Thyroid and Bladderwrack
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Suzy
Posted on: February 7, 1999

Last year I was given a natural thyroid hormone patch that may have been made or included elements from the south american fucus plant or fuchus. The naturopathic chiropractic who gave it to me only had a few left and wasn’t sure of the ingredients.

The effects of this patch were nearly miraculous. I felt mentally clear, calm, present, focused, energetic, yet not too energetic, and generally strong where I don’t usually ... just relatively good for a change after a long series of chemical and structural injuries. I checked the herbal databases and found fucus as bladderwrack and seawrack but have yet to find what it is they address. I did not sense that this was the plant, however, because I was told it was a south american plant.

I don’t know of a thyroid hormone patch, or a South American herb. Assuming you are suffering from an under-active thyroid, Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosis) may help you. It would be disastrous for a person with an overactive thyroid.

From "The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants" by Andrew Chevalier (available at Richters):

Fucus vesiculosis is known as bladderwrack; it grows naturally in the western Meditteranean and north Atlantic.

Bladderwrack contains phenols, polysaccharides and minerals, especially iodine (up to 0.1%). The poly-saccharides are immune-stimulant. The iodine may stimulate the thyroid gland.

Due to it’s iodine content, bladderwrack is taken as an antigoiter remedy. The plant appears to raise the metabolic rate by increasing hormone production by the thyroid gland, but this increase may be limited to poorly functioning thyroids. Bladderwrack is reputedly helpful in rheumatic conditions.

In one clinical trial in Italy in 1976, patients taking bladderwrack lost much more weight than the control group.

Caution: Do not take if pregnant or breast feeding. If suffering from a thyroid disorder, take only under professional advice.

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