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What Are the Different Uses of Bladderwrack?

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  • Written By: Lumara Lee
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2018
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Bladderwrack, or fucus vesiculosus, is a type of kelp that has been used medicinally for many generations. It is also used by contemporary holistic health practitioners to treat various illnesses. The seaweed is commonly recommended to treat female conditions and thyroid disorders. A dietary staple in Scotland, Norway, Vietnam, and Japan, its concentration of essential nutrients has made it a common ingredient in natural dietary supplements and cosmetics.

Its high iodine content makes this kelp an effective treatment for enlarged thyroid or goiter, underactive thyroid, and iodine deficiency. People with an overactive thyroid should abstain from taking bladderwrack because it has the ability to stimulate the thyroid. This same property also helps the bladderwrack to increase energy and strengthen the immune system, making it a popular remedy for obesity.

In addition to iodine, bladderwrack is a good source of potassium, iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium. It also contains beta-carotene, vitamins C, A, and E, and several B vitamins. The concentrated amount of vitamin B12 in bladderwrack makes it a popular supplement for vegetarians who otherwise would not obtain that essential nutrient in a diet devoid of animal products.

This medicinal seaweed has been used for years to reduce cellulite. It is believed that the cellulite dissolves because the kelp aids in the production of thyroid hormones which stimulate the metabolism. When combined with a low-calorie diet, bladderwrack promotes weight loss. Some also claim that it decreases the appetite.

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Studies have shown that this form of kelp can kill some cancer cells, arrest the growth of others, and shrink tumors. The rates of breast cancer in populations that consume moderate amounts of this seaweed are much lower than in regions where kelp isn’t a regular part of the diet.

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it is used to treat arthritis and rheumatism. It can relieve the symptoms of these joint disorders when taken internally. Bladderwrack can also be applied topically to arthritic joints to reduce pain and inflammation.

It is also used to treat various ailments of the digestive tract. The seaweed has a gentle laxative effect and can reduce the symptoms of hemorrhoids and urinary disorders. As beneficial as the kelp can be for health, caution should be exercised when taking it. Since the amount of iodine may vary from plant to plant, people who take bladderwrack regularly need to make sure they aren’t consuming too much iodine.

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