Bladderwrack and it's powerful benefits
If you grew up anywhere near the ocean, especially the mostly rocky beaches of the West Coast, you’ll remember your love-hate relationship with seaweed. Feeling the lightest brush against your leg as you were swimming from a finger of seaweed was enough to send your imagination into horror movie overdrive. But then there were was low-tide exploration - watching the creatures left behind in tidal pools and finding the brown seaweed that was so fun to pop with your fingers.
That popping seaweed is brown bladderwrack (fucasvesiculosus). We kids didn’t know at the time but those little balloons on the end of seaweed fronds are the reproductive part of seaweed. When these swollen tips are popped, they shoot sperm or eggs into the water. During low tide, these fronds dry out under the sun. The dryness causes contraction that squeezes out the sperm and eggs. As the tide comes in, the sperm and eggs are washed into the water and the eggs release a chemical that attracts the sperm. The fertilized egg falls to the bottom of the ocean and starts to grow. Nature is fascinating.
Bladderwrack is found on the shores of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans as well as in the Baltic and North seas. Humans have harvested the sea green for ages, mostly because the seaweed is rich in iodine which helps regulate and stimulate thyroid gland function which assists in drawing out heavy metals and chemicals. The thyroid plays a vital role in hormonal balance and metabolism. Interesting to note bladderwrack was once the medical field’s primary source of iodine!
Bladderwrack also contains a powerful anti-inflammatory called fucoidan. In our experience, this is one of the best ingredients in the battle against redness of the skin. Fucoidan also is a great ally in the fight against anti-aging as it promotes elasticity in the skin.
Since bladderwrack is a great source of potassium, iron, calcium and zinc (it also contains vitamins A, B complex, C and E), it helps flush nasty toxins from the skin which can cause fine lines and wrinkles. Bladderwrack can also be used in treatment of minor burns and insect bites.
Seaweed is one of SeaLuxe’s favourite skin care ingredients and our goal is to introduce you to the miracles of our local ocean flora. We sustainably source our seaweed off the coast of the Great Bear Rainforest and it can be found in such products as our bath teas, Whipped Body Butter, Goddess Grains Facial Cleanser, Seaweed Face Mask, Charcoal Mask, Rose Mask, Alabaster Face Mask, and Ocean Flora Soap Bar.
We’re so excited to be adding more seaweed products to our line-up this spring. Stay tuned!