Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus) - is a notably brown algae or seaweed
that is found on the submerged rocks on both the east and west coast
of North America and in the warmer coastal regions of Europe.
Bladderwrack was the original source of iodine and
it was used extensively in the early 1800's to treat goiter (a swelling
of the thyroid gland secondary to a lack of iodine). In the beginning
of the 1900's Europeans used Bladderwrack as a thyroid stimulant proclaiming
its ability to increase metabolic rate.
The relationship between iodine and thyroid
function is complex. Iodine is required by the body to form thyroid
hormone, and iodine deficiency can lead to goiter and hypothyroidism
which manifests the following symptoms: weight gain, depression, lethargy,
constipation, intolerance to cold, dry skin, hair loss, excessive
P D'Adamo, M.D. has note Bladdrerwrack as being
particularly beneficial for individuals with type O blood. He states,
in r that "bladderwrack seems to help normalize the sluggish
metabolic rate and produce weight loss." He also alludes to its
utility in helping to keep thyroid function normal, and discusses
the potential usefulness of this plant for preventing the adherence
of certain microorganisms to the lining of the digestive tract including
H. pylori (organism responsible for inducing ulcers and gastritis).
D'Adamo P. Eat Right 4 Your Type. Putnam: 1997.
Cobalamin deficiency has been attributed to a primary cause
of fatigue. Clinical studies have shown that individuals who were
not even deficient in the vitamin following a B12 injection reported
a significant increase in energy has compared to those individuals
who received a placebo injection. Ellis FR, Nasser S. A pilot study
of vitamin B12 in the treatment of tiredness. Br J Nutr 1973;30:277–83.
Today, Bladderwrack is prescribed by physicians and herbal specialist
for the following:
- Weight Loss - helps to improve lipid balance associated with
obesity specifically where obesity is associated with thyroid
- Hypothyroidism - the plant is rich in Iodine that stimulates
the thyroid gland thus stimulating an individuals natural metabolism.
- Arthritis - provides relief for rheumatoid arthritis, the plant
is taken internally and applied externally to inflamed joints.
- Anti-Bacterial - helps to prevent the adhesion of harmful bacteria
to the lining of the digestive tract.
- Antioxidant Properties - helps to reduce the number of free
- Diuretic - the plant acts as a natural diuretic.
- Topical Creams - used in lotions and topical ointments to reduce
cellulite, moisturizing cream, localized anti-inflammatory.
- Anti-Cancer Properties - ingesting Bladderwrack in the diet
as shown to reduce the incidence of breast cancer.
- Constipation - regular use of Bladderwrack improves regularity.
- Cholesterol - help lower cholesterol levels.
- Bladderwrack not only is an excellent source of iodine the plant
provides a plethora of essential nutrients including: carrageenan,
algin, potassium, bormine, mannitol, kainid acid, alginic acid,
histamine, vitamin C
and/or Adverse Effects:
Individuals with preexisting medical conditions should consult
with their physician particularly if they are taking prescription
or over-the-counter-medications or supplements. Women who are pregnant
or breast feeding and children should also consult with there physician
prior to taking any new supplements.
More specifically, individuals should not use Bladderwrack if they
have a history of hyperthyroidism , cardiovascular problems, pregnant,
breast feeding. Excessive dosage of Bladderwrack can result in tremor,
hyperthyroidism, elevate pulse, increased blood pressure, etc.