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Bladderwrack – Traditional Uses

Historically, the Romans  used Bladderwrack to soothe join pains and later it's been used to treat tuberculosis. Bladderwrack has been an herbal remedy and a culinary element in various cultures for centuries. It has long been recognised for its nourishing, anti-inflammatory, laxative & diuretic effects on the body. The iodine content is substantial (although less than in kelp), in fact bladderwrack was the original source of iodine, an important nutrient in treating various conditions. It has played an important part in early nutrition where it is said to remineralise the body and help during convalescence.

Bladderwrack is a brown seaweed rich in iodine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfur, silicon & iron and high in some B-complex vitamins. It contains moderate amounts of phosphorus, selenium, manganese & zinc and small amounts of vitamins A, C, E and G. It contains anti-sterility vitamin S as well as vitamin K. It is rich in algin and mannitol, carotene and zeaxantin with traces of bromine. It contains both soluble & insoluble fibres and some protein.

Its early use as an anti-goiter medication (high content of the essential mineral iodine) enjoyed a high success rate. The main action of the remedy is in bringing about an increase in the thyroid glands production of hormones by raising the metabolic rate and functioning of the gland.
An important concept of nature here is that seaweed seems to 'modulate' the thyroid, meaning that impaired thyroid seem to respond best to the treatment while the same protocol may not promote the same metabolic increases in healthy glands, therefore naturally helping reduce the risks of an overdose.

Bladderwrack has also long been recognised as an anti-inflammatory agent, where it is said to soothe the irritated tissues of the body. It has been used to treat various rheumatic conditions, gout, hemorrhoids & skin irritation where it can successfully neutralise the irritation, reduce swelling and relieve pain. Bladderwrack-based remedies seem to be effective whether the herb is taken internally or as an external application for inflammed joints.According to research, the anti-inflammatory properties seem to be coming from fucoxanthin, a carotenoid present in most brown seaweeds.

Other beneficial effects for this sea herb are:

  • is diuretic and cleanse the kidneys
  • ease skin  problem & hair loss
  • stimulate the immune system and adrenal glands

Bladderwrack is used most commonly as an herbal supplement, which can be consumed directly , mixed into food, as an infusion and applied externally in conjonction (as facial scrubs or poultice) to improve its efficacy.

New research is showing a wider application for bladderwrack: it has been studied for its anti-viral, anti-coagulant propertiess and its beneficial effects in the treatment of obesity, certain types of cancer and signs of aging.

Sources:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18683949
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210606/

Disclaimer: This material is provided for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This information is generic and should be verified by a qualified health practitioner for specific & individual needs & requirements.

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