Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosis)
Bladderwrack is primarily used for medicinal purposes. It contains pre-cursors to the T3 and T4 hormones produced by the thyroid gland, and is typically added to food in small quantities, infused in hot water as a tea, or cut into flakes and encapsulated to be taken as a supplement. Bladderwrack releases fucoidan when re-hydrated in hot water, a gel that is similar in chemical composition to Aloe vera, and has been traditionally used to treat burns and skin irritations. It is also used topically in salves and hot water infusions to treat arthritis and joint pain.