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Bladderwrack is a species of brown seaweed algae found on the Baltic and North Atlantic coasts of Europe and the Pacific and North Atlantic coasts of the United States. Its stem, also known as its thallus, is used in medicine. The name bladderwrack is gotten from the hard, air-filled bladders or pods located on the stem of the algae, which gives it its floating properties.

Bladderwrack: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage & More
How Does Bladderwrack Benefit the Body?

While bladderwrack is sometimes named kelp, this name is not typical of the species bladderwrack belongs to and should not be used as a name for it.[1] Its main purposes are to treat thyroid imbalances due to its high iodine composition. Also, this seaweed is excellent for weight loss because of its ability to increase metabolism. It is known to cure inflamed joints and arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.


With an extensive history of traditional usage, kelp or bladderwrack was quoted by Dioscorides, a Greek physician, in his medical diary “De Materia Medica,” where he endorsed it for inflammation and gout. It is also recorded that Romans used bladderwrack to treat tuberculosis and bone and joint pain.

In folklore and magical myths, bladderwrack is a herb used for protection, especially for adventurers and explorers who sailed across the ocean regularly. It is also employed in potions of psychic power and for defense against mental disorders.

Bladderwrack Health Benefits

Although many records inform us that bladderwrack treats many health problems, limited scientific evidence causes us to doubt its medicinal properties against arthritis, weight loss, fertility, urinary tract infections, and joint pain. Popular research on bladderwrack, however, supports its effects on skin and thyroid and anti-inflammatory characteristics.[2]

Thyroid Health

The thyroid is an essential organ of the body that can be found in the neck region. It secretes hormones that stimulate the body temperature, respiration, metabolic system, and heartbeat rate. An overcharged thyroid gland can cause abnormal weight loss and a feeling of fatigue. On the other hand, an underactive thyroid gland can induce an inability to lose weight and a recurring sense of nausea, irrespective of diet.

One vital nutrient of thyroid is iodine – a compound that is unfortunately largely deficient in several Western diets and meals. The thyroid gland holds the highest iodine concentration of all other body organs, and without enough iodine, you cannot produce the thyroid hormone. Iodine is an essential nutrient naturally occurring in large amounts in bladderwrack, such that it was used to get the first extracts of iodine in the nineteenth century.

Healthy Weight Loss

The iodine existing in bladderwrack is a highly bioavailable kind due to its interaction with the thyroid-produced hormone. Iodine efficiently stimulates metabolism, which is followed by weight loss. It has long been known that a slow thyroid contributes to metabolic syndrome and weight gain. Bladderwrack also contains fucoxanthin in large amounts. Fucoxanthin is a carotenoid that is presently being studied for its possible fat-reducing effects.[3]

Bladderwrack is also a natural diuretic that removes undesired fluids from the body to fight water retention and swelling. The beneficial seaweed also appears in several anti-cellulite creams – cellulite is a condition induced by trapped fluid between fat cells under the skin. Its diuretic properties help the body get rid of the accumulated fluid that causes cellulite.

Eye Health

Bladderwrack is not just filled with beta-carotene (vitamin A found in plants); it is also composed of the nutrients fucoidan and fucoxanthin, which scientists from Eastern Asia (notably China) are foreseeing as the next “nutrients for the eyes.” Fucoxanthin is the main component of the mechanism for light absorption of seaweed and gives it its characteristic olive-green or brown color.

The blue light emanating from electronic devices such as TVs, handheld, and mobile devices is generally known to damage vision. Fucoxanthin absorbs blue-green and converts it to the yellow-green color of visible light, helping to protect vision.

Although studies are still preliminary, scientists have discovered that fucoidan might be operative against age-related skin deterioration because it reduces the growth of inessential blood vessels where cells lack enough oxygen. And like fucoxanthin, fucoidan helps prevent premature cell growth and death.

Bladderwrack Dosage

The correct bladderwrack dosage depends on many factors like the user’s health, age, and other conditions. There currently exists, insufficient scientific data to determine the suitable dosage for bladderwrack. Remember that natural products are not always safe because they can combine with and induce other unpleasant symptoms. Follow the instructions on every bladderwrack product label and consult your physician before use.


People with an overactive thyroid can enjoy bladderwrack supplements for healthy living. This seaweed contains a lot of iodine; therefore people with overactive thyroid symptoms should not attempt to use this singularly or combine with other thyroid medicine.

Also, medicine used to slow down blood clotting when combined with this seaweed can induce unfavorable symptoms. Ibuprofen, aspirin, and other painkillers slow blood clotting and should not be used with bladderwrack.

If the bladder is used properly and under the supervision of a doctor, it can be used to treat a variety of health problems. It can help people with stomach problems, thyroid issues, and several other health problems. People who are sensitive to iodine should not take this also, as it can be more dangerous than expected.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much iodine is in bladderwrack?

A: Some kelp species provide up to 6 mg of iodine per gram, and the phytochemical database of the Department of Agriculture evaluates that bladderwrack contains 5.4 mg per gram of iodine. One study showed that doses of bladderwrack totaling 6 mg per day benefited women with breast pain with no significant toxicity or adverse side effects.[4]

Q: Benefits of bladderwrack on skin?

A: Recently, researchers discovered that bladderwrack extract encourages the shrinkage of collagen gels inhabited by fibroblasts by increasing the agitation of integrin molecules.

Q: How many minerals does bladderwrack have?

A: Bladderwrack contains iodine, magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, trace metals. Other included substances arephloroglucinol, phenolic substances, phlorotannins, fucophorettes, mucopolysaccharides, sulfonyl sulfuryl, and diglycerides.

Q: Where does bladderwrack grow?

A: Study suggests, bladderwrack is a species of brown algae (algae) that grows on the North Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States and the North Atlantic and Baltic coasts of Europe.[5]

Q: Can bladderwrack cause diarrhea?

A: In small amounts, iodine positively impacts thyroid health, but if ingested in excess, it can cause thyroid dysfunction, according to proven studies, including thyroid cancer and hypothyroidism. Too much iodine can be especially harmful to children. Iodine toxicity can cause diarrhea and nausea.

Q: What does bladderwrack look like?

A: Bladderwrack is an olive-brown seaweed. It is recognized by branched fronds comprising pumped bag-like leaves along their entire length (often occurring in pairs on both sides of a pronounced rib). The edges are not serrated.

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