Bladderwrack is a type of brown seaweed that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat an array of conditions. This seaweed is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, causing many to believe that it provides several benefits to one’s health.
Before adding bladderwrack into your daily diet, though, it’s important to know more about what it can do for you. Read on to learn more about the uses, benefits, and side effects of bladderwrack.
What is Bladderwrack?
Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus) can be found growing along the coastlines of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the North and Baltic Seas, and various waters in Canada and the United States.
Growing up to 35 inches (90 cm) tall, this natural supplement is said to provide numerous health benefits with its nutrient-packed nature.
Also known as rock wrack, black tang, bladder fucus, rockweed, red fucus, and dryer fucus, bladderwrack colonized the North Sea for more than 8,000 years ago.
Since then, the seaweed’s healing powers have been used for conditions such as joint pain, aging skin, hypothyroidism, and plenty more.
Bladderwrack and Sea Moss
Oftentimes, bladderwrack is most closely associated with the use of sea moss, as the two are typically combined to further enhance both of their health benefits. When combined, sea moss and bladderwrack have been said to promote a healthy brain, thyroid, bones, energy levels, and mood.
In today’s market, you can find sea moss and bladderwrack capsules that make reaping the benefits of these two supplements a seamless process.
The combination of sea moss and bladderwrack makes for a potential boost to your health in several different ways.
The consumption of bladderwrack comes with a slew of benefits, including its anti-inflammatory effects, stress-relieving properties, and its ability to support thyroid function.
Although there is limited evidence to support the use of bladderwrack for its benefits, there are quite a few health claims to it that may be beneficial. Other benefits of this brown seaweed include:
- Aids in weight loss
- Helps with arthritis
- Relieves joint pain
- Increases fertility
- Prevents urinary tract infections
Bladderwrack can also be used topically as it has been linked to helping improve the look of cellulite, increasing skin healing, and delaying premature skin aging.
Bladderwrack Benefits For Hair
Applying bladderwrack to your hair using either a hair mask or purchasing specific products that contain this brown seaweed can have a variety of regenerative effects.
- Protection – The antioxidants, predominantly Vitamin A, protect your hair from the sun’s rays, smoke, and other pollutants.
- Restoration – The Amino Acids help to restore and re-build the strands of your hair from the cuticle by regenerating the proteins that make up the hair strands themselves.
- Hydration – Bladderwrack contains Iodine, Phosphorus, and Potassium, all of which stimulate growth and hydration of the hair
Although Bladderwrack is generally safe for human use, it may present some unwanted side effects. These potential side effects include:
- Increased chance of hyperthyroidism
- Interference with blood thinners
- Complications with pregnancy
Bladderwrack is generally safe to apply to the skin, but avoid applying it to open wounds and cuts, and discontinue use if you experience any adverse reactions, such as a skin rash.
To avoid side effects, be sure to consult your healthcare provider before taking bladderwrack regularly.
How to Take Bladderwrack
Bladderwrack can be taken in multiple ways, both orally and topically. These methods include:
Oral Consumption Methods:
- Added into tea
- Eaten whole
- Mixed into smoothies
Topical Application Methods:
- Applied by bladderwrack lotion
- Used in extracts
- Bladderwrack tincture
- Applying a bladderwrack hair mask
For the most part, you can find most bladderwrack supplements in form of 500mg doses. For best results, be sure to limit your intake of any bladderwrack products to no more than 2 cups (500 mL) per day to avoid any potential side effects.
It’s also recommended that you speak to a healthcare provider before adding bladderwrack to your daily routine in order to use the supplement in the right way specifically for you.
With all of its potential benefits that bladderwrack brings to the table, it’s no wonder that this seaweed product is so popular in the natural health and wellness world.
For even better results, try combining sea moss and bladderwrack together to enhance the health benefits they both bring.
If you are thinking about adding bladderwrack to your diet, you should consult with your doctor first. They will be able to provide more information on whether or not bladderwrack would be a healthy addition to your diet.
Further, when purchasing products that contain bladderwrack, look to the packaging labels for more information. You may want to look out for the following:
- What, if any, government labels the package has to determine the level of regulation and testing the product underwent
- Other ingredients in the product that you could be sensitive to
Disclaimers: This article does not constitute professional medical advice, nor can it replace the advice of a licensed professional.