Bladderwrack (Fucus Vesiculosus) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Bladderwrack (Fucus Vesiculosus) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects


Bladderwrack (Fucus Vesiculosus) Overview


Bladderwrack (Fucus Vesiculosus) other names: Alga Noruega o Nudosa, Algue Laminaire, Ascophylle Noueuse, Ascophyllum nodosum, Atlantic Kelp, Black Tang, Bladder Fucus, Bladder Wrack, Blasentang, Chêne Marin, Cutweed, Fucus, Fucus Vésiculeux, Fucus vesiculosis, Goémon, Kelp, Kelpware, Kelp-Ware, Knotted Wrack, Laitue de Mer, Laitue Marine, Laminaire, Marine Oak, Meereiche, Norwegian Seaweed, Quercus Marina, Rockweed, Rockwrack, Schweintang, Sea Kelp, Seawrack, Tang, Varech, Varech Vésiculeux.

The seaweed called the bladderwrack is a very common sight along many areas of the seashore in the New England area and the Eastern seaboard of the American continent, it is also called the bladderwrack because of the bladder like pneumatic floats attached to the branches - bladderwrack is found predominantly in the rocky beaches and areas which have some well defined low tide water marks on the shoreline.

Bladderwrack (Fucus Vesiculosus) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Bladderwrack (Fucus Vesiculosus) picture


The bladderwrack is seaweed, and has an olive green coloration, it is also spread out in regular branches, with each of the branches characterized by a peculiar spiraling shape, and the seaweed has a leathery feel and is slippery to the touch. Like most underwater sea weeds, the bladderwrack has paired bladders, though some of the branches may sometimes be without any air bladders - these pneumatic structures keep the bladderwrack floating in the tossing waters of the sea shore. The leaf life branches has a distinct and well marked midrib, while the stipe remains without definite branching of any sort because of its origin from a disc shaped holdfast by which the sea weed anchors itself to the underlying substratum.

As an herbal remedy, medications based on the bladderwrack are used in the rectification of a reduction in the normal level of glandular secretions. Herbalist suggests that taking a simple clear broth made from either fresh or dried bladderwrack can result to the resolution of such problems in the body of patients. Glandular activity in the body is increased by the bladderwrack broth, normally the boiled liquid is strained and then consumed like a soup, used this way the bladderwrack is known to be a very sweet and delicious broth.

Harvesting of the bladderwrack is conducted throughout the year as the seaweed growth is not limited by seasons; the bladderwrack is native seaweed of the shores along the North Atlantic and in some areas of the western Mediterranean shoreline.

Read more : Spicebush (Lindera Benzoin) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects

Bladderwrack (Fucus Vesiculosus) Health Benefits


Bladderwrack is used for many conditions, but, so far, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them. It’s also important to note that it’s not safe to take bladderwrack by mouth.

Bladderwrack is used for thyroid disorders including underactive thyroid (myxedema), over-sized thyroid gland (goiter), and iodine deficiency. Bladderwrack is also used for obesity, arthritis, joint pain, “hardening of the arteries” (arteriosclerosis), digestive disorders, heartburn, “blood cleansing,” constipation, bronchitis, emphysema, urinary tract disorders, and anxiety. Other uses include boosting the immune system and increasing energy.

Some people also apply bladderwrack to the skin for skin diseases, burns, aging skin, and insect bites.

Bladderwrack (Fucus Vesiculosus) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Bladderwrack (Fucus Vesiculosus) plant


The main use of the bladderwrack as an herbal remedy is based on its high content of the essential mineral iodine, as an herbal remedy the bladderwrack is used in the form of an anti-goiter medication - the success rate of such treatments is very high. The main action of the remedy is in bringing about an increase in the thyroid glands production of hormones, the bladderwrack does this by raising the metabolic rate and functioning of the gland, at the same time, impaired thyroids seem to respond best to the treatment and the bladderwrack may not promote the same metabolic increases in healthy glands. In another role, various rheumatic conditions are also believed to be rectifiable by the use of the bladderwrack based remedies.

Don’t confuse bladderwrack with bladderwort.

Bladderwrack (Fucus Vesiculosus) Side effects


Bladderwrack is possibly safe when applied to the skin. Bladderwrack is possibly unsafe when taken by mouth. Bladderwrack may contain high concentrations of iodine, which could cause or worsen some thyroid problems. Prolonged, high intake of dietary iodine is linked with goiter and increased risk of thyroid cancer. Treatment of thyroid problems should not be attempted without medical supervision.

Bladderwrack (Fucus Vesiculosus) Overview, Health Benefits, Side effects
Bladderwrack (Fucus Vesiculosus) image


Like other sea plants, bladderwrack can concentrate toxic heavy metals, such as arsenic, from the water in which it lives.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Bladderwrack is likely unsafe during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Don’t use it.

Bleeding disorders: Bladderwrack might slow blood clotting. In theory, bladderwrack might increase the risk of bruising or bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Infertility: Preliminary research suggests that taking bladderwrack might make it harder for women to get pregnant.

Iodine allergy: Bladderwrack contains significant amounts of iodine, which could cause an allergic reaction in sensitive people. Don’t use it.

Surgery: Bladderwrack might slow blood clotting. There is a concern that bladderwrack might cause extra bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking bladderwrack at least 2 weeks before surgery.

Thyroid problems known as hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone), or hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone): Bladderwrack contains significant amounts of iodine, which might make hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism worse. Don’t use it.