Ascophyllum nodosum, the Seagreen seaweed from Norway, is rich in substances often referred to as “natural growth hormones”. These substances trigger and control particular development stages in plants, and the ways they work are incredibly interesting.
Auxin is the reason that plants can react and adjust to external factors without having a nervous system. In living plants Auxin is needed at almost every stage of development to work with and regulate other hormones. Depending on the specific tissue, Auxin may promote axial elongation (as in shoots), lateral expansion (as in root swelling), or isodiametric expansion (as in fruit growth). Auxins typically act either in co-operation with, or in opposition to, other plant hormones. For example the ratio of Auxin to Cytokinin in certain plant tissues determines growth of a root versus a shoot bud.
Cytokinins are found naturally in all plants and seaweed in particular. They promote cell division and growth, and also slow the ageing process by preventing protein breakdown. They are the reason that produce grown with Seagreen is firmer and so stores and transports better. More cells means stronger plants that are more able to withstand attack from fungus and disease. Cytokinins have been shown to slow ageing of plant organs by preventing protein breakdown, activating protein synthesis and assembling nutrients.
Gibberellins stimulate cell elongation and division - essential for growing stems and roots. They also work to trigger germination, flowering and enzyme induction.
Betaine strengthens the walls of plant cells improving water retention and giving the plant protection against dehydration as well as increased tolerance of stresses such as high heat and high salinity. Strong cells make a strong plant that is better able to withstand attack from disease and pathogens. Betaine also controls fruit ripening and works to increase leaf chlorophyll levels.
In cattle Betaine may assist in maintaining feed intake and also help reduce heat stress. It does this by reducing the amount of energy (and glucose in particular) the cow has to burn to stay cool and carry on her normal metabolic processes. It can also increase milk yield in dairy cattle particularly in the summer months.
All of these growth hormones work together to grow a "super-plant" - a strong plant that has inbuilt extra protection against heat and cold, disease and fungal attack, drought and other stress factors. Roots are longer, stronger and exude more to feed the plant's co-dependant microbes and enrich the soil. Stems grow powerfully and leaves are packed with chlorophyll. Animals that eat these plants are healthier with stronger immune systems.
Seagreen is naturally rich in all of these growth promoters and together with over 60 trace elements, vitamins, natural sugars (mannitol and laminarin) plus alginate it is a powerful combination. And Seagreen is just pure seaweed - a perfectly natural powerhouse!
Blog post by Liz