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Hair Seaweed and its Medicinal Properties

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Hair seaweed, also known as black flossy moss, black moss or black hair, these fine threads of black dried vegetable resemble hair and is tasteless. Called "Fat Choy" in Cantonese, although of different Chinese character but sounds very much like "Good Fortune" and thus it is a must for Chinese homes to serve a dish that employs "Fat Choy" during Chinese New Year.

Black moss grows in the desert. It contains much protein, carbohydrates, some phosphorus, iron and potassium. It is cold in nature and can clear Heat and expel the phlegm. It is recommended for hypertensions and chronic bronchitis patients. The iron content of black moss aids blood cells production and therefore women suffering from mild anemia after giving birth use black moss in cooking or make soup with it. The Chinese believes that black moss darkens hair. Adolescent young women should especially eat more for denser and shinier hair.

Slippery after being cooked, it is a traditional ingredient used in some vegetarian Buddhist dishes, soups and as garnish. Stewed dried oysters with black moss is a New Year favorite for the Chinese. Braised pork with black moss and chestnuts tastes great. Stewed turtle with black moss is a delicious and nutritious food.

Soak the hair seaweed briefly in warm water and rinse before use. Hair seaweed can be found in Asian supermarkets and Chinese markets.

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Last Modified: 11/28/11.