Things with the strangest names are often the most beneficial for your health. Bladderwrack epitomizes that statement because this nutritious seaweed can help remedy joint pain, premature signs of aging, urinary tract infections, indigestion, obesity, and thyroid problems. For centuries, herbalists used bladderwrack to support endocrine and thyroid function, particularly because of the rich iodine content.
What Is Bladderwrack?
Bladderwrack can grow up to 35 inches tall along the coastlines of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the North and Baltic Seas. It occasionally grows in northern Canadian waters, or waters in the United States. The diverse nutritional profile is why bladderwrack is incredible sought after in the world of alternative remedies and herbal medicine. It contains phytochemicals, iodine, magnesium, vitamins A & C, calcium, potassium, and zinc. Additionally, bladderwrack’s fiber content is beneficial for gut health, but most of the scientific research surrounds thyroid and skin health.
Health Benefits Of Bladderwrack
Beneficial For The Thyroid
Bladderwrack contains iodine in the form of di-iodotyrosine (DIT), a precursor for thyroid hormones T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (tri-iodothyronine). The thyroid gland produces T4 by condensing DIT and thyroid peroxidase enzyme. Because bladderwrack is an excellent natural source of iodine, it is excellent for optimal thyroid health. While iodine deficiency is fairly uncommon in the United States, thyroid problems or complications have increased in recent years. People with thyroid disorders, including hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, need to exercise caution with the amount of bladderwrack they consume. Ask a nutritionist or doctor for precise recommendations for bladderwrack supplementation.
Joint Pain Relief
Many studies on bladderwrack found that it exhibited potent anti-inflammatory properties. This is excellent news for people with joint pain or arthritis. You can take bladderwrack capsules, powder, or tablets and on a daily basis. In several test-tube studies, the phlorotannins and fucoxanthin in bladderwrack displayed antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Since oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are common denominators between chronic diseases, taking bladderwrack may be a way to counteract this inflammation. More human research is necessary, though.
Bladderwrack’s high antioxidant content makes it an excellent food for your skin, especially if your skin is dry, wrinkled, or rich in fluid. You can add bladderwrack powder to baths, homemade soaps, or face masks to help pull toxins out of the skin. Initial research found that fucoidan, an antioxidant in bladderwrack, helps to promote collagen synthesis in the skin. This helps to decrease premature signs of aging and the appearance of cellulite. One study found that applying bladderwrack to human skin improved skin elasticity and contributed to more youthful looking skin.
Side Effects And Precaution
Both the internal and topical use of bladderwrack is considered safe, but it may lead to some side effects. If you apply bladderwrack topically, avoid open wounds or cuts because it can cause a rash or negative reaction. Bladderwrack is also safe for consumption, but only in small amounts. The high iodine content has the potential to throw the body out of whack. Depending on the source of the bladderwrack, it may also contain heavy metals, which are dangerous when consumed in high amounts. If you take medications like blood thinners, thyroid medications, antiarrhythmic medications, or herbal supplements like valerian root, ginkgo biloba, or St. John’s Wort, it is possible for bladderwrack to negatively interact with them.