Bladderwrack, Fucus Vesiculosus, Family Fucaceae, Brown Algae.

A sea plant which transforms inert inorganic minerals capable of nourishing the human body,one of the richest sources of minerals (micro-nutrients) chiefly iodine, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulpher, silicon, zinc, copper, calcium, iron and B12 vitamin (Bartram, 1995, pg 60), (Breverton, 2011, pg. 64). Used to ‘remineralize’, the body.


Actions: anti-hypothyroid, anti-obesic, anti-rheumatic, blood tonic, adaptogen, stimulates circulation of the lymph, endocrine gland stimulant, laxative, antibiotic and diuretic (mild), faulty nutrition, listlessness, rickets, glandular ailments, general debility, to build up old broken down constitutions, cases requiring increased body heat, hypothermia, allays onset of arteriosclerosis by maintaining elasticity of walls of blood vessels. Beneficial to male and female reproductive organs, liver, gall bladder and pancreas. Mitigates against onset of rheumatism and arthritis. Contains Vit K which helps in the prevention of strokes (Bartram, 1995, pg 60).


Bladderwrack contains algin, which can act as a laxative to help the stool pass through the bowels.


Iodine: assists in the production of thyroid hormones, which are necessary for maintaining healthy metabolism in all cells of the body. This increases the rate at which the body uses energy and as a consequence, decrease fat deposits. Also used in the treatment of goitre (swelling of the neck due to enlarged thyroid glands).


Lower cancer rates have been reported in areas where bladderwrack is part of the diet.

The molecular effects of iodine as well as ongoing epidemiological evidence points to its probable role in prevention of cancers through its antioxidant, antiinflammatory, prodifferentiating, and proapoptotic effects (Kaczor, 2014).


Pilot data suggest that dietary bladderwrack may prolong the length of the menstrual cycle and exert anti-estrogenic effects in pre-menopausal women. Further, these studies also suggest that seaweed may be another important dietary component apart from soy that is responsible for the reduced risk of estrogen-related cancers observed in Japanese populations’ (Skibola, C.F., 2004).


Bladderwrack is thought of as a metabolism-enhancing herb, and is considered an active herb for weight loss, usually showing results after two to three months in conjunction with other measures (Rogers, 1995, pg. 77).


Other uses:

Gathered as a valuable compost


In magical folklore, Bladderwrack is a herb of protection - especially for those sailing across the ocean. It was also used to increase psychic powers and for protection against mental derangement (online, indigo herbs).


Typical Use

Bladder wrack powder is important for those who do not eat fish or sea food, it can be used as a seasoning in stews, soups, cottage cheese, sprinkled on muesli and salads as well as in smoothies. Or capsules or tablets after meals.

Bladder wrack Tincture: 1:1, 25% ethanol, traditionally Taken 2-3ml, 2-3 times per day, or as directed by a Herbal Practitioner.

For arthritis inflammation (as a poultice), rheumatism (as a liniment).


Combination rich in essential nutrients: bladderwrack powder, alfalfa tea, fermented soya bean products, dandelion roots (coffee).



Not suitable for children under 5, due to seaweeds ability to absorb everything from the ocean care needs to be taken as to where its gathered from.



Bartram, T., 1998, Bartram’s encyclopedia of herbal medicine, Robinson, pg. 116.


Breverton, T., 2011, Brevertons Complete Herbal, Quercus publishing, pg. 64 – 65.


Indigo herbs (2020), Bladderwrack, online, available at,, accessed 20 august 2020.


Rogers, C., 1995, The womens guide to herbal medicine, Hamish Hamilton.


Kaczor, T., 2014, Iodine and Cancer: A summary of the evidence to date, Natural medicine journal, e-journal, vol 6;2, available at, accessed on 22 August 2020.

Skibola, C.F., 2004, The effect of Fucus vesiculosus, an edible brown seaweed, upon menstrual cycle length and hormonal status in three pre-menopausal women: a case report. BMC Complement Altern Med 4, 10, available at, accessed 22 August 2020.


Apoptosis removes cells during development. It also eliminates pre-cancerous and virus-infected cells, although “successful” cancer cells manage to escape apoptosis so they can continue dividing. Apoptosis maintains the balance of cells in the human body and is particularly important in the immune system.