What is the Irish Moss? And Health Benefits

Irish Moss is a super Seafood that is fast becoming famous. This edible North Atlantic seaweed yields a gummy substance and is found on the Atlantic coasts of Ireland, the United States, and Europe.

Irish Moss got was named when it was it became a famous food in the 1800s during the potato famine in Ireland. Because of the certain starvation and desperate for food during the famine, the Irish began to feed on the red alga that was on the rocks by the sea.

As a result of the discovery of this new food, the name Irish moss stuck. Irish moss is an alga that is sometimes referred to as carrageen moss because it has a high carrageen content.

In case you do not know what Carrageen is, it is a common food additive that has been used to thicken foods and maintain stability within processed foods for a long time.

Why is Irish Moss called Irish moss?

This plant is called Irish moss because it was discovered as food in Ireland, where it was used as food and as a medicine during the potato famine, which happened long before Europeans introduced the alga to Rhode Island.

What is Irish moss used for?

Because of Irish moss has naturally soothing and demulcent properties, this seaweed is often used as a natural skin softener in several homes made and commercial cosmetic lotions and products.

Irish moss is excellent for the skin as it helps it retain its natural moisture barrier and prevent harmful, skin drying external elements from bothering it while keeping beneficial moisture in.

This plant supports the ability of the skin to retain essential moisture and needed lipids and helps to promote a healthy skin appearance.

As a medicine, Irish Moss is sometimes added to formulas when there is a need for soothing support for the internal mucous membranes like for the upper respiratory system.

What are the benefits of Irish moss?

Irish moss also called carrageen (gotten from the Irish word carraigín, which means “little rock”) and known by the scientific name Chondrus Crispus, is a species of red algae that is known to grow in the cool Atlantic watersides along the rocky coastlines of North America and Europe. This plant is also popular in Jamaica.

Irish moss has been discovered to be exceptionally rich in many nutrients and antioxidants; this plant is quickly gaining fame and building for itself a reputation as the next superfood.

Why is Irish Moss a superfood?

The many healthy properties of this seaweed called Irish moss include vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin F, and vitamin K, potassium, calcium, and sulfur.

Irish moss is also known as a naturally occurring source of iodine, which can be a little bit different to add to one’s diet through only food (which makes iodized salt the most common source of iodine), and is mostly essential for supporting a healthy thyroid function.

Irish moss can be magical for mucous and congestion because of its richness in potassium chloride and holds excellent anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

It is also believed to be great for healing dry skin and for other skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, making Irish moss an excellent ingredient for lotions and moisturizers.

What is the Irish moss controversy?

Despite the significant benefits associated with Irish moss, you should know that there is some controversy that surrounds carrageenan, which is a food additive gotten from Irish moss.

Carrageenan is the term used by the industry to refer to polysaccharides extracted from the Irish moss plant and is used as a gelling/thickening agent or as an emulsifier in processed foods such as cheese, ice cream, deli meats, non-dairy milk, protein drinks, and certain kinds of toothpaste.

Some studies have been carried out on the long-term effects carrageenan consumption has on humans, and these studies have found a potential link between consuming this additive and inflammation and digestive issues, while some others have pointed out that there to be no risks associated with the consumption of this plant.

How is carrageenan extracted from Irish moss?

The extraction methods used for getting carrageenan from Irish moss involve extensive heating and processing, and the additive that results from the extraction contains a little of the same nutritional benefits that are included in pure carrageen.

So, even though you may wish to avoid carrageenan as an ingredient in the processed foods that you have been eating, unadulterated, unprocessed Irish moss is believed to pose no threat of any sort to consumers.

Are seaweed and Irish moss the same?

Irish moss is also popularly known as sea moss, is a type of seaweed that is native to the region of Canada. It became popular during the potato famine in Ireland when many of the inhabitants of the affected area had to turn to a red seaweed that washed up ashore.

Sea moss contains more than 90 minerals, including calcium. So if you are looking for a way to get calcium without milk, this is it.

What are the top 10 Health Benefits Of Irish Moss

Here are 10 of the most asked questions about health benefits you can get by using Irish moss.

Does Irish moss cure Anemia?

When the oxygen circulation in the human body become too low, it causes low hemoglobin levels and causes a drop in red blood cells.

Irish moss helps to fight anemia by preventing iron deficiency and helping with the maintenance of the red blood cells and the hemoglobin count. This, in turn, will promote your immunity level and improves better functioning of the brain.

Is Irish moss is a good source of energy?

Irish moss has great iron content; thus, it helps in the quick transportation of oxygen to the human body cells.

Irish moss also helps in the promotion of the metabolic enzyme process, which is essential for the absorption of nutrients and encourages the digestion of proteins.

Irish moss is a weed that also helps in the improvement of concentration and muscle strength by giving your body instant energy when you eat it.

Does Irish moss treat thyroid disorders?

Irish moss has an incredible amount of DI-Iodothyronine, which is broken down by T3 that turns it a perfect choice for treating the thyroid gland. Irish moss contains T3 and T4 in the form of organically found iodine compounds.

Plus, this brown colored seaweed also has iodine in the concentrated form, which is scientifically proven to fuel the functions of the thyroid gland. It may even be beneficial for weight loss as Irish moss is known to promote metabolism.

Relieves Respiratory Problems

Irish moss can help to relieve all the symptoms associated with cold and flu, which makes it an excellent option for your winter soups.

This sea moss is a potent source of potassium chloride, which makes it effective at dissolving the catarrh or the phlegm and any inflammation of the mucous membrane to avoid nasal congestion.

Irish moss also has some antiviral agents and antimicrobial properties that can help you in getting rid of all types of infections. This sea moss improves the immunity system of the human body.

Irish moss also prevents diseases such as flu, chest coughs, pneumonia, sore throat, bronchitis, tuberculosis, and much more.

Does Irish moss boost Mental Health?

Sea moss contains a very high amount of potassium, which is vital for the smooth functioning of body cells.

However, the human body cannot conserve potassium, so you must add some sea moss in your diet to encourage better mental functions and behavior. It has also been found to help you feel better if you have anxiety disorders, fibromyalgia, and depression.

Irish moss also contains Algin, which is a phytonutrient that has a very impressive therapeutic value that makes it a heavy metal detoxifying agent. This means you have detox in sea moss.

Does Irish moss Promote Recovery after a workout?

Irish moss can help to strengthen your connective tissues. This means that your sore muscles can recover faster after a strenuous workout or when you are healing from surgeries and serious injuries.

It has a wide range of minerals and vitamins that will help you recover fast from illnesses by supporting and replenishing the immune system.

Does Irish moss Improve Skin Health?

The cosmetic industry considers the Irish moss as a fantastic ingredient. It can assist in the prevention of varicose veins, skin inflammation, halitosis, and dysentery.

Irish moss is also known as a skin softener and protector, which works by keeping the skin nourished by maintaining its natural hydration level. Irish moss also helps the skin to heal faster from various issues like psoriasis, rashes, sunburns, and eczema.

Does Irish moss help in Weight Loss?

Frequent consumption of Irish moss will help you keep obesity at bay. Because it is a low-calorie food item and is very rich in nutrients, Irish moss can be a great addition to your weight loss diet.

Bonus

Try out this Irish moss lotion if you are in the mood for some quick DIY

  • 1 tablespoon full of powdered Irish moss
  • 1 cup distilled water
  • ¼ cup aloe vera gel
  • 2 tablespoons almond oil
  1. Soak powdered Irish moss in distilled water for 20 minutes. Pour the soaked mixture into a small saucepan and bring to the boil for about 20 minutes. Strain off the solids; you will be left with a clear jelly.
  2. Measure ¼ cup of your seaweed jelly, then pour it into the bowl containing the aloe vera gel and mix. Let the mixture cool completely.
  3. Pour your seaweed mixture into a blender and proceed to blend mixture on low speed; pour in the almond oil slowly in a thin stream until thoroughly combined. You will have a light, white body lotion.
  4. Pour your homemade lotion into a clean container. Use morning and night.

Let us know what you think about Irish moss in the comments section below.

Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.