Bladderwrack - Fucus Vesiculosus

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This Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus) monograph is an excerpt from the first edition of Dr. Sharol's book "Herbal Medicine From The Heart of The Earth." You can purchase the 2020, third edition of this book with an expanded materia medica/monograph section, herbal formulas and directions on making herbal products in Dr. Sharol's Book Store. You receive free shipping in the USA. The expanded 3rd edition materia medica, and additional herbal tidbits are also available as a kindle ebook at Amazon and details on this e-book are here.

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Bladderwrack - Fucus vesiculosus in the Fucaceae family

Part used: Fronds(thallus).

Taste/smell: Mucilaginous, salty.

Tendencies: Cooling.

Dosage: Decoction: 1-2 teaspoons per day in soups or other foods. You can also chew on an equivalent amount of frond pieces. It is best to eat the actual fronds or put them in soups etc. The tea is less effective and the tincture hardly worthwhile since alcohol is a poor medium to extract minerals.  Different types of seaweeds as well as similar seaweeds harvested in different areas and at different times have been shown to have varied amounts of iodine and other minerals. Still many people use various seaweeds as an iodine source even though calculating an appropriate dose is difficult.

Use: (a) Diuretic, (b) Mucilaginous, (c) Nutritional, (d) Immunomodulator, (e) Anti-inflammatory.

Bladderwrack improves nutrition by supplying minerals and trace elements such as iodine, which is in the form of inorganic salts and iodine bound to proteins and lipids. It is therefore indicated in hypothyroidism due to lack of iodine. However, the amount in any one serving of Bladderwrack is not known as it changes.

Contraindicated: Do not use this herb in hyperthyroidism (unless under the guidance of a trained practitioner) or if there is excessive circulating iodine. Iodine is capable of entering breast milk and producing an emaciating effect on infants.  This has made some people feel that sea weeds including Bladderwrack should be used cautiously when breast feeding and there has also been some concern during pregnancy. There are reported cases of kombu seaweed (very rich in iodine) causing hypothyroidism in mothers who used Kombu seaweed during their pregnancy.  I always say to err on the side of caution when in doubt. It is generally thought that total daily iodine should not exceed 1000 mcg although people take much larger therapeutic doses in some cases. Some people with Hashimoto’s have negative reactions to small amounts of iodine or seaweed.

If you are looking for directions on making teas or tinctures, please see our "Making Herbal Products" page.

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Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.

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