Brown seaweed, Brown Alga (algae – plural) or Phaeophyceae is a large group of marine multicellular algae.
Alga (algae - plural, Latin for "seaweed") is a large and diverse group of simple, autotrophic organisms that range from unicellular to multicellular forms. There are about 1500-2000 species of brown algae worldwide. Typically greenish or olive brown in colour.
All seaweeds brown, green or red, are algae but not all algae are seaweeds.
What is Seaweed?
Seaweeds are saltwater-dwellings that exist along ocean coastlines.
• It has a root-like structure called the holdfast. This helps the seaweed to anchor itself to a rock, surface or hard-bottom.
• The part that looks similar to a stem in a plant is known as the stipe
• It has membranes or blades on the stipe that appears to be similar to leaves.
• Some have air bladders that allow it to drift and float near the surface of the water.
• The body portion is known as the thallus.
Seaweed or Plant?
Generally, seaweed have parts that are similar to the parts of a plant, however, seaweed is not a plant. It is a type of algae.
Seaweeds are different from plants :
• It can absorb water and nutrients, by using all its tissues, directly from the surrounding water. Plants use its roots, moving water and nutrients from the roots through the stem to the leaves.
• It can do photosynthesis using all its tissues while most plants only photosynthesize in its leaves.
Consequently, as a result of its abilities experts sort seaweeds into the algae group, not with plants simply because all algae have these same abilities.
Creating food from light - Photosynthesis
Even though it is not a plant, seaweeds, like several algae, share one important thing with grass, plants, shrubs and trees. The food making process is the same.
Seaweeds and plants make food by a process called photosynthesis. It uses energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into food energy, carbohydrate, and oxygen.
The process by which chlorophyll contained cells in green plants use light as an energy source to synthesize carbohydrates, from carbon dioxide and water.
photosynthesis is the process by which chlorophyll contained cells in green plants and other organisms use energy from sunlight to synthesize carbohydrates from carbon dioxide, water and air.
Types of Seaweed
•Brown Seaweed - Brown Algae - the Phaeophyta
It is a phylum Phaeophyta or a 'dusky plant'. It is the largest and most complex of the algae. Dark, brown or yellow in colour, found in cool, shallow coastal temperate or arctic waters. It contains chlorophyll a and c plus a brown accessory pigment called fucoxanthin.
Fucus, a genus of brown algae, or rockweed attaches to the bottom by its holdfast.
Sargassum, is a genus of brown Phaeophyceae, that forms huge floating mats many kilometres long in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Largest known alga is a giant kelp which grows more than 60 meters in length.
•Green Seaweed (Chlorophyceae)- Green Algae - the Chlorophyta
It is a phylum Chlorophyta or a 'green plant'. The cell walls contain cellulose. It contains chlorophyll a and b. It stores starch as food. It can be found in fresh or salt water and moist areas on land as well.
* Unicellular Green Algae - Single-celled green alga like Chlamydomonas can grow in ponds, waterways and wet soil
* Colonial Green Algae - freshwater algae Spirogyra can form long thread like colonies - filamentous algae. Volvox forms spherical colonies of up to 50,000 cells
* Multicellular Green Algae - Sea lettuce or Ulva is a bright green marine alga commonly found along rocky seacoasts.
There are over 4,000 species of green algae.
It is a phylum Rhodophyta or a 'red plant'. It contains chlorophyll a and has phycobilin, a reddish accessory pigment. Red algae often has its brilliant colour due to the pigment phycoerythrin.
Red algae can live deep in the ocean, at such depth it can absorb blue light unlike brown and green algae. It can be found in waters from the polar regions to the tropics.
Coralline algae, a group of red algae, plays an important role in the formation of coral reefs and provides nourishment for coral animals. There are more than 6,000 species of red algae.
Seaweed - Kitchen Tips
Can Brown Seaweed Extract Tackle Acne?
Brown seaweed, a variety discovered off the coastline of Brittany, France, has health benefits to the skin. Scientists discovered that Phycosaccharide, a complex active ingredient from brown seaweed, can get rid of the bacteria that causes acne and reduce pimples by nearly two thirds.
Brown seaweed is very rich in minerals such as iodine, magnesium, potassium and sodium. Research also shows that it is a very good source of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acid which has anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties.
What is Phycosaccharide?
This is a key ingredient found in a variety of brown seaweed that is rich in alginate (a polysaccharide). The special ingredient Phycosaccharide AC is derived from this.
Research shows that Phycosaccharide AC has an anti-bacteria, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
• Phycosaccharide AC P: Preserved with Phenoxyethanol
• Phycosaccharide AC : Standard grade preserved with parabens
• Phycosaccharide AC G: Unpreserved (50% Glycerine)
Phycosaccharide AC brings together
* Polysaccharide which has anti-inflammatory properties
* Zinc that has anti-bacterial properties
The effect of this on the skin :
• Controls the growth and development of Staphylococcus aureus and Propionobacterium acnes hence a reduction in the number of acne related lesions
• It regulates the production of the skin's natural oil called sebum
• Reduces, soothes and calms an inflamed skin (epidermis)
Many reports, researches and scientific studies have examined the effects of brown seaweed extract, Phycosaccharide AC and zinc in tackling acne.