A key ingredient in L:A Bruket’s product line is seaweed, or tång in Swedish. Not just any seaweed, but Fucus serratus, commonly known as toothed or serrated wrack. It’s found in the North Atlantic of Europe and used for everything from cosmetics and thalassotherapy (those seaweed baths) to fertilizer.
Mats Johansson and Monica Kylén enlist the aid of their friend Bo Albrektsson to supply them with seaweed. “Bo’s mother and grandmother gathered seaweed to use in baths and massages,” says Johansson, “so he’s carrying on a West Coast tradition.”
According to the couple, Albrektsson sets out in a small wooden boat from March through November to secret harvesting spots along the Varberg coast, where, dressed in heavy-duty waders, he gathers seaweed by hand or with a rake. He rinses and dries the seaweed in the sun, then brings it to L:A Bruket’s headquarters, where it’s packaged into individual bath-sized boxes. In between seaweed gathering? Albrektsson’s an osteopath who espouses holistic and alternative medicine.
Johansson has some tips on using their seaweed (which comes with a package of sea salt) for the best results. “Put the seaweed and the salt in a bucket of hot water and let it steep for a few minutes. Then pour that into a bathtub full of warm water, get in and soak for about 20 minutes.” It’s a detoxifier for the skin and body–rich in minerals, he notes, and it helps to rub the seaweed onto your skin. Johansson suggests toweling off–not rinsing–and going directly to bed for a good night’s sleep. “You can shower in the morning.”
Here’s the best part: When you’re done with your bath, gather the seaweed in a bucket and take it out to your garden. You can recycle it as fertilizer.
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