Bladderwrack, not to be confused with bladderwort, is a type of kelp with medicinal qualities that are said to improve thyroid health, metabolism, bone strength, vision, and more. Bladderwort, on the other hand, are dried leaves used to make tea that treats urinary tract disorders and infections.
In this article, we’ll be covering the many benefits of bladderwrack.
Where Does Bladderwrack Come From?
In case you would like to know from where your herbs derive their benefits, here’s a quick rundown of bladderwrack’s origins…
Bladderwrack, or Fucus vesiculosus, comes from the sea. It’s sea kelp, one of the most common in the world. Found in the British Isles, Europe, the Baltic Sea, and along North America’s eastern coast, Bladderwrack grows in large numbers under sheltered inlets with little current. One can easily identify bladderwrack by its small air sacs, which can be found in pairs along the kelp’s branches.
This funny looking sea kelp has been used as an herbal remedy and as an ingredient for cooking across various cultures for hundreds of years. Additionally, bladderwrack was an important source of iodine for many people with iodine deficiencies.
What are the Health Benefits of Bladderwrack?
The benefits of bladderwrack go beyond treating iodine deficiencies. It’s iodine-rich body make bladderwrack an excellent herbal remedy for people suffering from obesity.
That’s thanks to the kelp’s ability to improve thyroid function, and in turn, metabolism. It can also reduce inflammation, strengthen bones and skin, and provide nutrients that improve your eyesight. Put simply, using bladderwrack will make you feel younger. Bladderwrack has also been rumored to lower users’ risk of cancer and strengthen their heart health, although these benefits are still being researched.
Some users also claim that bladderwrack soothes skin irritations, such as burns and insect bites. Other supposed maladies treated by bladderwrack include…
- Achy joints
- Digestive problems
- Urinary tract infections
The primary healing element of bladderwrack, as mentioned earlier, is iodine, and so when we talk about the benefits of bladderwrack, we are really talking about the benefits of iodine.
How to Use Bladderwrack
There are many ways to enjoy the benefits of bladderwrack but the most common way is to use it in powder form, as a skin care product. Bladderwrack powder can be applied directly to your skin, or mixed into water and used like a lotion. As a lotion, the bladderwrack powder is especially efficient at providing your skin nutrients, since it can easily soak into your skin and bring its many nutrients with it. Those nutrients are iodine, mucilage, beta-carotene, potassium, and zeaxanthin. Combined, these nutrients cleanse your skin of toxins and alleviate dryness and wrinkles. Overall, bladderwrack powder makes an amazing natural lotion that will smoothen and nourish the skin on both your body and face.
Another popular way for bladderwrack to be used is in the form of capsules. Bladderwrack capsules are the best and safest way to consume bladderwrack, which is generally not safe to consume by mouth. Some of the stand out nutrients found in bladderwrack capsules include carotene, fucoidan, mannitol and bromine, which help with bone and joint health. Instructions for consumption and dosage may vary, but generally, bladderwrack capsules are taken in the morning or at night, like vitamins. It’s not only the safest way to ensure you will enjoy the benefits of the bladderwrack, it’s also the easiest way!
Bladderwrack CAN be infused in raw form by brewing or steeping it in hot water. However, this is not as popular a way of consuming the kelp, so it isn’t as well researched. In other words, proceed with caution when brewing or steeping bladderwrack.
Usage and Side Effects
To best enjoy the benefits of bladderwrack you should know how much to take and what potential side effects you could experience.
There are several factors that determine how much bladderwrack you can safely take. And, of course, you should check with your doctor before determining the dosage on your own. The most influential factors to consider are age and health. Health as in… Do you have any disorders that might not agree with bladderwrack. Sometimes, conflicting disorders are listed on bladderwrack product product labels, but it’s always good to consult a healthcare professional beforehand.
Here are some exceptions and side effects to ask your doctor about before using bladderwrack:
- Bladderwrack is generally safe to use on your skin, and it is generally unsafe to eat.
- Bladderwrack is high in iodine, large doses of which could cause or worsen certain thyroid disorders. Consuming a lot of dietary iodine, in particular, can cause goiter and increase your risk of developing thyroid cancer.
- Other thyroid-related issues, such as hyperthyroidism, which is caused by an excessive amount of thyroid hormones, or hypothyroidism, a result of too little thyroid hormones, may worsen from an increase in iodine from bladderwrack.
- Pregnant or breast-feeding women should avoid using bladderwrack, as it is likely unsafe for infants. Early research suggests that bladderwrack might also make it harder for women to get pregnant
- Bleeding disorders might also be worsened by bladderwrack usage, since bladderwrack can slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bruising or bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.
- Slowed blood-clotting due to bladderwrack consumption might also cause extra bleeding during and after surgery, so it is best to avoid taking bladderwrack at least two weeks before surgery.
- Finally, if you are allergic to iodine, or any other ingredient found in Bladderwrack, obviously, avoid using it!
Is Bladderwrack Right For You?
If you suffer from metabolic disorders or obesity, you should consult your doctor before trying bladderwrack. The potential health benefits of bladderwrack are great, but they are not worth the risk if you fall into any of the abovementioned exceptions. Your health is our priority!
So, if you are able to use bladderwrack powder, or even bladderwrack capsules, give them a try! Your health could drastically improve, leaving you feeling young and refreshed, and ready to live life to its fullest.