Notes Eelgrass

The waters compassed me about, were wrapped about my head.

even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds

FIGURE 1.121 Eelgrass (Zostera marina).

The waters closed in over me, the deep was round about me; weeds were wrapped about my head.

Waters encircled me clear to the soul; the watery deep it kept enclosing me; weeds were wound about my head.

In my King James Version, the word weeds shows up only once, in the story of Jonah. Some scholars have concluded as did I (BIB) that this weed could be it, so I include this account in my revision of biblical herbs. The leaves may prove valuable as fodder, thatching, or packing material. The foliage is an important food for some sea turtles and water fowl. An important shallow water, mud-flat stabilizer, the plant helps to sustain the productivity of estuarine areas. The plant is used by the Seri Indians of Mexico for diarrhea.

Common Names (Eelgrass):

Alva Marina (Sp.; HOC); Ama Mo (Japan; TAN); Barnacle Grass (Eng.; DAA); Eelgrass (Eng.; TAN); Grass Weed (Eng.; HOC); Grass Wrack (Eng.; BIB); Hai Dai (Pin.; DAA); Sea Ware (Eng.; HOC); Seagrass (Eng.; BIB); Seawrack (Eng.; BIB; DEM); Zostere Marine (Fr.; USN).

Activities (Eelgrass):

Antiaging (1; X15022719); Antioxidant (1; X15022719); Antiseptic (1; X1755708); ATPase (1; X12407193); Bacteria (1; X1755708); Dropsy (f; DAA); Immunomodulator (1; X1755708); Matrix Metal-loproteinase Inhibitor (1; X15022719); Phagocytotic (1; X1755708); Photoprotective (1; X15022719).

Indications (Eelgrass):

Bacteria (1; X1755708); Diarrhea (f; EB28:429); Dropsy (f; DAA); Edema (f; HOC); Goiter (f; DAA; HOC); Hysteria (f; DAA; HOC); Infection (1; X1755708); Sunburn (1; X15022719); Swelling (f; HOC); Wrinkle (1; X15022719).

Dosages (Eelgrass):

Bellacoola eat plants raw with eulachon grease. Cowichan use fleshy roots and leaf bases to flavor seal, porpoise, and deer meat. Hesquiat clean and eat the brownish rhizomes raw. Kwakiutl dip stems and roots in oil to eat during feasts. Nitinaht once ate the fleshy, whitish rhizomes raw. Oweekeno picked and ate the leaves with attached herring spawn. Saanich used fleshy roots and leaf bases to flavor deer, porpoise and seal. Seri Indians of Mexico ground the seeds into an edible flour. The grain, although small and relatively bland, is toasted, winnowed, and ground into flour and made into a gruel, traditionally combined with other food (e.g., sea turtle oil or honey) in Baja California. (BIB; DEM; http://www.innvista.com/health/foods/seeds/waternut.htm.)

• Seri Indians of Mexico use the plant for diarrhea (BIB).

Natural History (Eelgrass):

Brownish "roots" (actually rhizomes) eaten by black brants, Canada geese, mallard ducks, and cattle (DEM).

Extracts (Eelgrass):

Zosterin (a seagrass pectin) has antibacterial and immunomodulatory activities of therapeutic efficacy in experimental infections (X1755708).

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