You probably have never heard of bladderwrack in your life. Interestingly, its strange name is accompanied by numerous health benefits. Bladderwrack is a type of brown seaweed that thrives along the coasts of North Sea, as well as the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. It has evolved from a traditional medicine into modern supplements. It works as a cosmetic ingredient due to its concentrated content of vital nutrients.
Bladderwrack is a good source of minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc. It also contains vitamins A, B complex, C and E.
In fact, its concentration of vitamin B12 is usually found in animal products, which makes it a popular food for vegetarians.
What contributes to its medicinal and supplemental use is its high content of iodine.
Iodine is essential for the proper function of the thyroid gland,which plays an important role in hormonal balance, metabolism and the growth and development of infants and children. With this same function, bladderwrack can also increase energy and strengthen the immune system.
Its effectiveness lacks scientific evidence, but some recent studies are gaining bladderwrack popularity due to its medicinal and supplemental use. According to the Dr. Oz Show, the intake of bladderwrack has no exact recommended dosage, since it is an alternative medicine. Thus, Dr. Oz suggests recommended dosage of 600 milligrams (mg) twice daily.
You should be cautious when you take bladderwrack, since it may contain arsenic and lead. Do not takebladderwrack if you are trying to get pregnant, already pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you are scheduled for surgery within the next two weeks, because it might expose you to the risk of bleeding. Long-term use of bladderwrack is also not a good idea.
Here are eight interesting benefits of bladderwrack:
Bladderwrack contains minerals that nourish and cleanse the skin.
These minerals flush out toxins, which help delay the onset of aging on the skin, such as fine lines and wrinkles; it also improve the skin’s elasticity.
You can infuse your bath with bladderwrack powder or soap to keep your skin looking young and fresh.
It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. You can use it topically to treat minor burns and insect bites.
Bladderwrack has anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve and soothe joint pains due to conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and bursitis.
Its components include bromine, carotene, fucoidan and mannitol, which all improve bone and joint health. You can take bladderwrack internally or apply it topically to relieve joint pains. You can also use raw bladderwrack by infusing it in your baths.
The seaweed also contains algin, a fiber that acts as a laxative. Bladderwrack supplements aid in digestion and can relieve diarrhea and constipation.
This same component of bladderwrack also makes it a good over-the-counter medicine for heartburn.
Another type of fiber found in bladderwrack is fucoidan. It has antitumor and antiangiogenic properties. Some studies show that it kills and inhibits the development of cancer cells and reduces tumor size.
Bladderwrack helps maintain sufficient levels of high-density lipoprotein and its component, fucoidancan also reduce cholesterol levels, which could be good for your heart health.
The thyroid gland aids in metabolism thus, an underactive thyroid, of hypothyroidism, may slow down metabolism and affect your appetite. This results in weight gain.
The iodine content of bladderwrack may stimulate thyroid activity. Consult your physician first; iodine intake depends on the cause of hypothyroidism, so you want to be cautious in treating it.
Iodine is crucial to the proper functioning of thyroid glands responsible for the production of hormones in the body.
Your body needs a small amount of iodine daily, but cannot produce on its own, so, the intake of iodine is necessary.
Bladderwrack, just like most seaweed, has a high iodine content,which is why it is used to prevent or treat thyroid problems caused by iodine deficiency.
Thyroid problems include hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism refers to an underactive thyroid with symptoms including fatigue, muscle pains, weight gain, depression and low libido.
One of the most common forms of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the thyroid gland with antibodies and eventually destroys it. Without the hormone produced by the thyroid glands; it could affect appetite, metabolism and body temperature regulation that if left untreated, it could lead to more serious health issues.
The intake of bladderwrack will stimulate your thyroid glands, but when you take it in a large amount, it could result in hyperthyroidism, which refers to an overly active thyroid, characterized by abrupt weight loss, heat sensitivity and a faster heart rate.
The leading causes of low libido are psychological problems, personal issues, environmental factors or an underlying medical condition.
One of these underlying medical conditions could be an underactive thyroid. Since the thyroid gland is responsible for hormone production, low activity means fewer hormones in the body.
High levels of iodine in bladderwrack can improve your thyroid function and eventually boost your sexual desire. In fact, women with thyroid problems often complain of low libido and when given iodine supplements, testified that their sex life has improved.
Thyroid problems can also affect men; hypothyroidism in men may result in the overproduction of prolactin, a pituitary hormone that may reduce the production of testosterone. Low levels of testosterone affect sex drive, erections, and sperm volume. Thus, the intake of bladderwrack may help stimulate the thyroid glands.
If you are experiencing low sexual desire and have difficulty achieving and prolonging erections, consult your physician to rule out underlying health causes, including thyroid problems.
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Bladderwrack comes with numerous health benefits, particularly for thyroid problems caused by iodine deficiency. However, you should use it with caution and following the advice of your physician.