I have an image in my mind, fixed several decades ago shortly after the radioactive disaster that was Chernobyl. A friend of mine went out to Russia to help the survivors, and all he took with him to heal their wounds and minimise the long term effects of radiation, was a vast collection of seaweed in various forms. I thought it weird in the extreme at the time. Over the years, however, I have come to more fully understand the remarkable healing properties of the slimy strands we so often encounter on a cold windy walk along the beach.
Seaweed comes in a multitude of shapes, sizes and colours and is found across the globe, washed up onto every one of the shores that line our seas. It is vastly rich in nutrients and amongst other things contains vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, K, pantothenic acid, folic acid and niacin. It detoxifies you: removing disease inducing metals and radiation from your cells, boosting your immune system, strengthening your heart, your eyes, your skin, and keeping that glossy shine on your hair.
Beloved by shampoo and skin care manufacturers, the health industry has also searched out the best the seas can offer. Phytoplankton seaweed spas offer their services to those of us who want to lose their cellulite and drop a dress size or two - and to those who are seriously sick, particularly with cancer. Radiotherapy or chemo? Relax into a real seaweed bath once your treatment has finished to remove toxicity and radiation build up.
There are thousands of different forms of seaweed, many of them with unique properties. But how do you learn what those are? Why would you want to? What are the main health benefits? And what to do with what you pick up from the rock pools along the beach?
Fancy finding out? Marty Landau, who created the Beyond range of organic seaweed based face and body products, takes a small private group to Roskoff in France each year to experiment with some of the 800 seaweed varieties found there in the Atlantic. Book into luxury accommodation right on the sea, and learn all about seaweed: what to look for, how to harvest, clean and dry it. And then how to prepare it - either to eat or to turn into lotions and potions to reboot your body.
15 - 21 September - five days by the sea. Who could resist?
For further information, or to book directly with Marty, email her directly on email@example.com
Marty is also a talented hair designer - certainly the best I have ever found for my hair - and trained in Paris at Dessange. She heads up her own salon in the States and is coming to London on 25th September where she will be working out of a salon on the Kings Rd, Chelsea. A cut and blow dry is £80. Colour, ranging from a touch up to full balayage between £60 and £180. Contact her for details or to book an appointment - I have booked mine in already!