The proper name for bladderwrack is fucus vesiculosus. It is a seaweed that is harvested from many different seas and oceans. It's high iodine content make it ideal for being used as an herbal extract supplement for some medical conditions. Inexpensive and easy to find, bladderwrack extract can be found in most health food stores and pharmacies.
Bladderwrack is used mainly for treating underactive thyroid glands. With over 11 million Americans suffering with hypothyroidism, or slow thyroid, bladderwrack is the perfect supplement. Seaweed and kelp contain high levels of iodine, a requirement for a healthy thyroid gland. Also, taking bladderwrack while exercising will boost your metabolism and promote fat burning in the body. It is helpful in treating goitre or an enlarged thyroid. Besides being used by thyroid patients, bladderwrack can be used for the treatment of arthritis. It can lower cholesterol, and as a fibre it brings the benefits of alleviating constipation.
Bladderwrack extract is taken from the plant of the same name. This seaweed is brown and can grow up to 100cm in length. Along the leaves of the plant are small gas-filled sacs that look like capsules. There are over 600 identified variations of seaweed.
Bladderwrack should not be used by women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding. People who have heart problems should not take bladderwrack extract. Anyone diagnosed with hyperthyroidism should also refrain from taking the supplement. High pulse and heart rate could result from taking bladderwack if you already have the above conditions.
Adults who don't have any detrimental pre-existing conditions can take bladderwrack extract in recommended doses. It is not recommended that children take the supplement, only those 18 years and older. In capsule form you can take 200 to 600 mg a day. Bladderwrack is also available in tablets and can be taken three times a day. It can also be administered as a tonic that is mixed. There are bladderwrack weight-loss patches that are sold, but this product has not been tested.
While the science isn't yet confirmed, there is some speculation that bladderwrack can affect thyroid hormone replacement drugs like Levothyroxine. Patients who take lithium may also experience thyroid dysfunction if they also take bladderwrack. It could also work negatively with some blood-thinning medications, as bladderwrack is suspected to have those same properties. People who take aspirin or ibuprofen on a regular basis should be cautious when taking bladderwrack, as these are also blood thinners.
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