Seaweed has been used since 2700 BC in China. In 600 BC, Sze Teu wrote that in China seaweed was made for special guests or kings. In 300 BC, Chi Han wrote a book about seaweed. Kelp was used in the 5th century for food, and Laminara japonica was imported from Japan in the 5th century.
The Japanese have used seaweed for many years. For over 2000 years, seaweed has been used as a supportive food in the Japanese diet. Six types of seaweeds were used in 800 A.D. in everyday cooking in Japan. In 794, Japanese people used seaweed to make nori, which is a dried sheet of seaweed.
Europeans used Mediterranean seaweed as an herbal medicine. As early as 100 BC, the Greeks collected seaweed. All along the Mediterranean coast, red algae were used as sources of dying agents and as a medicine to treat parasitic worms since pre-Christian times.
Hawaiians and other Polynesian societies grew kelp farms. They used 60-70 species of seaweed for food, medicinal purposes, and ceremonies.
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