Health Guide
Drug Guide


What is it?

Kelp is an herbal medicine taken from brown algae in salt water. It is used to treat weight loss, high blood pressure, low thyroid hormone, and arthritis. Kelp is also used to make the cervix (mouth of womb) open for childbirth or to end an early pregnancy. It is usually used as a source of iodine or salt.

Other names for Kelp include: Laminaria digitata, Laminaria japonica, Laminaria saccharina, Macrocystis pyrifera, Brown Algae, Horsetail, Sea Girdles, Seaweed, Sugar Wrack, Brown Seaweed, Algae, and Tangleweed.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you


Talk with your caregiver about how much Kelp you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Kelp. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take Kelp without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:


Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.


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2. Walkin O & Douglas DE: Health food supplements prepared from kelp- a source of elevated urinary arsenic. Clin Toxicol 1975; 8:325-31.

3. Blumenthal, Busse, Goldberg, et al: The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. The American Botanical Council, Austin, TX; 1998.

4. Jurkovic N, Kolb N & Colic I: Nutritive value of marine algae Laminaria japonica and Undaria pinnatifida. Di Nahrung 1995; 1:63-66.

5. Lackritz R, Gibson M & Frigoletto F: Preinduction use of laminaria for the unripe cervix. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1979; 134(3): 349-350.

6. Krenek G & Rosen T: Cutaneous drug eruptions: patterns to help you identify the cause, control the problem. Consultant 1995; 35(9):1329-1337.

7. Ishizuki Y, Yamauchi K & Miura Y: Transient thyrotoxicosis induced by Japanese Kombu. Folia Endocrinol 1989; 65:91-98.

Last Updated: 9/15/2016

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