Irish sea moss: benefits, consumption and faq (2022)

Contents

  • 1 Irish moss or sea moss?
    • 1.1 Which did Dr Sebi use?
    • 1.2 Gracilaria
    • 1.3 Chondrus crispus
    • 1.4 Which sea moss should I get?
  • 2 Potential health benefits of Irish moss
    • 2.1 Increase energy levels
    • 2.2 Improve immune system and antiviral properties
    • 2.3 May help with digestion
    • 2.4 Improve thyroid function
    • 2.5 Skin nourishment
    • 2.6 Emotional health and brain functionality
  • 3 Preparing sea moss for consumption
      • 3.0.1 Turning raw sea moss into gel
      • 3.0.2 Powdering the herb
  • 4 Making sea moss capsules
  • 5 Sea moss tea
  • 6 Cooking with Irish moss
      • 6.0.1 Boiling
      • 6.0.2 Stir-frying
  • 7 Frequently asked questions
    • 7.1 How long until I start seeing benefits?
    • 7.2 Where to buy Irish moss?

Sea moss was always spoken of very highly by Dr. Sebi, and for those of us that follow his diet it’s pretty much a staple food that is part of our everyday lives.

That said, there still seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding which type (species) of seaweed is actually “Irish moss” as well as the nutritional value it possess.

Irish moss or sea moss?

The name “Irish moss” originally comes from the historical use of Chondrus crispus by the Irish.

However, today, depending on where you are in the world, “Irish sea moss”, “Irish moss” or simply “sea moss” may refer to a number of different seaweeds including (but possibly not limited to) Chondrus crispus, Kappaphycus alvarezii (a.k.a Eucheuma Cottonii) as well as various species within the Gracilaria genus.

Despite being called a “moss”, all of these seaweeds are actually types of red algae of which there are 1000s of species.

Edible red algae, or Rhodophyta, are known to possess high amounts of protein, minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids and are typically rich sources of antioxidants. [1]

Which did Dr Sebi use?

In several instances Dr. Sebi made reference to Chondrus crispus, for example in this video.

However, this is likely a mistake as this particular species of red algae does not grow in warmer climates.

Instead a species belonging to the Gracilaria genus, which grows in places like Jamaica and St. Lucia, and is generally yellow as opposed to purple, is likely what he is referring to when claiming to have seen sea moss on top of the ocean that looked like gold.

Gracilaria

Gracilaria is a genus within the Gracilariaceae family, and is “the third largest genus of red algae with over 150 species worldwide”. Nearly 28 species of Gracilaria have been reported from the Indian coast. [4]

Gracilaria is noted for its economic importance and is mainly cultivated and harvested in Asia, South America, Africa and Oceania for the production of Agar, providing more than 50% of the world’s supply. [4]

Agar is used as “a laxative, an appetite suppressant, a vegetarian substitute for gelatin, a thickener for soups, in fruit preserves, ice cream, and other desserts”. [3]

Additionally, various species of Gracilaria are used in soups and salads in several countries such as Korea, Thailand, China, and Japan where it is known as ogonori or simply “ogo”.

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Chondrus crispus

Traditionally thought of as a “poverty food” during the potato famine of 1846-48, Irish moss has been used as a cold remedy and treatment for respiratory ailments such as tuberculosis and pneumonia since 1810.

Chondrus crispus grows in cooler waters and appears in abundance around the rocky parts of the Atlantic coasts of Europe, especially Ireland and the UK as well as Iceland, the Faroe Islands western Baltic Sea to southern Spain. It can also be found on the Atlantic coasts of Canada and North America. [2]

In it’s moist, natural state, it possesses a soft and cartilaginous consistency and can have varying colors from a greenish-yellow, through red, to a dark purple or purplish-brown.

Irish sea moss: benefits, consumption and faq (1)

When washed and sun-dried it has a yellowish and translucent appearance, which, if you purchase the dried herb is usually how it will look.

Which sea moss should I get?

While the potential health benefits highlighted in the section below primarily consider the nutritional content of Chondrus crispus (purely because data and studies are much more readily available for it).

Based on the undeniable evidence regarding the beneficial properties of seaweeds on our health, it would be fair to assume that there are benefits for consuming either.

Many people claim the energy boost from the Gracilaria variety is superior, for example.

Ultimately it largely depends on availability, budget and personal preference.

Potential health benefits of Irish moss

Based on data from the USDA database and various studies on the health benefits of red algae and Chondrus crispus specifically, it’s abduntantly clear that this powerful plant has a lot to offer.

Increase energy levels

Irish moss contains an abundance of vitamins B2 and B9 and therefore may have an energy-boosting effect as your body converts food into energy in a more optimal way.

B2 breaks down the proteins, carbs and fats and B9 is required to form DNA and other genetic material.

Improve immune system and antiviral properties

Irish moss is rich in zinc, an essential component of the immune system response, and is therefore very effective in “boosting” the immune system.

Additionally, studies show that “red seaweed Chondrus crispus has been reported to have a wide range of health-promoting activities, such as antitumor and antiviral activities”. [5]

May help with digestion

The high fibre content of Irish moss acts as a mild laxative while the demulcent (an agent that forms a soothing film over a mucous membrane) properties of Irish moss soothe the membranes of the intestinal tract.

Additionally, a study conducted on animals shows that it can also have a prebiotic effect during the digestion process resulting in; an increase in beneficial short-chain fatty acids in the colon, cleansing of bad bacteria in the gut, and an improvement in overall gut health and immunity. [6]

Improve thyroid function

As we’ve already established, iodine, used in the production of thyroid hormones, is of critical importance for healthy thyroid function. Irish moss, along with other types of seaweed, is one of the richest sources of iodine on the planet.

Skin nourishment

Many people use Irish moss masks to soothe eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and burns because of its vitamin and mineral packed jelly-like qualities. Studies have found that Irish moss can also improve cell growth due to the compound citrulline–arginine. [7]

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This compound also releases amino acids that are essential for protein and collagen synthesis. Collagen is important for smooth skin and silky hair.

Emotional health and brain functionality

The high levels of magnesium contained in Irish moss contributes to optimum brain function and overall mood. Low levels of magnesium in the diet have been linked to an increased risk of depression. [8][9]

Additionally, research has also been done into the “neuroprotective effects” of Irish moss, indicating that it may protect brain tissue from neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. [10]

Preparing sea moss for consumption

Most people consume sea moss as a gel or powder. Below we are going to look at each of these processes.

Firstly though, does it lose its nutritional properties once converted into a gel or powder?

No it does not, however, cooking the sea moss may result in some loss, especially if cooked for prolonged periods at high temperatures.

Refer to the section titled cooking with Irish moss for more information on nutrient loss and retention when cooking.

Turning raw sea moss into gel

The process for turning raw sea moss into gel is very simple and is as follows.

  1. Rehydrate the moss by soaking it in water overnight or for 4-6 hours.
  2. Rinse it thoroughly to clean off any debris.
  3. Add the Irish moss and water to a blender, less water will produce a thicker gel and vice versa. Blend it for a few minutes and it will start to form into a gel.
  4. Add a dash of grapeseed oil (optional)
  5. Pour into a glass container, cover and place in the refrigerator to thicken and set.

Some people also prefer to boil/simmer the Irish moss in water to help break it down before blending it.

Irish moss gel can keep for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Irish sea moss: benefits, consumption and faq (2)

Powdering the herb

The easiest way to powder dried Irish moss (or any dried herb) is to use a food processor, electric coffee grinder or the traditional mortar and pestle.

If you do decide to use a coffee grinder, don’t use the same grinder for both coffee and herbs to prevent the residue from mixing.

Making sea moss capsules

Making your ownsea moss pillsis pretty straight forward and being able to pre-make a stockpile of capsules once a month for daily consumption is really convenient and saves some money.

Depending on whether you are using powdered or just dried herbs the process involves a couple of extra steps. Basically, if the herbs haven’t been ground up, you’ll also need a grinder such as a coffee grinder and a fine sieve.

Equipment / Material List:

  • powdered sea moss
  • powdered bladderwrack
  • grinder (for dried herb)
  • bowl and fine strainer (for dried herb)
  • 00 vegan capsules
  • 00 capsule machine
  • Bottle for storage
  • Cotton (to protect capsules from moisture)

If you are using powdered herbs you won’t need a grinder or strainer and can instead just mix the sea moss powder and bladder wrack powder in a bowl before filling your capsules.

This is a really clear and concise video showing you how to encapsulate dry herbs using a capsule filling machine.

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Key points to remember:

  • After popping filled capsules out of the machine, you may need to ensure the head and base of each capsule is properly pushed together and not loose.
  • Try not to touch the powder too much with your hands, a rubber spatula to aid in pouring powder from the mixing bowl into the capsule tray is a good idea.

Sea moss tea

Here’s the standard way to make tea using your sea moss gel. This will be pretty flavorless so you can sweeten it up with agave nectar or date sugar if you wish.

Ingredients

  • Irish moss gel
  • Filtered or spring water
  • Ginger (optional)
  • Agave nectar or date sugar (optional)

Directions

  1. Add ginger to a pot. (optional)
  2. Add water, bring to a boil then reduce heat and let cool slightly.
  3. Add your Irish moss gel at a ratio of one part gel to four parts water.

Cooking with Irish moss

Once turned into a gel, Irish moss is incredibly versatile and pretty much flavorless, after you’ve added it food it’s almost completely undetectable. In regards tonutrient loss with cooking.

Water-soluble vitamins such as C, B2 and B3, for example, as well as some minerals, i.e. potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium may be reduced during cooking. [7]

That said, the cooking methods you employ do have an impact on how much of the original nutrient content is preserved.

Studies have shown that mineral (and some vitamin) loss is more prone when boiling, with parching, frying and stewing to have less of an impact. [11][12]

Boiling

Boiling food, especially vegetables, means that much of the nutrition has a tendency to leach out into the water. This is generally fine as long as the water is consumed. [11]

With that in mind, soups are one of the easiest ways to introduce Irish moss into your diet ensuring that most (if not all) of the nutritional properties are retained.

Stir-frying

Stir frying is generally an acceptable way to cook with relatively low nutrition loss. [13]

When we stir fry we cook the food on a high heat for a short time. The key to minimizing nutrient loss is to constantly “stir” the food rather than letting it sit and exposing it to high heats for extended periods.

The next time you make a vegetable stir fry, try adding a few tablespoons of sea moss gel towards the end of the cooking process. It’s a great replacement for things like corn starch which is often used to create a sauce base.

Points to remember when cooking sea moss
  • Avoid cooking for over-extended periods on high heats
  • Boiling or simmering is fine as long as you consume the water in its entirety, don’t throw that nutrition down the drain.

Frequently asked questions

How long until I start seeing benefits?

There is no definite answer to this question. While some people claim to feel benefits within a couple of weeks, the consensus seems to be 2-4 months, with potentially less or more time depending on the digestive flora of the individual.

It is much more productive to consume smaller amounts over time (daily) as opposed to large amounts occasionally with “continual exposure to the new food material being the key to bacterial dietary adaptation”. [14]

Where to buy Irish moss?

Since the pandemic hit suppliers have been running out of stock left, right and center. After quite a bit of searching I foundthis company.

(Video) Irish Sea Moss and Kidney Disease Benefits? Does Sea Moss Help Kidney Disease?

References

[1]: Red algae. (2020). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_algae

[2]: Chondrus crispus. (2020). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chondrus_crispus

[3] Gracilaria. (2020). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gracilaria

[4]: Baweja, P., Kumar, S., Sahoo, D., & Levine, I. (2016). Biology of Seaweeds. In Seaweed in Health and Disease Prevention (pp. 41–106). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-802772-1.00003-8

[5]: Liu, J., Hafting, J., Critchley, A. T., Banskota, A. H., & Prithiviraj, B. (2013). Components of the Cultivated Red Seaweed Chondrus crispus Enhance the Immune Response of Caenorhabditis elegans to Pseudomonas aeruginosa through the pmk-1 , daf-2/daf-16 , and skn-1 Pathways. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 79(23), 7343–7350. https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01927-13

[6]: Liu, J., Kandasamy, S., Zhang, J., Kirby, C. W., Karakach, T., Hafting, J., Critchley, A. T., Evans, F., & Prithiviraj, B. (2015). Prebiotic effects of diet supplemented with the cultivated red seaweed Chondrus crispus or with fructo-oligo-saccharide on host immunity, colonic microbiota and gut microbial metabolites. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 15(1), 279. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-015-0802-5

[7]: Advances in Botanical Research. (2014). In Advances in Botanical Research (Vol. 71, p. ii). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-408062-1.21002-0

[8] Serefko, A., Szopa, A., Wlaź, P., Nowak, G., Radziwoń-Zaleska, M., Skalski, M., & Poleszak, E. (2013). Magnesium in depression. Pharmacological Reports, 65(3), 547–554. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1734-1140(13)71032-6

[9] Tarleton, E. K., & Littenberg, B. (2015). Magnesium Intake and Depression in Adults. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 28(2), 249–256. https://doi.org/10.3122/jabfm.2015.02.140176

[10] Liu, J., Banskota, A., Critchley, A., Hafting, J., & Prithiviraj, B. (2015). Neuroprotective Effects of the Cultivated Chondrus crispus in a C. elegans Model of Parkinson’s Disease. Marine Drugs, 13(4), 2250–2266. https://doi.org/10.3390/md13042250

[11]: Kimura, M., & Itokawa, Y. (1990). Cooking losses of minerals in foods and its nutritional significance. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, 36 Suppl 1, S25-32; discussion S33.

[12]: Lee, S., Choi, Y., Jeong, H. S., Lee, J., & Sung, J. (2017). Effect of different cooking methods on the content of vitamins and true retention in selected vegetables. Food Science and Biotechnology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10068-017-0281-1

[13]: How Cooking Affects the Nutrient Content of Foods. (2019, November 7). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cooking-nutrient-content

[14]: Medicinal Uses of Seaweeds. (n.d.). Retrieved April 19, 2020, from http://www.ryandrum.com/seaweeds.htm

Irish sea moss: benefits, consumption and faq (3)

(Video) Sea Moss Side Effects You Need To Know About

Adonai

Born in New York to a Jamaican family, following Dr. Sebi since 2014.

FAQs

What happens to your body when you consume sea moss? ›

It's heart-healthy

It can improve blood sugar control, help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. “Studies show that sea moss may help lower bad cholesterol, which is one of the factors for heart disease,” Czerwony says.

What does Irish Sea Moss do for the body? ›

Irish sea moss is good for the gut

Irish moss, if eaten, is an excellent source of nutrient-rich fiber. High-fiber diets help maintain bowel health, lower cholesterol levels and control blood sugar levels. Irish moss also works like a prebiotic to enhance good bacteria, which keeps your gut happy and healthy.

Can Irish sea moss be consumed daily? ›

Most sea moss products are safe to consume every day, and the majority of our team ingests Irish moss daily or at least uses it in a topical form every day. Considering that it can take a few weeks for you to start noticing the moss's benefits, we recommend incorporating it into your meals at least once a day.

How long does it take sea moss to start working in your body? ›

Most people are so iodine deficient that when they start consuming Sea Moss they notice a difference in energy, physical, and mental health within a few days. On average, it takes around three to six weeks for noticeable changes.

What infections does sea moss get rid of? ›

Early studies suggest that sea moss can boost the immune system and may even protect the body from contracting salmonella. One study showed that sea moss can stop the growth of S. Enteritidis, the bacteria that causes salmonella in humans.

Does sea moss reduce belly fat? ›

Sea moss may aid in weight loss due to its carrageenan content, which may increase feelings of fullness, lower body fat, and improve your microbiota profile.

What does sea moss do for your hair? ›

Sea moss contains vitamin A, which improves the sebum production. As sea moss is a rich source of vitamin E, it improves hair growth. Vitamin fights against oxidative stress, which is the main culprit behind hair loss. You can also try the sea moss gel recipes as a topical treatment to obtain its benefits.

What does sea moss do for your face? ›

Sea moss can actually help your skin produce collagen and keratin, too. This helps strengthen your skin and gives it the elasticity it needs to prevent wrinkles and look smooth and healthy. Additionally, research has indicated that sea moss's omega-3 fatty acids can make up for what our diets are lacking.

Does sea moss give you energy? ›

Sea moss contains iron, which is a great way to support your energy levels. A lack of iron can make you feel tired and lethargic.

Who should not take sea moss? ›

Warning: Consuming sea moss in large quantities, particularly from supplements, may cause iodine toxicity, which can adversely affect the thyroid gland and lead to health conditions like hyperthyroidism and goiters, says Kaidanian. You should not exceed 1,100 micrograms of iodine a day.

What is the best way to consume sea moss? ›

The easiest way to eat sea moss is by adding gel to different foods. You'll need dried sea moss, water, and a blender to prepare it yourself. Soak 1/2 cup (100 g) of sea moss in water for 4 hours. Then, rinse the moss off with tap water and boil it in a pot with the lid closed for 10-12 minutes.

Is sea moss good for liver? ›

Why is sea moss good for your liver? Sea moss is rich in nutrients and anti-inflammatory agents that help reduce the body's toxins into harmless compounds, reducing the liver's burden.

Does sea moss help gain weight? ›

Reduces Body Fat

Animal studies on red sea moss suggest that its carrageenan content could help lower body fat and prevent weight gain. This may be due to a reduction in the creation of fat cells, lowered fat absorption via diet, or an increase in the breakdown of stored fat.

How does sea moss make you feel? ›

May be good for the gut: Sea moss is a good source of live bacteria and fiber, so it may replenish the body with good bacteria and improve gut health. May help with weight loss: The fiber content of seaweed can make you feel full and curb your cravings for more calories.

Does sea moss help with inflammation? ›

Reduces Inflammation

Sea moss is rich in vitamins A, C, and E, which are known to reduce inflammation. Additionally, sea moss contains anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Does sea moss contain vitamin D? ›

Vitamins Found in Sea Moss

There are 13 sea moss vitamins in total: vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, folate). Sea moss contains small amounts of many of these important vitamins.

Does sea moss have collagen? ›

Both sea moss and Irish moss are red algae, rich in the proteins that form collagen in the body. Collagen is associated with healthy skin, joint, bone, and heart health. Whichever you use, you will have a reliable source of collagen.

Does sea moss have iron? ›

Sea moss contains a staggering 9 milligrams of iron per 100 grams. That's a far higher percentage than that of chicken. So the next time you're feeling fatigued or low on energy, you may want to consider mixing up a sea moss smoothie rather than turning to a meat-heavy meal.

How does sea moss make you feel? ›

May be good for the gut: Sea moss is a good source of live bacteria and fiber, so it may replenish the body with good bacteria and improve gut health. May help with weight loss: The fiber content of seaweed can make you feel full and curb your cravings for more calories.

What does sea moss do for skin? ›

Benefits of Sea Moss

"Being rich in sulfur, it has antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial functions, so it is believed to help with balancing the skin microbiome." He explains that the high sulfur content also can decrease the excessive production of sebum (oil) in the skin.

Who should not take sea moss? ›

Warning: Consuming sea moss in large quantities, particularly from supplements, may cause iodine toxicity, which can adversely affect the thyroid gland and lead to health conditions like hyperthyroidism and goiters, says Kaidanian. You should not exceed 1,100 micrograms of iodine a day.

What is the best time of day to take sea moss? ›

We recommend you take your Sea Moss Gel first thing in the morning (on and empty stomach) but Sea Moss Gel can be consumed at any time during the day or night.

What does sea moss do for your hair? ›

Sea moss contains vitamin A, which improves the sebum production. As sea moss is a rich source of vitamin E, it improves hair growth. Vitamin fights against oxidative stress, which is the main culprit behind hair loss. You can also try the sea moss gel recipes as a topical treatment to obtain its benefits.

Does sea moss give you energy? ›

Sea moss contains iron, which is a great way to support your energy levels. A lack of iron can make you feel tired and lethargic.

Is sea moss good for hair growth? ›

Does sea moss help hair grow? Yes. Sea moss is rich in vitamin A which does wonders to improve your sebum production. It is also a great source of vitamin E, which improves hair growth and combat oxidative stress, one of the major reasons behind hair loss.

Is sea moss good for your eyes? ›

Each vitamin has its own importance. Vitamin A in sea moss helps in improving eyesight. It also helps in developing immunity against cold and flu. Vitamin B in sea moss helps in regulating the metabolism of the body, maintains the nervous system and skin health.

Is sea moss anti aging? ›

"Sea moss may also help reduce wrinkles, hydrate the skin and protect from environmental elements because it contains essential elements that make up the human body, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin K," Dr. Hammerman adds.

Does sea moss tighten skin? ›

Used as a mask, sea moss tightens, softens, and pulls toxins from the face, leaving you with healthier looking skin, immediately.

Is sea moss good for your liver? ›

Why is sea moss good for your liver? Sea moss is rich in nutrients and anti-inflammatory agents that help reduce the body's toxins into harmless compounds, reducing the liver's burden.

Is sea moss good for mental health? ›

Mental Health

As Sea Moss contains high amounts of potassium, a nutrient vital for the function of human body cells, its consumption may improve overall cognitive function and behaviour. Potassium-rich foods are also prescribed for depression, anxiety, agitation and fibromyalgia.

Can sea moss make you gain weight? ›

Irish sea moss can do more than just potentially speed up your metabolism and keep you feeling full – it may actually help you prevent weight gain in the future by lowering your fat absorption and the production of fat cells. A study conducted in 2019 monitored 78 adults with obesity.

Videos

1. FAQ--How much sea moss do I need to consume?
(Plant Based Jeff)
2. BEWARE SEA MOSS MADE ME SICK | SIDE EFFECTS | DR SEBI DIDN'T SHARE | LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES | #DETOX
(Black Culture Talks)
3. Dr Sebi Explains REAL Sea Moss
(Alkaline Meal Ideas And More)
4. SEA MOSS LIES DEBUNKED! || Time To Clear Things Up
(NETER GOLD)
5. What Are the Dangers of Sea Moss? A Doctor Explains
(Dr. Jen Caudle)
6. Sea Moss & Dr Sebi - What's That About? - Ep 1
(ListedFit)

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