Last updated: August 10, 2021

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Bladderwrack is an algae plant. This plant belongs to the brown algae family. The scientific name for bladderwrack is Fucus Vesiculosus. Bladderwrack is increasingly used in natural medicine.

The alga is especially known for its high iodine content. Bladderwrack is used in particular to treat an underactive thyroid gland. You can take bladderwrack in a wide variety of forms. Bladderwrack can be used both externally and internally.

In the following text we have compiled the most important information about the algae plant bladderwrack. Our bladderwrack test 2021 provides you with knowledge about bladderwrack. We give you product recommendations as well as background information. In addition, we explain the criteria you should consider when buying bladderwrack.




The most important facts

  • Bladderwrack belongs to the brown algae family. The scientific name is Fucus Vesiculosus. Other names for bladderwrack are, for example, sea oak or seaweed.
  • The plant has many uses. In particular, it is used as a natural remedy in homeopathy. The alga is also found in Japanese cuisine.
  • Bladderwrack is known for its high iodine content. The plant is considered one of the most important natural sources of iodine.

The Best Bladderwrack: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for bladderwrack

When buying bladderwrack, you can pay attention to various aspects, such as:

By making the right choice for you, you ensure that you don't add anything to your body that it doesn't need. Therefore, always look for high quality and, if necessary, ask to see the manufacturer's certificates. High-quality ingredients are very important.

Dosage form

There are very different forms of bladderwrack. The algae plant is used internally on the one hand and externally on the other.

For internal use against health problems you can take capsules with bladderwrack, for example. There are also tablets.

Another option is to take bladderwrack in the form of globules, drops or powder.

If you prefer a liquid intake, a tea with bladderwrack is suitable.

In the form of powder or dried leaves, you can mix bladderwrack with your food.

The following table gives you an overview of product examples for the external and internal use of bladderwrack:

Field of application product examples
Internal application capsules, tablets, drops, tea
External application tinctures, bath additives

For external use to relieve pain, you can use bladderwrack bath additives.

Dosage

The dosage can vary depending on the form of the product. It can be consumed as food or as an herbal supplement.

As food, you can consume bladderwrack raw or cooked. The taste can be reminiscent of a salty fish.

In capsule or tablet form, bladderwrack is often taken by mouth with liquid. You can brew tea with bladderwrack and mix the powder with bladderwrack into your food.

Basically, there is no single recommended dosage for all products. It is best to talk to your doctor to find out the recommended amount.

Package size

Depending on the type of product, the size of the package may vary. Powder products are usually available in 100 gram packs. For capsules or tablets, you will usually find 100 to 120 units in a pack.

Depending on the dosage your doctor recommends for your treatment, you will need different amounts of the algae product. Depending on the dosage, you can best weigh up which pack size is suitable.

The following table gives you an overview of the average filling quantity depending on the type of product:

Product type Filling quantity
Powder 100 grams
Capsules 100-120 units

The filling quantities can vary greatly depending on the product.

Additional ingredients

Some products with bladderwrack contain other ingredients and are enriched with additional elements. It is best to read the packaging of the respective product carefully.

Additional properties

There are bladderwrack products that have additional properties. For example, there are products that do not contain any additional animal ingredients.

Some products are completely vegan and others are vegetarian.

There are also some products where the manufacturers pay strict attention to organic ingredients.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying bladderwrack

In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of bladderwrack and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.

What is bladderwrack and how does it work?

Bladderwrack is an algae plant. The colour of the plant is olive green. The algae leaves of the plant resemble leather. The leaves have a length of 10 to 30 centimetres. Typical for the plant are the large glass bubbles and the slime layer on the leaves.(9)

Even in ancient times, the plant was considered very healthy. It is one of the most important natural sources of iodine, as it contains essential organic iodine compounds.

Bladderwrack can have the following important effects, among others:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • antioxidant

Below we go into more detail about the two effects of the plants.

Anti-inflammatory effect

The nutrients found in bladderwrack can have a strong anti-inflammatory effect. These substances include fucoidans. (7) This anti-inflammatory ingredient can relieve inflammation and pain.

Antioxidant effect

The plant contains powerful antioxidants. The antioxidants of bladderwrack include beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Beta-carotene can support vision, skin health and the nervous system, among other things.

The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin can also have a positive effect on vision and the eyes.

Basically, antioxidants can work against eye diseases and improve cognitive performance.(13)

What are the ingredients of bladderwrack?

Bladderwrack is mainly known for its high iodine content. Furthermore, the plant has other important vitamins and trace elements. (5) These include:

  • Alginic acid
  • Iron
  • Beta-carotene
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Sodium

The ingredients listed above are only a selection of the many elements of bladderwrack.

When does it make sense to take bladderwrack?

Bladderwrack is mainly used in homeopathy. It is used as a dried plant.

Bladderwrack is mainly used as a natural remedy for hypothyroidism. It can help treat and prevent hypothyroidism. The same applies to the treatment of goitre formation.

Due to its high iodine content, bladderwrack can have a stimulating effect on the thyroid gland and normalise the organ.

Furthermore, the treatment of health complaints with bladderwrack can stimulate the metabolism.

The basal energy metabolism can be increased at rest. At the same time, it can have a weight-reducing effect.

Bladderwrack can lead to an improvement in digestive complaints when treated internally. The same applies to flatulence, constipation and cramps. (1) Bladderwrack can support heart health through the substance fucoidane. (2) There is evidence that bladderwrack can also help regulate cholesterol in the human body.(3)

It can also help with hay fever and asthma. Bladderwrack can help prevent viruses and bacteria from multiplying. Furthermore, it can help prevent excess stomach acid.

When used externally, bladderwrack can help against heavy sweating. Joint pain can be reduced by baths with bladderwrack.

Furthermore, it can help with problems with the skin.(8)

Who is bladderwrack suitable for?

In principle, bladderwrack is well tolerated if taken in an appropriate dosage. However, people with an iodine allergy should be careful and consult their doctor.

People who have a thyroid disease should also be cautious. Bladderwrack is also not recommended for people with high blood pressure and heart disease.

Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should also not take bladderwrack carelessly. Children should not be given bladderwrack without further consideration.(6)

Can I collect and dry bladder wrack myself?

During storms, the plant is washed up on the beach. From there, the bladder wrack can be collected. Afterwards, it is important to wash the leaves thoroughly and remove sand and stones. The main ripening period is from September to May.

Blasentang-1

After you have collected the algae, it is best to dry them at a maximum of 60 degrees Celsius before eating them.
(Image source: Unsplash.com / Andrew Buchanan)

However, it is problematic that you do not know the active ingredient content of bladderwrack you have collected yourself.

How much do bladderwrack products cost?

As mentioned above, there are many different preparations of bladderwrack. For example, there are tablets, capsules or powder. Depending on the quality of the product, the price can vary greatly.

In the table below we have compiled an overview of the prices of the different preparations for you:

Product Price
Dried (approx. 100 grams) 3 - 8 euros
Tablets (approx. 100 pieces) 10 - 30 euros
Capsules (approx. 120 pieces) 13 - 25 euros
Powder (approx. 100 grams) 6 - 20 euros

As you can see from the table, the price varies greatly depending on the product.

What types of bladderwrack are there?

You can find bladderwrack in homeopathy as well as in cosmetics. This gives rise to the following two types of bladderwrack:

  • Natural remedies
  • Cosmetics

Below we will go into more detail about each type of bladderwrack.

Natural remedies

As mentioned above, bladderwrack is mainly used as a natural remedy. It can help normalise the function of the thyroid gland.

It can help with weight loss because the basal metabolic rate of the body can be increased.

Due to its high vitamin C content, bladderwrack can be used to strengthen the immune system.

Bladderwrack is also used for skin problems. Due to its beta-carotene content, it can help the skin. Bladderwrack is used to treat skin problems such as pus, lichen and dandruff.

Cosmetics

Bladderwrack is also used in cosmetics. You can find the plant in creams, shampoos and tinctures. Bladderwrack can help to make the skin more supple and smooth. (8, 11, 12) Furthermore, the algae can reduce tension or tingling on the skin.

How do I apply bladderwrack?

The application of bladderwrack can look very different. There are both natural healing and cosmetic products with bladderwrack. For this reason, the application varies greatly.

Therefore, it is necessary to read the package insert for the natural medicinal products. Iodine levels can vary, so it is highly recommended to consult your doctor. In particular, your thyroid levels should be checked.

In the case of cosmetic products, you should study the instructions for use very carefully before using the cream or similar.

How should bladderwrack be dosed?

For the treatment of health problems with bladderwrack, you should always consult your doctor. There is no general recommended amount of bladderwrack that you should take. Depending on the form of the product, the amount can vary greatly.

The doctor can check and determine whether a treatment with bladderwrack is an option in your case. They can also tell you how much you should take.

What are the alternatives to bladderwrack?

There are also standardised medicines for the treatment of thyroid health problems. The iodine content of bladderwrack can vary, so in some cases it is a good idea to treat it with an alternative remedy.

Where does bladderwrack grow?

Bladderwrack grows in the upper intertidal zone. The plant is found in the Baltic and North Seas. However, the maximum depth at which the leaves thrive only reaches 3.50 metres. Over the years, a clear decline in bladder wrack has been observed in the Baltic and North Seas.(4, 10)

Blasentang-2

You can also collect bladder wrack yourself in Germany on the Baltic and North Seas.
(Image source: Unsplash.com / Ibrahim Rifath)

The alga is also found in the northern Atlantic as far as the Canary Islands. Furthermore, the algae plant can be found in the Pacific.

What are the side effects of bladderwrack?

Basically, the algae plant bladderwrack does not cause any side effects. However, if bladderwrack is not taken as prescribed, complications can occur. The same applies if bladderwrack is overdosed.

Complications can arise if bladderwrack is taken in combination with medication.

If you notice reactions such as skin rash, swelling or abdominal cramps, you should stop using bladderwrack immediately.

If you have thyroid problems, consult your doctor. If you are allergic to iodine, you should also consult your doctor before taking bladderwrack. The same applies to breastfeeding and pregnant mothers.(6)

Is bladderwrack suitable for weight loss?

If the person's complaints are treated with bladderwrack, the metabolism can be stimulated at the same time. The basal metabolic rate of energy at rest can be increased. Thus bladderwrack can help to reduce weight.

Image source: Bladderwrack/ 123rf.com

References (13)

1. Rajapakse N, Kim SK. Nutritional and digestive health benefits of seaweed. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2011;64:17-28. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-387669-0.00002-8.
Source

2. Cumashi A, Ushakova NA, Preobrazhenskaya ME, et al. A comparative study of the anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, antiangiogenic, and antiadhesive activities of nine different fucoidans from brown seaweeds. Glycobiology. 2007;17(5):541-552. doi:10.1093/glycob/cwm014.
Source

3. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2012, 60, 5, 1326–1334 Publication Date:January 17, 2012 https://doi.org/10.1021/jf204112f.
Source

4. Constanze Pehlke, Uwe Selig, Hendrik Schubert: Verbreitung und Ökophysiologie von Fucus-Beständen der Mecklenburger Bucht (südliche Ostseeküste). In: Rostock. Meeresbiolog. Beitr., Heft 20, S. 123-142, 2008.
Source

5. P Rupérez: Mineral content of edible marine seaweeds. In: Food Chemistry, Band 79 (1), 2002, S. 23–26.
Source

6. Bruno Vonarburg: Homöotanik 4. Extravagante Exoten. 2. Aufl., Georg Thieme, 2005. ISBN 3830472285, S. 285-286.
Source

7. Ale MT, Maruyama H, Tamauchi H, Mikkelsen JD, Meyer AS. Fucoidan from Sargassum sp. and Fucus vesiculosus reduces cell viability of lung carcinoma and melanoma cells in vitro and activates natural killer cells in mice in vivo. Int J Biol Macromol. 2011;49(3):331-336. doi:10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2011.05.009.
Source

8. Fujimura T, Tsukahara K, Moriwaki S, Kitahara T, Sano T, Takema Y. Treatment of human skin with an extract of Fucus vesiculosus changes its thickness and mechanical properties. J Cosmet Sci. 2002;53(1):1-9.
Source

9. Bährle-Rapp, Marina. "Blasentang." Springer Lexikon Kosmetik und Körperpflege. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2007. 69-69.
Source

10. Bobsien, Ivo. Mögliche Auswirkungen des Klimawandels auf den Blasentang (Fucus vesiculosus) und das Gewöhnliche Seegras (Zostera marina) in der Ostsee. Staats-und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg Carl von Ossietzky, 2015.
Source

11. Al-Bader T, Byrne A, Gillbro J, et al. Effect of cosmetic ingredients as anticellulite agents: synergistic action of actives with in vitro and in vivo efficacy. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2012;11(1):17-26. doi:10.1111/j.1473-2165.2011.00594.x.
Source

12. Fujimura T, Tsukahara K, Moriwaki S, Kitahara T, Sano T, Takema Y. Treatment of human skin with an extract of Fucus vesiculosus changes its thickness and mechanical properties. J Cosmet Sci. 2002;53(1):1-9.
Source

13. Renzi-Hammond LM, Bovier ER, Fletcher LM, et al. Effects of a Lutein and Zeaxanthin Intervention on Cognitive Function: A Randomized, Double-Masked, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Younger Healthy Adults. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1246. Published 2017 Nov 14. doi:10.3390/nu9111246.
Source

Why you can trust me?

Klinische Studie
Rajapakse N, Kim SK. Nutritional and digestive health benefits of seaweed. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2011;64:17-28. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-387669-0.00002-8.
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Cumashi A, Ushakova NA, Preobrazhenskaya ME, et al. A comparative study of the anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, antiangiogenic, and antiadhesive activities of nine different fucoidans from brown seaweeds. Glycobiology. 2007;17(5):541-552. doi:10.1093/glycob/cwm014.
Go to source
Klinische Studie
J. Agric. Food Chem. 2012, 60, 5, 1326–1334 Publication Date:January 17, 2012 https://doi.org/10.1021/jf204112f.
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Constanze Pehlke, Uwe Selig, Hendrik Schubert: Verbreitung und Ökophysiologie von Fucus-Beständen der Mecklenburger Bucht (südliche Ostseeküste). In: Rostock. Meeresbiolog. Beitr., Heft 20, S. 123-142, 2008.
Go to source
Klinische Studie
P Rupérez: Mineral content of edible marine seaweeds. In: Food Chemistry, Band 79 (1), 2002, S. 23–26.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Bruno Vonarburg: Homöotanik 4. Extravagante Exoten. 2. Aufl., Georg Thieme, 2005. ISBN 3830472285, S. 285-286.
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Ale MT, Maruyama H, Tamauchi H, Mikkelsen JD, Meyer AS. Fucoidan from Sargassum sp. and Fucus vesiculosus reduces cell viability of lung carcinoma and melanoma cells in vitro and activates natural killer cells in mice in vivo. Int J Biol Macromol. 2011;49(3):331-336. doi:10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2011.05.009.
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Fujimura T, Tsukahara K, Moriwaki S, Kitahara T, Sano T, Takema Y. Treatment of human skin with an extract of Fucus vesiculosus changes its thickness and mechanical properties. J Cosmet Sci. 2002;53(1):1-9.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Bährle-Rapp, Marina. "Blasentang." Springer Lexikon Kosmetik und Körperpflege. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2007. 69-69.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Bobsien, Ivo. Mögliche Auswirkungen des Klimawandels auf den Blasentang (Fucus vesiculosus) und das Gewöhnliche Seegras (Zostera marina) in der Ostsee. Staats-und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg Carl von Ossietzky, 2015.
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Al-Bader T, Byrne A, Gillbro J, et al. Effect of cosmetic ingredients as anticellulite agents: synergistic action of actives with in vitro and in vivo efficacy. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2012;11(1):17-26. doi:10.1111/j.1473-2165.2011.00594.x.
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Fujimura T, Tsukahara K, Moriwaki S, Kitahara T, Sano T, Takema Y. Treatment of human skin with an extract of Fucus vesiculosus changes its thickness and mechanical properties. J Cosmet Sci. 2002;53(1):1-9.
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Renzi-Hammond LM, Bovier ER, Fletcher LM, et al. Effects of a Lutein and Zeaxanthin Intervention on Cognitive Function: A Randomized, Double-Masked, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Younger Healthy Adults. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1246. Published 2017 Nov 14. doi:10.3390/nu9111246.
Go to source
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