Irish moss or carrageen moss is a red seaweed that grows in cold bodies of water that the Irish people use have an ingredient in their food for centuries. It’s not gaining more and more attentions because it’s loaded with health benefits when taking raw, as a tea, drink or herbal extract supplement.
Let’s learn a little about this plant and how we can easily benefit from it.
Besides the coast of Ireland, Irish moss (or simple seamoss) also grows in the oceans of North America and Asia. Irish moss is a sea vegetable that is popular for its high nutritional value and as a thickening agent for food. It is rich in iodine, calcium, potassium, sulphur, and Vitamin E.
Irish Moss can be eaten raw, or if you want to release all its vital nutrients, you can turn it into a hearty broth. It is also soaked and mixed to form a gel for use as a nutritious thickening agent in various food and drinks recipes; this is possible because it contains a large amount of carrageenan, a natural emulsifier.
Irish Moss also know by the scientific names Mastocarpus stellatus or Chondrus crispus, is commonly called pearl moss.
Health Benefits of Irish Moss
- Respiratory tonic
- Strengthens connective tissue and joints
- Great for the skin
- Nourishes nutritionally-deficient individuals
- Soothes digestive tract
- Assists in weight loss
- Helps fight disease
- Contains antioxidants to fight free radicals
- Relieves digestive problems
- Helps in lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol and blood pressure
- Optimizes thyroid health
- Herbal laxative
Irish Moss has long been acknowledged for its role in treating and abating the symptoms of coughs, colds and flu. It contains potassium chloride, which is beneficial in dissolving catharrs that cause congestion. It is a healthy and natural alternative to manufactured and over-the-counter pharmaceutical treatment for coughs and flu.
As a demulcent, carrageen moss has a calming effect on all mucous membranes of the body. It softens the tissues and helps in the management of respiratory issues like pneumonia and bronchitis. It also has the ability to absorb and expel excess fluids from the body.
Irish Moss functions as an expectorant by using its high mucilage content to alleviate the inflammation of nasal passages, which in turn relieves dry cough and sore throat.
Carrageen Moss’s antimicrobial, antitumor and antiviral agents help in the treatment of infections and respiratory ailments like bronchitis, pneumonia, sore throat, and other lung disorders.
Recent studies and clinical trials also present convincing evidence for its use as a treatment against Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Because carrageen moss carries the rich elements produced by the oceans, Irish Moss is also a great nourishing food or drink for convalescing patients and nutritionally-deficient individuals. Its active ingredients and blood-thinning properties can also help treat hypertension, prevent plaque and cholesterol buildup in the arteries, and prevent the onset of obesity.
The high iodine content of Irish Moss is beneficial for thyroid health and for relieving fatigue, slow metabolism, goiter, slow heart rate, pale skin, stringy hair, and other symptoms of thyroid disorders. The increase in metabolic rate will help the body burn fat and excess calories more efficiently, thus making it a great all-natural weight-loss herbal supplement.
Seamoss also contains plenty of calcium, making it beneficial in maintaining bone health.
Side Effects of Irish Moss
Irish Moss has few side effects when taken in normal doses however there are no studies on overdosing or daily dosages for extended periods of time. Caution is recommended, especially for pregnant or lactating women.
The most common side effects are gastrointestinal; stomach aches, diarrhea, and cramps.
Some people associate the harmful industrial uses of chemically-processed carrageenan as a thickening agent with eating or drinking raw Irish Moss, which isn’t logical.
Raw or cooked, Irish Sea Moss is an amazing sea vegetable that you will love to have on your plate daily for good health and vitality. Or you may prefer it as a drink loaded with rejuvenation!