Fucus vesiculosus, commonly known as bladderwrack, is a seaweed plant widely used for treating a number of health problems, particularly those related to an iodine deficiency. In Europe, bladderwrack is used as a flavoring in food products. There are nutritional supplements that contain bladderwrack. In order to take full advantage of this seaweed plant, let us study how to use bladderwrack.
The main chemical components of this seaweed plant are: iodine, beta-carotene, align, mucilage, potassium, bromine, zeaxanthin, volatile oils, mannitol, and many more minerals. Bladderwrack is primarily used in the field of herbal medicine as a source of iodine. Since iodine is an important nutrient for the thyroid gland, this plant has proved most effective for treating an underactive thyroid gland.
Read on below to understand the different uses of bladderwrack:
Take the right dose. The correct dose largely depends on a number of factors like: the patient’s age, overall health condition, and individual characteristics. It is important to note that natural supplements are not always safe, and taking the appropriate dose is important. It is recommended that you follow relevant guidelines on product labels. See a doctor first before you start taking bladderwrack.
Generally, 1 to 2 capsules daily of bladderwrack dietary supplement is enough. For hypothyroidism, take at least 10 grams in a capsule 3 times per day. For constipation, take at least 1 teaspoon of dried bladderwrack 3 times per day. To enjoy it more, just pour 1 cup of hot water onto 3 teaspoons of the dried herb and let it simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Thereafter, drink it 3 times a day.
Take bladderwrack with a full stomach. This is highly recommended in order to avoid stomach irritation. It is suggested that you take your dose after every meal. Consuming excessive dosages can possibly result in an increased pulse rate, high blood pressure, or tremors.
Use it in preventing cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, women who regularly consume bladderwrack seaweed have fewer chances of contracting breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Other than seaweed consumption, there are causal factors that contribute to the reduction of breast cancer rate such as an improved lifestyle and healthy eating habits.
Use it in treating hypothyroidism. Due to its high iodine content, bladderwrack is useful for individuals with hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is not able to produce enough thyroid hormones. Bladderwrack helps weight loss due to insufficient thyroid hormones. It also helps in naturally speeding up the metabolism to burn calories.
Use it in regulating menstrual cycles. Women experiencing irregular menstrual cycles should continue taking bladderwrack. The anti-estrogenic characteristics of bladderwrack can significantly improve progesterone levels which help in normalizing menstrual cycles.
Use it as anti-aging. Bladderwrack has fucoidan content, a compound that contains anti-aging properties. Fucoidan helps in retaining collagen while it improves the skin’s elasticity and decreases the thickness of the skin. To achieve these benefits, bladderwrack must be topically applied. In any health food store, you can buy creams or lotions containing fucoidan or bladderwrack.
Be aware of the relevant safety concerns. According to MedlinePlus, bladderwrack may contain high levels of iodine which could eventually worsen thyroid-related problems. A high intake and prolonged use of dietary iodine is associated with goiter and an increased risk of contracting thyroid cancer. Therefore, thyroid problems may only be treated under medical supervision.
Bladderwrack is not safe to use during breastfeeding and pregnancy. Since this sea plant has a significant amount of iodine, it may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Moreover, bladderwrack can slow down blood clotting. Using it during and after surgery can possibly cause extra bleeding. Thus, you should not consume bladderwrack at least 14 days before surgery.
Bladderwrack can possibly interact with several herbs and supplements. Once you start taking this seaweed plant, avoid taking angelica, feverfew, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, red clover, poplar, turmeric, and fenugreek. Consuming bladderwrack together with any of these herbs can possibly cause bleeding and bruising. For as long you know how to use bladderwrack, you will be able to enjoy its benefits.