This common brown seaweed with the unusual name has been used as a health remedy for hundreds of years. Bladderwrack, which sounds like a made up name from a Dr. Seuss book, has many healing properties and benefits.
What is Bladderwrack?
A member of the kelp family, bladderwrack grows in the cool waters of oceans around the world. It is easily recognizable by the air filled bladders, known as thalli, that keep the plant afloat. This type of seaweed prefers sheltered inlets without much current and it is found in huge numbers in such areas.
Bladderwrack was the original source of iodine, which was hugely important in treating various conditions. While the plant has been used in alternative medicine for centuries, it has only recently become well-known to the general public. High levels of mucilage, beta-carotene, iodine, potassium, zeaxanthin, and other organic compounds give this seaweed its health boosting properties.
Benefits of Bladderwrack
So what does bladderwrack do?
• Provides easily assimilable trace minerals for the thyroid, as well as iodine to act as an Epstein Barr antiseptic so that the viral cells will die off. This enhances the function of the thyroid. Bladderwrack also removes heavy metals from the intestinal tract, starving EBV.
• Increases metabolism, making it easier to lose weight. When your body is operating at a high level and burning off more fat, the appetite is naturally suppressed, preventing obesity and related health issues that come along with it.
• Contains high levels of beta-carotene, making it ideal for improving vision. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in the eyes and cornea, slowing down macular degeneration and preventing the development of cataracts.
• Possesses anti-inflammatory properties, relieving conditions such as gout, arthritis, and skin irritation. Bladderwrack can successfully reduce swelling and relieve pain in sore muscles and joints.
• Contains a unique type of fiber called fucoidan that lowers cholesterol, reduces blood sugar levels, and provides anti-tumor effects.
• Relieves constipation and adds bulk to the bowels, promoting a smooth digestive process that is efficient in terms of nutrient uptake. This helps to relieve excess gas, bloating, cramping, and more serious conditions such as gastric ulcers and colon cancer.
• Prevents atherosclerosis and other cholesterol-related afflictions by raising good cholesterol levels. This helps to lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks, while lessening the strain on the cardiovascular system.
• Slows the aging process, keeping the skin healthy and young looking, by reducing age spots and blemishes and lessening the appearance of wrinkles. Bladderwrack’s antioxidants boosts skin elasticity, keeping it fit and toned.
Because this plant comes from the sea, those with seafood or iodine allergies should not take bladderwrack. Avoid it as well if you have conditions such as low blood pressure or edema.
Bladderwrack can be taken in capsule form or purchased freeze-dried in flakes. The dried seaweed can be used for skin products, added to smoothies, or brewed for tea.
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