Bladderwrack is a Brown seaweed from the North Atlantic that has been used medicinally for centuries. It it has built a reputation to help aching joints and different forms of arthritis and has long been associated with the treatment of thyroid disorders.

Some material I found describes bladderwrack as a type of kelp, which is not true. Both are Brown seaweeds - which means they have similar characteristics like high levels of iodine, for example - but they are distinctly different families, which gives them each a unique nutritional profile. Bladderwrack has been sought after for aching joints.

bladderwrack-tea-014Bladderwrack is said to have been the first source of iodine discovered, so it has been widely used for the stimulation of the thyroid gland, but other borwn seaweed do that too. What sets Bladderwrack apart is its ability to bring relief to aching joints and different forms of arthritis. It contains key nutrients for joint & bone health, reduces inflammation, relieves pain from aching joints and helps improve movement.

More generally it is a nourishing & soothing tonic that is a great resource during convalescence, especially to remineralise the body. It is also said to help dry skin and chronic constipation.

As for many natural remedies, much of the information about medicinal properties has come from experience in utilisation by medical herbalists rather than clinical trials. More and more research is undertaken to study the effects of various compounds unique to seaweed. Check our Bladderwrack product page for more information.

This tea is a tonic that can be enjoyed for a few weeks at a time. The resulting beverage has a slight salty marine flavour with a hint of a smoky finish. If you worry about it being too 'seaweedy', the flavour can be transformed according to your taste and preferences by adding extra ingredients at steeping time - you will barely detect the marine taste. This beverage can be enjoyed hot or cold.

Although some people would certainly rate it as a bit of an acquired taste, herbalist/author Susun Weed (Wise Woman Herbal HEALING WISE) stresses the benefit of seaweed as providing ‘increased longevity, enhanced immune function, revitalised cardiovascular, endocrine, digestive & nervous systems and relief from minor aches & pains’.

The Recipe

bladderwrack-tea-ingredientPlace ¼ cup of dried bladderwrack in a jar or teapot and fill with boiling water (or a flat teaspoon per cup).
Let steep a few hours or overnight.
To use, strain, warm and enjoy 2-3 times a day.
The mixture can be seasoned to your taste: add fresh mint or lemongrass, ginger, lemon peel, cinnamon, allspice while steeping, and a bit of honey.

Culinary tips:
Bladderwrack is one of the most abundant brown seaweed. Its taste is mild and salty sweet. Try it in soups or make a healthy stock, or mix it with sea salt for a naturally iodised version.

Wellness tips:
Bladderwrack is rich in iodine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfur, silicon and 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 is rich in algin and mannitol, carotene and zeaxantine with traces of bromine.

Source: Materia medica