters cooler than 68°F (20°C), where it grows rapidly and offers food and protection for other marine life. Many people recognize kelp from a trip to the beach. It is anchored to the ocean floor by a structure known as a holdfast, and most of its body resembles a stem with leaves, correctly termed a stipes with blades. The seaweed also features air-filled bladders that allow the rest of the body to float and bring the leaf-like blades to the surface of the water.

Humans throughout history have found many uses for kelp. Soda ash, once produced by burning seaweed, is a primary ingredient in glass and soap. Alginate, a carbohydrate harvested from it, is used as a thickening agent in toothpaste, ice cream, jelly, and other products. Some species are also used in certain cuisines, particularly in Japan, or as an organic fertilizer.

Kelp is a very versatile ingredient in food. It can be used as a flavoring, a garnish, a vegetable, or a snack food. Dried sheets are often used to wrap sushi and other foods. It has a distinctive taste and is both decorative and flavorful.

Though soda ash can now be produced in a lab, kelp was once the world's major source of the material. Scottish Highlanders displaced from their traditional farmlands throughout the 18th and 19th centuries sometimes turned to harvesting the ash to make a living. Though the industry eventually collapsed, kelp remains a commonly used fertilizer in Scotland.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Niki Acker
By Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a All Things Nature editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide range of interesting and unusual topics to gather ideas for her own articles. A graduate of UCLA with a double major in Linguistics and Anthropology, Niki's diverse academic background and curiosity make her well-suited to create engaging content for WiseGeekreaders. "
Discussion Comments
By turquoise — On Oct 17, 2012

When I went scuba diving in Hawaii last summer, the sea floor was full of kelp. It looked so gorgeous!

I love how the light travels under water and reflects on the kelp. It's also cool how they sort of dance in the water. It's definitely worth seeing.

Aside from their cool appearance, I think kelp is also a food source for many fish and sea creatures right? Don't many fish feed off of them? I know they live in them, whenever I would touch kelp while diving, several fish would come out.

By ysmina — On Oct 16, 2012

@alisha-- Yes, sea kelp has iodine as do most ocean seaweeds.

I'm not sure about treating an iodine deficiency with it but I know that kelp is used extensively in Japan. When they had that earthquake and faced the threat of radiation, people there started eating kelp and taking kelp supplements to protect themselves. Apparently, kelp can help prevent the damage caused by radiation on the body and can help detoxify the body of it.

Why don't you ask your doctor about kelp? If he says it's okay, I think you should give it a try. Kelp is quite amazing from what I understand.

By discographer — On Oct 15, 2012

I just got back from my doctor's office and apparently I have an iodine deficiency. I was doing some reading about this and one source suggested taking sea kelp supplements. So I guess kelp is a natural source of iodine. How much iodine does it have exactly?

Has anyone here taken kelp supplements to treat an iodine deficiency?

My doctor told me to eat more salt, but I can only put so much salt in foods. If kelp supplements are an option, I think I would prefer that. Please share your experience!

By jadona2006 — On Jun 16, 2008

can I take kelp supplements if allergic to iodine?

By anon14405 — On Jun 16, 2008

Can one take kelp supplments saftely if they are allergic to shellfish?

Niki Acker
Niki Acker
"In addition to her role as a All Things Nature editor, Niki Foster is passionate about educating herself on a wide...
Learn more
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.