Ethnobotany of Sargassum spp. in the Philippines
ABSTRACT A survey of folk uses of Sargassum spp. in the 20 year period (1977-1996) showed that different regions in the tropical country of Philippines utilize the brown seaweed differently. Common to the entire country was the use of Sargassum spp. as cover or wrapper of fish and other marine animals to maintain their freshness. In the Ilocos Region in the North, most folk consider it as a vegetable. Whereas in the Visayas and Northern Mindanao, natives utilize Sargassum as fertilizer, flower inducer and insect repellant. Cebuano and Boholano communities in the area also use the seaweed as animal feed in addition to those mentioned previously. In certain parts of the island of Bohol, a Sargassum drink is made and is reported to have health benefits. However, there is a declining trend of the folk uses of Sargassum due to Western and modern influences.