Bladderwrack, also known as kelp, is most commonly used in seaweed salad and dashi stock, but it’s also highly effective on its own. Bladderwrack has many benefits, ranging from aiding digestion to helping with high blood pressure and cholesterol to even fighting cancer cells.
This herb also contains anti-inflammatory agents that help reduce the severity of asthma symptoms and boost immune function in the body. It’s no wonder why bladderwrack has become one of the most popular medicinal herbs out there today!
This article explains more about the bladderwrack benefits and how to incorporate it into your lifestyle.
What is Bladderwrack?
Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus) is brown algae that grow near the northern coasts of the USA, on both the Pacific and Atlantic sides of the continent.
This seaweed can also be located on the northern coast of Europe, on both the Atlantic and Baltic sides, and in parts of the Southern Hemisphere like New Zealand and Australia.
It’s a type of seaweed, which has been popular in different forms of alternative medicine as far back as Ancient Greece, and it continues to be used as an herbal remedy today.
Of the different types of brown seaweed that are available, bladderwrack is a popular one. It is named after the air pockets on its leaves, which look like small bladders that assist the seaweed to float.
Unlike other common seaweeds, such as nori or kombu, bladderwrack isn’t used predominantly in cooking. It is instead used as a supplement because of its benefits. So what does bladderwrack have to offer?
1. Bladderwrack helps relieve constipation and diarrhea
There are many different ways to treat constipation, and some people find that natural remedies work better for them than over-the-counter medications. One popular remedy is bladderwrack, which can help to relieve both constipation and diarrhea.
Bladderwrack is pretty effective in curing constipation and diarrhea and has been used traditionally as a treatment for constipation and diarrhea in Europe and North America. This is possible because of the dietary fiber and alginic acid. This acid is effective in healing and relieving diarrhea, and regulating bowel movements.
In one study, volunteers who took bladderwrack experienced a significant decrease in both their bowel movements and their number of bowel movements per day. In addition, they had fewer gastrointestinal problems overall.
Bladderwrack also works by increasing the number of beneficial bacteria in the gut. These bacteria are known to help break down food and absorb nutrients from the gut, which can help improve constipation and diarrhea symptoms such as bloating, gas, and cramps. Bladderwrack can also improve gastrointestinal conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
If you are looking for a natural way to treat your constipation or diarrhea, bladderwrack may be a good option for you.
2. Bladderwrack Can Improve GERD
Esophageal reflux disease, also known as acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), is a condition in which stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, causing symptoms such as heartburn and difficulty swallowing.
The main symptom of GERD is heartburn, a painful burning sensation in your chest. Other signs and symptoms include regurgitation of stomach contents into your mouth and pain behind your breastbone. Heartburn occurs when acidic digestive juices from your stomach back up into your esophagus.
These juices are normally kept in check by a sphincter at the bottom of your esophagus that opens to let food pass through to your stomach and closes to keep acids from backing up.
When it doesn’t close properly, acids can splash up onto nearby tissues and cause inflammation, irritation, and injury.
This can lead to damage to tissue in your throat or even ulcers if left untreated. While some people may be able to manage it with their lifestyle by eating various supplements and medications.
A common medication that helps treat this is Gaviscon, which includes alginic acid. This compound is also naturally found in bladderwrack. Alginic acid, in combination with magnesium carbonate, can quickly treat heartburn and GERD.
Studies show that bladderwrack may improve gastric emptying and reduce stomach acid levels. Bladderwrack also appears to reduce inflammation in the stomach and intestines.
This could help relieve symptoms of GERD, such as pain and discomfort in the stomach area.
Although there is still much research needed to confirm these findings, bladderwrack may be an effective supplement for GERD. If you are experiencing symptoms of GERD, talk to your doctor about whether bladderwrack might be a helpful supplement for you.
3. Bladderwrack Promotes Wound Healing
Calcium alginate extracts from bladderwrack have been shown to stimulate fibroblast proliferation, collagen production, and cell migration in a laboratory setting. It is thought that similar effects take place in humans, leading to faster wound healing.
Treating wounds with bladderwrack extract immediately post-injury has been found to accelerate healing by more than 100 percent. This effect was most pronounced when treatment began within 24 hours of injury. Treatment for longer periods resulted in further improvements.
The optimal dose for enhanced wound healing was determined to be 10 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, administered orally once daily for four days (40 mg/kg). Note: When taken internally, make sure you buy your bladderwrack supplements from a reputable brand. Some products are contaminated with heavy metals or other contaminants.
4. Bladderwrack Promotes Thyroid Health
The thyroid gland produces hormones that influence energy, metabolism, and many other important processes. When you have a healthy thyroid, your body can function at its best. But when your thyroid is out of whack and unable to produce these hormones efficiently, you may notice symptoms like hair loss, weight gain, fatigue, memory problems—and a host of others.
Luckily, there are plenty of natural remedies that support thyroid health. One of them is bladderwrack seaweed. This type of seaweed contains iodine, which supports thyroid hormone production. It also contains tyrosine, an amino acid that helps with the production of thyroxine, a thyroid hormone that may improve a slow thyroid and promote its functions.
5. Bladderwrack May Enhance Weight Loss
Though bladderwrack has been extensively studied for its health benefits, one of its most promising applications may be as a weight-loss supplement. In an animal study, researchers found that rats fed a high-fat diet supplemented with bladderwrack showed significantly reduced weight gain and visceral fat accumulation than those without it.
Another study published in Nutrition Research confirmed these results and showed that bladderwrack extract may also reduce fat storage by inhibiting lipid synthesis.
Additionally, research on bladderwrack’s antioxidant properties suggests that it may protect against obesity-related metabolic disorders like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Although more research is needed to confirm bladderwrack’s weight loss effects in humans, many people already use bladderwrack supplements to lose weight—and some have reported success!
6. Bladderwrack Is A Natural Diuretic
If you’re looking for a way to increase your urine output, bladderwrack may be able to help. A study published in Alternative Medicine Review found that taking a compound called fucosterol, which is found in bladderwrack, can boost how much urine is produced.
Over time, increased urination can assist with weight loss by removing excess water and toxins from your body and helping flush out your kidneys.
As such, if you’re looking for an all-natural diuretic, bladderwrack might be just what you need. In fact, it’s one of several natural remedies for water retention and bloating.
7. Bladderwrack Helps Improve Eye Health:
Bladderwrack is rich in fucoidan and fucoxanthin, which are said to be eye nutrients. These two compounds are especially powerful at blocking blue light emitted from electronic devices from damaging your eyes.
Another powerful eye compound in bladderwrack is alginate. It can help fight eye inflammation, a common cause of eye conditions including cataracts and macular degeneration. Alginate also helps remove debris and waste from the eyes.
According to a study published in the journal Ophthalmology, people who ate bladderwrack improved their vision compared to those who didn’t.
The study involved 60 people divided into two groups: one group ate bladderwrack three times per week for six weeks, while the other group did not. After six weeks, the group that ate bladderwrack had better vision than the group that hadn’t eaten it.
Bladderwrack is also a great source of eye nutrients and vitamins, including vitamins A, C, E, and K. For instance, vitamin C is known for its antioxidant properties that can help protect against free radical damage that can lead to age-related eye problems while vitamin A helps maintain healthy vision.
It also contains selenium, a mineral that has been shown to maintain proper eye function.
8. Bladderwrack Helps Maintain Skin Health
Bladderwrack is a rare supplement that can reduce both wrinkles and acne and has been used traditionally to treat skin problems like aging, burns, and cellulite.
If you’re looking for an anti-aging solution, you need bladderwrack. It works by supporting skin cell turnover and producing collagen, which keeps skin firm and hydrated—as we age, our body produces less collagen, which can lead to fine lines and wrinkles.
Bladderwrack also contains powerful antioxidants that prevent oxidative damage to skin cells. As a result, this can help stimulate healthy skin growth and repair by scavenging free radicals.
What’s more, bladderwrack contains vitamins A, B12, C, D, and E as well as minerals such as iron and iodine—all of which are essential for healthy skin.
It’s also rich in anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that can help fight skin infections, eczema, and psoriasis. Research shows that it even outperforms hydrocortisone! It can also provide relief from severe itching, burning, irritation, and pain.
It can also help treat other skin problems like rosacea. Bladderwrack can help reduce redness, inflammation, and other symptoms of rosacea.
8. Bladderwrack Can Improve Heart Health
There is growing evidence that bladderwrack may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Bladderwrack contains high levels of potassium and magnesium, which are essential minerals for maintaining blood pressure and preventing heart disease and stroke. Additionally, bladderwrack has been shown to improve heart health by reducing bad cholesterol levels and improving blood flow.
In a study published in the journal Circulation, researchers found that people who ate four or more servings of bladderwrack each week had a 44% lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease and heart attack than those who ate less than one serving per month.
The researchers believe that bladderwrack’s beneficial effects may be due to its high levels of antioxidants and flavonoids.
9. Bladderwrack Can Help Fight Cancer
Bladderwrack is rich in antioxidant compounds that inhibit the growth of cancer cells. It does this by blocking the ability of cancer cells to grow and spread. The extract has been shown to be effective against several types of cancer, including prostate, breast, and colon cancers.
Studies have also shown that bladderwrack can help reduce the risk of death from cancer. In some cases, it has been shown to improve the survival rates of patients diagnosed with advanced cancer.
10. It Can Support Hair Health
If you’re looking for a natural way to add shine and luster to your hair, bladderwrack may be the perfect ingredient. This seaweed is high in silica, which is essential for maintaining hair health and preventing frizz.
It also contains alginate, which is used to thicken and add volume to hair. Bladderwrack also helps restore the scalp’s pH balance, which is important for healthy hair growth.
When applied to the hair and scalp, bladderwrack helps to remove debris, oils, and sweat from the scalp. Additionally, it helps to replenish and strengthen hair shafts by providing essential nutrients like proteins, minerals, and vitamins. In short, bladderwrack can help your hair look and feel healthier!
Who Can’t Eat Bladderwrack?
As beneficial as it is, bladderwrack hasn’t been studied enough to be safe for pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding. So to all the nursing mothers or the mothers-to-be, you should avoid consuming bladderwrack just in case.
Bladderwrack isn’t safe for anyone who has an iodine allergy. Keep in mind that bladderwrack has a significant amount of iodine, so your body may react if it’s allergic to it. Avoid eating it in such cases.
Bladderwrack is known to increase blood flow. Therefore, if you are on medication to stop your blood from clotting, it is highly advised that you speak to your doctor before taking this. There may be a chance that this seaweed may not be for you.
Bladderwrack Nutrition Breakdown:
After reading the numerous benefits that this seaweed provides, you’re probably wondering which nutrients are present inside a bladderwrack. The most important ones include:
- Trace Metals
Common Questions About Bladderwrack
A. How much bladderwrack should you consume daily?
Anyone with thyroid problems, gastritis, and even heartburn should consume up to 5 to 10 grams of dried bladderwrack in the form of a capsule three times a day.
You can also consume bladderwrack in its natural form, or add it to your tea. A teaspoon per cup of hot water is the perfect amount. Keep it in and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes before drinking it.
B. What does bladderwrack taste like?
Bladderwrack has a pungent seaweed-like smell, and its taste is very Salinic and mucilaginous.
C. How can I incorporate bladderwrack into my diet?
- Bladderwrack can be added to soups or stews as a natural source of iodine.
- It can also be used as a flavoring for foods, such as in or pasta sauces.
- Bladderwrack can be blended into smoothies or juiced for added minerals and vitamins.
- Bladderwrack can be used as a natural topical antiseptic for wounds, cuts, and scrapes, and it can also be added to bathwater for its therapeutic properties.
D. Are there any side effects
Bladderwrack is generally safe for most people but in some cases, side effects may occur. These may vary from gastrointestinal, psychological, and pulmonary.
Gastrointestinal Side Effects: Bladderwrack can cause nausea and vomiting. In some cases, it can also lead to diarrhea and abdominal pain. Patients with a history of intestinal problems should avoid bladderwrack because of the potential for serious complications.
Psychological Side Effects: Bladderwrack can cause anxiety, fear, and paranoia in some people. It should not be used by people who are prone to these types of reactions.
Pulmonary Side Effects: Bladderwrack can cause severe lung infections in people who are susceptible to them. People with asthma or other respiratory problems should avoid bladderwrack because of the risk of worsening their condition.
Bladderwrack may seem like an unfamiliar name to you, but it’s actually algae that is highly beneficial for your health. Bladderwrack has been used for centuries as medicine, and now people all over the world are finding out just how useful this natural ingredient can be when incorporated into your daily diet and lifestyle.
The top benefits of bladderwrack include enhancing wound healing, promoting heart health, aiding weight loss, alleviating diarrhea and constipation, maintaining healthy skin, improving eye health, and offering diuretic benefits.
This brown seaweed is available in three different forms: dried, powdered, tea, or even as a supplement.
Bladderwrack is considered healthy, but some groups like pregnant or breastfeeding women and those with various medical conditions may want to hold back their consumption or seek medical advice before considering it as a supplement.
If you’re looking to try this fantastic seaweed, it’s advisable to ask healthcare providers, get a yes, then try it out!
More Plant Benefits:
- Nori Seaweed Benefits
- Benefits of Pomegranates
- Rosemary Benefits
- Curry Leaves Benefits
- Guava Leaves Benefits
- Benefits of Moringa
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