Dulse is extensively used in the form of a food. It is known by other names in France, Norway and Iceland and the sailors of these countries as well as those from Ireland and Scotland consume the dried, uncooked plants. In the western regions of Ireland, this plant is sold even in present times as Creathnach or Dillisk. Although dulse in not very palatable in its fresh state, it is among the few sea weeds that have a pleasing flavor as well as mouth-feel when it is dried cautiously and fast. This sea weed goes very well with stouts of dark ales (a local beer). In Germany, people have been successfully cultivating this plant in tanks, whereas in Ireland it is even grown on ropes! This herb has a number of therapeutic uses. As it encloses iodine, it is said to be beneficial for people suffering from goiter. In fact, consuming this plant can even prevent goiter. Dulse is an excellent source of many phytochemicals required by our body to produce thyroid hormones that influence our weight as well as the pace of metabolism. Traditional herbal medicine in Europe used this herb to get rid of parasites from the body, alleviate constipation and also to treat scurvy. In addition, this herb can also be used as a mild substitute for senna or psyllium for treating constipation. Dulse also contains high levels of dietary fiber. Dulse can be used in various forms - tea, tincture or decoction. However, if the preparation is rather strong it will taste somewhat fishy. In case the taste of the dulse tea or tincture is not pleasing to you, add some honey and cinnamon to make the flavor smooth. You may also sprinkle some dried and powdered dulse on any salad to enhance its flavor. When you add dulse to any dish or salad, it actually adds a natural salty essence to the preparation. In addition, it contains several wonderful organic minerals that are required by our body and can also be digested easily. You may add this herb to sandwiches, chowders, soups or even the dough for making bread and pizza. As mentioned earlier, the iodine content in dulse is quite high and it is among the most excellent natural varieties of bio molecular (produced by living organism) dietary iodine. In fact, consuming just one gram of this sea weed provides us with the amount of iodine that you will obtain by consuming approximately 40 pounds of freshly obtained from majority of the fruits and/ or vegetables grown on land. It is important to note that iodine forms the major element of the hormone made by our thyroid gland, which actually controls the metabolic processes. The hormone produced by our thyroid gland enhances basal metabolism and consumption of oxygen, increases the speed of cellular reactions, and has an effect on our growth as well as development, metabolism of energy, differentiation plus synthesis of protein. Dulse is also rich in B-vitamin content. Dulse supplies us with over 100 per cent of our vitamin B6 RDA (recommended daily use). There are other varieties of this sea plant that provide approximately 66 per cent of our vitamin B12 RDA. This sea vegetable contains about 16 to 28 per cent protein. In addition, it usually contains a properly balanced amino acid composition, enclosing entire or nearly all the essential amino acids, especially those that our body is unable to produce by itself. Hence, this sea vegetable supplies us with additional as well as superior quality protein. However, the amount of protein provided by dulse per serving is comparatively less. For instance one serving of this sea vegetable provides roughly 1.5 grams of superior quality protein. Majority of the sea plants, which are often used as vegetables, enclose a very important amino acid called glutamic acid, which forms the base for producing synthetic MSG or monosodium glutamate. By nature, this amino acid augments the flavours of foods containing elevated amounts of protein like beans, besides making them softer for consumption. In addition, glutamic acid also helps the body in digesting high protein foods more easily. Glutamic acid offers us several other health benefits, including supplying energy and improving the activities of our mental as well as nervous systems. It is also believed that glutamic acid helps to restrict alcoholism, yearning for sugar and schizophrenia.
Dulse is generally cultivated on mussels, rocks and also in the form of an epiphytic (plants growing on other plants) on many larger algae. This seaweed is found in intertidal (the period between low and high tide marks, especially close to low water) and also in shallow sub-tidal, particularly on the upper portion of stripes of a larger algae called Laminaria hyperborean. They are extensively distributed and found plentifully. Dulse is found in complete divided varieties on mussels where the shores are exposed and, occasionally, in sub-tidal (up to 20 meters in extremely clear water). In Ireland, the plants that grow on exposed shores are called Creathnach and these are thought to be more appetizing compared to the rubbery seaweeds that are found growing in the lesser intertidal in shores that are partially exposed. In fact, the leathery plants are generally dried up and marketed in the form of Dilleasc or Dillisk. Eventually, these varieties of dulse may turn out to be a completely different entity. An extremely delicately dissected variety of dulse grows as an epiphytic on Fucus serratus, pebbles as well as rocks in some areas of partially exposed shores, which are sheltered and where an accumulation of fine sand and silt is found.
Chemical analysis of dulse has shown that this seaweed contains several valuable minerals and vitamins essential for our health. Compared to other different vegetables, dulse encloses the entire trace elements required by the human body and its protein content is also very high.
Dulse is a reddish seaweed that is collected in the cold waters down the coast of the Atlantic Ocean off Canada. In addition, it is also harvested in the coasts along Norway and Ireland. The fronds of dulse are grown in the tidal regions on larger seaweeds, shells as well as rocks. This seaweed is generally found during the period between June and September and can be harvested manually in the absence of the tide. After harvesting dulse, you can clean them by getting rid of the shell pieces, small snails and other different small particles either by washing them or shaking those unwanted things. Subsequently, the seaweed is spread for drying. Alternatively, a number of harvesters may even turn them once immediately after collecting them to roll them, so that they can form them into large bales and package them afterwards. In some countries, people also use dulse in the form of fodder for their animals.