Although it has a weird name, bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus) is one of the most common type of seaweed found in our oceans. Other common names of bladderwrack include; red fucus, rockweed, and black tang. Bladderwrack is an edible brown seaweed of the kelp variety.
The characteristic physical feature of bladderwrack is its little air sacs that can be seen along its branches.
Bladderwrack has high levels of iodine, potassium, mucilage, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, as well as numerous other phytochemicals and compounds such as phloroglucinol, mucopolysaccharides, fucophorethols, phlorotannins, algin, lipids, sulphuryl-, sulphonyl- and phosphonyl-glycosyl ester diglycerides. In fact, bladderwrack was the original source of iodine for nutritional diets and therapeutic purposes.
1. For Improved Thyroid Health
Back in the 19th century, the main source of iodine was bladderwrack. As a result, its popularity grew and with time, it became clear that bladderwrack contained supplements that aided in thyroid functioning. Iodine is an important supplement in the body when it comes to balancing of metabolic and hormonal activities in our bodies. Subsequently, as a rich source of iodine, bladderwrack has been linked to the treatment of several types of thyroid disorders.
2. For Weight Loss
Supplements that increase metabolism are one of the most sought solutions in our generations. Bladderwrack has been a significant weight loss supplement for some time now and many people are starting to appreciate its benefits. Bladderwrack heightens metabolism, which allows your body to burn off the excess fat and in the long-run curbing obesity and other disorders associated with excess weight.
3. For Improved Eyesight
Bladderwrack contains beta-carotene whose benefits range from immune system improvement to good vision.
Consequently, bladderwrack is a good dietary source of beta-carotene for people who want to improve their vision. Like all carotenoids, this organic supplement contains antioxidants. Beta-carotene neutralizes the harmful free radicals in the cornea using the antioxidants present in its structure. Moreover, bladderwrack helps prevent the degeneration of muscles hence preventing cataracts.
4. Reduced Inflammation
Over the years, bladderwrack has been a potent source of anti-inflammatory relief. From thyroid to skin irritation, gout to reducing swelling, bladderwrack plays an important role in neutralizing swelling, irritation and even pain. Depending on the inflammation, you can use it either externally or internally. While both forms of using bladderwrack are sufficiently effective, when used simultaneously the results are nothing short of remarkable. Bladderwrack can be used for inflammations such as in relieving muscle soreness and joint inflammation.
5. Prevention Of Cancer
Fucoidan, contained in bladderwrack, is a very beneficial sulfated polysaccharide to the human immune system. Not only does it reduce the risk of a tumor, but it also lowers the levels of blood sugar in the blood and cholesterol in the body. Fucoidan targets the substance responsible for the growth and reproduction of API-1 and regulates it accordingly. Slowing down AP-I significantly lowers the proliferation and growth of cancer cells.
6. For Hormonal Balancing
The stimulation of hormones is another major benefit of bladderwrack. It is particularly helpful in exerting anti-estrogenic effects in pre-menopausal women. Based on research, this brown seaweed can help in regulating the menstrual cycle and control the pre-menopausal period in women who have had histories with abnormal menstrual cycles. However, consumption of bladderwrack during pregnancy has some safety concern issues and should be taken only under medical supervision.
7. Improved Skin Health
Improved skin health is another benefit of bladderwrack. Bladderwrack contains minerals that nourish and cleanse the skin by removing toxins that cause acne. It also regulates the opening and closing of the pores on the skin, therefore, curbing dryness and wrinkles. Furthermore, bladderwrack improves fluid retention leaving your skin glowing. By adding bladderwrack to your bath water, body scrubs and facial scrubs you can easily detoxify your skin without any hassle.