- By: Maddie Laberge
- April 30, 2021
Welcome to the wondrous world of seaweeds! Have you ever been curious to learn what kind of mystery and medicines lie beneath the ocean?
Then allow us to introduce you to Clinical Herbalist (and part mermaid), Angela Willard.
Angela is a Wild Rose College Alumna, and has been actively studying the therapeutic properties of seaweeds with notable Phycologists—aka Seaweed Experts—for the past 15 years. Her knowledge and love of seaweeds from an herbalist’s perspective shines through in the on-line course she’s been developing for Wild Rose College titled “Seaweed Therapeutics”.
Recently, Herbalist Yarrow Willard, her business partner and partner in life, joined Angela at the beach to interview her about her love of Seaweed. He asked her to share some of the secrets that seaweed medicine has to offer.
Yarrow: I am super excited to be out here with Angela, near Tofino at low tide. Angela is a phyco-medicinal expert, in my opinion. She’s been studying seaweed for a number of years. Angela, when we first moved out here, that was your goal, and now, fifteen years in and you know so much! I’m excited to share with our community a bit more about how they can start to uncover seaweed and get to know them a little better.
Angela: I was excited when we moved out here to add the seaweeds to my herbal repertoire. As I started to dig, I was discovering so many phenomenal aspects that we can use with what we are facing environmentally and the phytonutrient gaps we are seeing. All kinds of things from heart disease, cancer therapies, to weight loss. They just have a whole myriad of health issues that they help when we bring them and consume them into our daily lifestyle and diet.
Yarrow: So there’s three different categories of seaweed, and each one has a little different… is it, phyconutrients?
Angela: Yeah, that’s right. Phycology is the study of seaweeds, so you can call them phyconutrients. They really are phytonutrients still. The reds, they contain really strong antiviral properties, specifically, so that’s what we use them for. Also for helping keep our digestive systems clean and elimination of any kinds of toxins or isotopes we don’t want in our body from environmental pollution. The greens are specifically immunomodulating, so they help with balancing the immune system. The browns have iodine and iodine is an essential micronutrient for brain health, breast health, thyroid and all sorts of essential processes in the body.
Yarrow: It’s pretty exciting, some of the research that is being done on the therapeutic properties of seaweeds.
Angela: Yes. There are a lot of exciting aspects that they can be used as therapeutically in conjunction with modern medicine. So it’s not like one or the other. What we are finding in the studies is that they can be used in conjunction to help both treat cancer patients as well as mitigate some of the effects of the radiation and other conventional therapies that can be hard on the body as well.
Yarrow: For those of us who are new to seaweeds, how would you suggest the best way to incorporate them into your diet? What is the best way to start working with them functionally?
Angela: You want to use about 5-20 grams of seaweed daily; it’s around 4 teaspoons of powdered seaweed. If you get a nice variety of red, green, and brown into your diet, you know you’re getting all of the wonderful spectrum to enhance health. I also recommend you add a variety of raw, cooked, or fresh. Keeping that variety going, making sure that you are pulling out all of the medicinal aspects.
Want to watch the full interview with Angela and Yarrow right in the heart of one of our most natural seaweed gardens—aka the vast expanse of the beach on the Pacific Ocean? You can check it out here!
Whether you live by the ocean, the mountains, or the prairies, anyone can benefit from the knowledge and use of vibrant seaweeds as food and medicine. Unlock the secrets of the sea with Angela, bringing this submerged ancient wisdom to the surface.
Interested in learning more about Angela’s upcoming Seaweed Therapeutics course? Check out the course in full detail here.
“There’s just this magic to the giant sea forest underwater. If you ever get the opportunity to swim or snorkel or dive amongst the sea forest (the kelp forest), then I highly recommend it because there is such an ethereal experience and magical connection you can have in relationship with the seaweed.” – Angela Willard
Angela Willard became a Clinical Herbalist through the Wild Rose College of Natural Healing in 2005. She has since practiced as an Herbalist through many avenues including consulting, growing herbs, wildcrafting, and co-creating Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary. Angela balances her efforts between being an Herbalist, supporting her company’s vision, and her devotion as a mother in raising a thriving family. Learn more about Angela here and here!