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What is Bladderwrack?
Many of you might have never heard of the plant bladderwrack. But, this should be a word to add to your vocabulary in the way it connects with your thyroid. If you are like millions of other Americans who are dealing with the dysfunction of the thyroid, adding bladderwrack to the diet may help benefit the gland in the long run.
Bladderwrack is a piece of seaweed, whose scientific name is Fucus vesiculosus. This brown seaweed has the highest concentration of any piece of seaweed in the ocean. The seaweed is the most found type of plant in the ocean today. This forked seaweed has branches with bladders that are gas-filled. As a rockweed plant, bladderwrack is found primarily in the coastal areas in the North Sea, in the western half of the Baltic Sea, and in the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. In Japan and other Asian countries, bladderwrack is very common to eat with other dishes, when prepared appropriately.
Over the years, bladderwrack has been used by a variety of cultures as an ingredient for food or as a remedy for injuries and illnesses. When using the whole plant appropriately, it can be used for medicinal purposes. Bladderwrack, as a drug, is relatively new to the medical landscape, although the seaweed itself has a long history, albeit largely undocumented. Another thing to make sure of is to not take the plant orally by itself. It must be refined down to make the plant’s medicine efficient and safe.
How does Bladderwrack help the thyroid and other issues?
Bladderwrack specifically helps when a thyroid is myxedema or underactive, goiter or overactive, or if there is an iodine deficiency causing the thyroid to act up. Weight gain usually occurs when a thyroid issue is apparent, so bladderwrack actually helps with weight loss as one of its functions as well. Furthermore, bladderwrack helps with joint pain, heartburn, urinary tract infections, anxiety, constipation, and a whole slew of other things. If you are looking to boost your energy, bladderwrack also functions in that way. How about skin issues? Bladderwrack can be applied to the skin to help with burns, bites, and aging skin tissue.
Is Bladderwrack really helpful?
The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, which ranks effectiveness of medicines based on scientific proof, shows that bladderwrack may have potential benefits for those with thyroid disorders, by balancing the T3 and T4 hormones into normal levels. However, it still recommends more research be done into this herb. Bladderwrack may be effective for most people, but like medicines, can work better with some instead of others. For those that want to read more information about the exact benefits of this herb, read these two research studies. The first one can be found here, and the second one here. Both are published in reputable scholarly journals.
Because bladderwrack is a sea-based plant, it has a lot of iodine in its make-up. Iodine based-products have been proven to treat thyroid issues. A nutrition expert by the name of Dr. Nan Fuchs says that iodine deficiency could lead to thyroid issues. The gland needs the byproduct of iodine to help with the T3 and T4 hormones in the body to work appropriately. Also, in the design of bladderwrack, it has algin, which is used as a laxative to help the digestive system move more effectively through the body. Bladderwrack also has rich amounts of mannitol, bromine, potassium, volatile oils, and other minerals that are helpful for the human body’s growth, development, and maintenance.
Concerns when it comes to Bladderwrack
As stated earlier, bladderwrack is effective when used on the skin, but not when taken orally. In some instances, the amount of iodine in the plant might actually hinder people who have thyroid difficulties. If iodine is used in too great a volume, it could actually lead to worse thyroid issues like cancer. Also, with people having iodine allergies, this product would not be for you. Another thing to be aware of should be that bladderwrack can contain heavy metal within its make-up, so be aware of how you consume or use this product. The heavy metal within bladderwrack, in extreme cases, could lead to kidney failure in an individual. It might be helpful to consult a medical professional first.
Many times, bladderwrack can be put into soups, salads, and grains. Also, capsule supplements can be used as an alternative.
Also, consider being cautious when using this plant if you are pregnant or breast-feeding a child. If bladderwrack is used, this could affect the mother and/or the child negatively. Also, early research has shown that women and men trying to conceive a child could lead to infertility if bladderwrack is taken at the same time.
Patients dealing with a bleeding disorder, along with their thyroid issues, might run into concerns when taking bladderwrack. The product could slow the blood from clotting.
What other effects does Bladderwrack have?
As bladderwrack is used, other medications might be taken as well when dealing with a thyroid disorder. Be sure what matching bladderwrack and other medicines will actually do to the body. For example, if lithium is used with bladderwrack, this could raise the iodine levels to dangerous heights in the body. When pairing bladderwrack with an anti-thyroid drug, this could actually even out the medicine, allowing nothing to happen. Ask your physician about the warnings of your medication, if you are looking to match it with bladderwrack.
Since bladderwrack already slows clotting of the blood, it would not be recommended to pair the plant with an anti-platelet that already thins the blood. This could actually lead to excess bruising and extra bleeding.
Some might think since bladderwrack is a plant, then it would not be a big deal to add herbs and/or supplements along with the product. Herbs and any supplement actually slow the clotting of blood, too. It is important that if you take thyroid supplements, your supplement ingredients pair well with bladderwrack in order to maximize its effectiveness. Reading our thyroid supplement reviews can help you with this.
Currently, there are no foods that have a negative reaction with bladderwrack. That means continue your natural diet when using the plant. So, you won’t have to worry about cutting anything out of your food plan at this time.
How much Bladderwrack should be used?
The dosage a person should use varies from individual to individual. These factors include age, bladderwrack history, current medications you are taking, and health range. At this time, there is still not enough research done to prove the exact amounts that should be used from bladderwrack. Just keep an eye on how your body reacts with bladderwrack in your system. If issues arise, consult your physician to help you balance out your intake. When used appropriately, bladderwrack could be the difference in helping solve a thyroid gland issue.