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Herb Reference Guide

Bladderwrack

History

King's American Dispensatory a classic source of Western botanical medicine written in 1898 by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D. and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph.D. has some interesting comments on the actions of this perennial seaweed. They mention it in regard to its function in helping to maintain body weight within a normal range and for its overall support to the endocrine system. It has been used by herbalists to support a healthy endocrine system and to support healthy function of the thyroid gland in particular, due to its naturally rich Iodine content.

Function

Bladderwrack is one of the highest iodine containing sea vegetables known. The iodine in bladderwrack is present in the form of di-iodotyrosine (DIT) which is a normal precursor of the Thryoid Hormones T4 (Thyroxine) and T3 (tri-iodothyronine). T4 is manufactured by the condensing of DIT and thyroid peroxidase enzyme in the follicular luminae of the thyroid gland. The naturally occurring source of iodine makes Bladderwrack a great choice in the support of a healthy functioning thyroid gland when more iodine is required for optimal function. Also of interest is the high amount of fucoidin found in Bladderwrack. Fucoidans and Fucans are sulfated polysaccharides found in most brown seaweeds. These substances have been researched for modulating a healthy inflammatory response, and have shown strong properties for supporting a healthy immune system and intestinal flora. It is also recognized as a source of other naturally occurring minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium.

Uses of Bladderwrack

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

Iodine

Parts Used

  • Whole plant

Important precautions

Additional Resources

Zapopozhets TS, Besednova NN, Loenko IuN. Antibacterial and immunomodulating activity of fucoidan.

Antibiot Khimioter 1995;40:9-13. [Article in Russian]

Criado MT, Ferreiros CM. Selective interaction of a Fucus vesiculosus lectin-like mucopolysaccharide with several Candida species.

Ann Microbiol (Paris) 1983;134A:149-154.

Patankar MS, Oehninger S, Barnett T, et al. A revised structure for fucoidan may explain some of its biological activities.

J Biol Chem 1993;268:21770-21776.