Notes: Bladderwrack is commonly called kelp but is actually only one species of the large kelp family, which is used as a food in some parts of the world and is found in health shops for use as a nutritional supplement.
It is valued for its high mineral and vitamin content which includes B12, a vitamin usually only found in animal products.
- Botanical Name: Fucus vesiculosis
- Common Names: kelp – black tang – rock weed
- Family: Fucaceae
- Habitat: Common around the British Isles and many oceans of the cooler regions
- Parts used: Whole plant (called a thallus)
- Tincture strength: 1:2: 25% vol.alc
- Dose: 1 ml in water 3 x daily:
History: The large kelp familyof seaweeds such as kelp are used as part of the diet in Japan and Norway. Bladderwrack and other seaweeds are often found dried in health food shops as a nutritional supplement that can be added to soups and other foods. Kelp products were discovered as a treatment for goitre in 1750 by a Dr. Russell, then in 1810 a Dr Courtois discovered that it was rich in iodine. Kelp later fell out of use as other sources of iodine were discovered. In 1862 a Dr Duchesne-Dupare was experimenting with kelp for the treatment of patients with psoriasis when he discovered that their weight was reduced. Later, experiments by Hunt and Seidell indicated that the iodine in the kelp was the stimulating the thyroid gland to increase metabolism.
Science: Bladderwrack is rich in minerals, notable iodine, as well as trace elements and vitamins, including B12 which is normally only available from animal sources. No clinical trials are recorded. Bladderwrack is rich in iodine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfur, silicon and iron and high in some B-complex vitamins. It contains moderate amounts of phosphorus, selenium, manganese and zinc and small amounts of vitamins A, C, E and G, S and vitamin K. It is rich in algin and mannitol, carotene and zeaxantin with traces of bromine.