Is it worth it? What does it taste like? Where does the "gel" come from? How do I prepare it?
What is Irish Sea Moss?
What we call in Jamaica "Irish Moss" is known to be a powerful superfood from the Ocean. It is actually a form of red algae found on the Atlantic coastlines of Europe, the Caribbean, parts of North America. Recently, its benefits have gained a lot of attention in the United States but Irish sea moss has been used for centuries in different countries as medicine. Irish moss has an abundance of healing properties and can be added to just about any meal or even eaten alone. It is important to also note that Carrageenan, which is a derivative of Irish Moss, is a thickening agent that can be found in dairy and milk products. However, carrageenan (a chemically processed derivative) is different from wild caught sea moss (a whole food). To reiterate, whole food Sea Moss has nothing in common with chemically processed Carrageenan.
Strengthens the immune system
The immune system is housed in the gut, called our "second brain" by most philosophers. Sea moss is known to contain 92 of the 102 essential minerals that we need for normal bodily function. It contains a generous amount of zinc and acts as a prebiotic to improve gut microbiome. It is a potent source of potassium iodide, which is great for dissolving troublesome phlegm in clogged airways. Irish moss may help to prevent a common cold from turning into pneumonia and can treat other respiratory problems such as bronchitis. It is also rich in amino acids, vitamin C, antioxidants, as well as a host of antiviral and antimicrobial agents. These nutrients can help you to fight or ward off infections.
Promotes Healthy Skin
Because of its vitamin and mineral packed gelatin-like quality, many people use sea moss masks to soothe eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and burns. Studies have found that citrulline–arginine, a compound found in Irish moss, can improve cell growth and metabolism. This compound also releases amino acids that are essential for protein and collagen synthesis. Collagen is the protein that maintains smooth skin and silky hair. Also, a healthy gut means clear skin so it is a win-win.
Soothes the digestive tract
Because of the soothing effects of sea moss on the mucous membranes in the body (i.e it strengthens joints and connective tissues), it also works as an amazing digestive aid. It helps to coat the stomach protecting it from ulcers. In addition, it may help with conditions such as alleviate acid reflux by providing prebiotics and probiotics for improved gut health. Sea moss is also packed with fiber that helps to regulate bowel movement and alleviate gas. Sea moss also has a gentle laxative effect aiding in colon health. It may help to cleanse the body, and support a healthy elimination process removing toxins and heavy metals through the lymphatic system (also a part of the mucus membranes of our body).
Increases energy and nutrition
In order for our body to absorb the energy that is stored within our food we need to ingest B vitamins. Sea moss contains a decent amount of riboflavin (B2) and folate (B9). Riboflavin is needed to break down proteins, carbs, and fats, while folate is needed to form DNA and other genetic material. When folate pairs up with B12, it also helps to create red blood cells.
Sea moss has a generous amount of magnesium and potassium, which are known mood boosters. Both minerals play a key role in brain function, and when we are low on either, we might feel crankier than usual. Some research indicates that sea moss may protect brain tissue from degeneration and Parkinson's disease. Also, improvements in energy naturally improves mood.
Rids the body of excess mucus
In addition to its heavy mineral count, Sea Moss is full of Potassium Chloride, Omega-3 fatty acids and Chlorophyll, the main nutrients responsible for dissolving inflammation or mucus in the respiratory and lymphatic system. This makes Sea Moss a natural decongestant. Even better, Sea Moss contains antiviral and antimicrobial compounds that can help the body fight off infection and support the immune system. It's a must have for anyone with frequent allergies, or experiencing cold or flu like symptoms.
Balance Thyroid Hormones
Since the Thyroid is mainly responsible for regulating hormones, an imbalance can lead to fertility issues, menstrual problems and/or fibroids. These Thyroid disorders are typically caused by a lack of iodine and/or selenium. Irish Moss contains the vital thyroid hormone precursor DIIodothyronine (DIT), and the thyroid hormones Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3). Which is actually used to treat thyroid disorders. And it also contains high amounts of concentrated iodine and selenium, which your thyroid uses to make hormones that regulate your metabolism, digestion, mood,
Improves fertility and increases libido
Effects may differ from person to person, however individuals who consume Sea Moss on a regular basis have noted improvements in libido and stamina. Though there are no randomized controlled trials or double blind study to prove this, many natives of the Caribbean vow by Irish sea moss for this reason. Additionally, one may conclude that because it is such a rich source of fiber, nutrients (like B vitamins magnesium and potassium), and improves hormone regulation it naturally enhances.
How to prepare Irish Sea Moss
I recommend purchasing your Irish Sea Moss from your local Farmer's Market instead of online. Below is a simple and effective way to prepare Irish moss.
1. Wash about 2 oz (or a handful) thoroughly with water to remove salt, sand or other impurities (Sea Moss grows wild in the ocean, so use your own discernment with this. I'd say about 3 washes should suffice).
2. Cut 1 lime and squeeze it over the moss, leave the cut lime in the water with the moss as it soaks to remove ocean-y taste.
2. Soak your sea moss & lime overnight in warm spring water. The size of the sea moss will multiply so use a large glass container. Do not cover.
3. The next morning, do a final rinse and cut up the larger pieces to protect your blender blade if necessary.
5. Add your soaked sea moss and up to 1 cup of spring water to blend. As you blend, gauge the consistency, do not add too much water. The amount of water should not be over the level of the sea moss.
(You can add cinnamon sticks, nutmeg or ginger root for additional benefits and flavor.)
6. The "gel" formed can be stored up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator. After refrigeration, It can also be added to smoothies, used in face masks, added to soups, boiled down in tea or used in virtually any other recipe.
Be sure to store your sea moss in a glass mason jar.
There has been a world of curiosity around Irish Sea Moss and I hope I was able to clear up some confusion and allow you to make an informed decision regarding your health. Let me know in the comments below if you found this helpful!
Till Next Time,
**Disclaimer: Irish Moss functions as a thinner. As a result, individuals that are taking anticoagulant medications (blood thinners) should abstain from using Irish Moss in any form. Also, please consult your health care provider before adding any supplements to your diet.***
Hello world! I am Chérie Jade, I am passionate about promoting a holistic lifestyle and encouraging preventative practices for day to day healthy living.