Extracts of iodine-rich kelp, one of many forms of seaweed, provided an effective goiter remedy for many years. Today some herbalists rely on another component of kelp's stemlike and leaflike parts, an agent known as sodium alginate. Because of its action, kelp is prescribed to aid in the treatment of heavy-metal environmental pollutants including barium and cadmium, and to prevent the body from absorbing strontium 90, a radioactive substance created in nuclear power plants.
Some practitioners of alternative medicine also recommend taking kelp supplements for thyroid disorders such as mild hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
Taken internally for:
Over the counter:
Available in dry bulk, capsules and tinctures.
Infusion: 2 to 3 tsp. dried or powdered kelp steeped in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes.