Fucus vesiculosus Linn

Habitat ► On the shores of the United Kingdom, North Atlantic Ocean, North Pacific Coast of America; as a weed; found in Indian Ocean on the Manora Rocks. Allied species—F. distichus Linn., and F

Fumaria officinalis Linn.

nodosus Linn. (Included in Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants, CSIR, also in its second supplement.) F nodosus is found in India along sea shores.

English ► Bladderwrack, Black Tang, Rockweed, Kelp.

Action ► Weed—one of the richest source of minerals, chiefly iodine, sodium, manganese, sulphur, silicon, zinc and copper. Effective against obesity, antirheumatic. Stimulates circulation of lymph. Endocrine gland stimulant. Allays onset of arteriosclerosis by maintaining elasticity of walls of blood vessels. Mild diuretic, bulk, laxative, antibiotic. High sodium content may reduce effectiveness of diuretics.

(The herb contains trace metal, particularly iodine from 0.03-1.0%. It may contain waste metals such as cadmium and strontium, when grown in a polluted environment. Variable iodine content and arsenic contamination make the herb unsafe.)

The herb should be used with caution in hyperthyroidism and hypothy-roidism. Excess thyroid activity maybe aggravated by the iodine content of the herb; it may disrupt thyroid function. One gram of Bladderwrack might contain as much as 600 mcg iodine (Ingesting more than 150 mcg iodine per day may cause hyperthyroidism or exacerbate existing hyperthyroidism.) (Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, 2007.)

Due to the antithrombin effects ofits fucan polysaccharides, consumption of the herb in cases of G1 bleeding disorders is contraindicated.

(Included among unapproved herbs by German Commission E.)

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