What Is Irish Sea Moss?
Irish sea moss (Chondrus Crispus) is a sort of seaweed. It is commonly known as carrageen moss or red seaweed.
Sea moss contains an abundant amount of nutrients and antioxidants, for which it is so famous.
It is, however, not a moss rather a seaweed or algae.
Furthermore, the Irish have reaped and used it as a medicine since the 1800s. During the Irish Potato Famine, the Irish named it “poverty food” (because it helped them survive the famine). Plus, places like Ireland, Jamaica, and Scotland have been using it for ages, says a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
In addition, some people believe it to be a superfood due to its rich nutritional value. Moreover, carrageenan is a gelatinous substance that mainly forms the Irish moss. It works as a thickening agent in many food items such as ice creams. Studies prove it to be a future nutraceutical supplement.
Let’s uncover eight impressive benefits of Irish sea moss.
1. Sea moss aids digestion.
Irish moss comes under the family of mucilage-containing foods. It gives a mucus-like texture similar to the appearance of cassava, flax seeds, and other mucilaginous herbs. Mucilage shows the high content of fiber that aids in digestion. Moreover, fiber helps relieve constipation and diarrhea—bacteria inside the gut digest the essential nutrients from the fiber. Hence, it promotes good colon health by soothing the inflamed membranes.
A study published by NIH shows Irish sea moss to be prebiotic. As per the research on rats, sea moss may give a boost to gut health. In fact, it may help in weight loss, other digestive issues, and lowering blood sugar levels.
2. Sea moss supports thyroid function.
The thyroid gland is responsible for producing thyroid hormone. It helps in the maintenance of bones and the development of the brain. Moreover, it regulates the body’s metabolic rate that controls muscles, digestive activities, and the heart. The thyroid hormone also controls several critical bodily functions.
Iodine is an essential element for the production of thyroid hormones. But your body cannot produce it naturally – you must ingest it from food. Hence, it should be a necessary part of the diet. Here comes the Irish sea moss densely containing traces of iodine (DI-Iodothyronine, Tri-iodothyronine, and thyroid hormones Thyroxin (T4). Even consuming a small dose of sea moss will be enough. For this reason, It supports improving Graves’ Disease and other thyroid-related diseases.
According to a study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society, Irish sea moss supplements contain large amounts of iodine. It would be best, however, if you ate it in small quantities. Because increasing the dose can lead to the Jod-Basedow phenomenon if taken in excess. Thus, proving “excess of anything is bad.”
3. Irish sea moss clears mucus.
This sea moss may work as a decongestant and expectorant. It functions by expelling unwanted phlegm from the membranes. Even potassium chloride, omega-3 fatty acids, and chlorophyll are present in the sea moss. And these minor elements help prevent congestion.
Observations have shown omega-3 fatty acids to reduce the inflammation of the airways. Additionally, potassium chloride quickly expels and soothes the mucus membrane. Studies also prove liquid chlorophyll may cure acute and chronic sinus infections (sinusitis).
Using sea moss may heal many respiratory disorders. During the cold, one can use it to relieve congestion of the lungs and mucus membrane.
Read more about how sea moss clears the lungs here.
4. Irish moss may improve energy levels.
Aren’t these facts quite interesting? Consumption of Irish sea moss aids in recovering from fatigue. Indeed, calling it a pack of nutrients would not be an understatement. It has high levels of iron which makes red blood cells. Similarly, iron improves your energy levels.
20 grams or 1 tablespoon of sea moss provides:
- 10 Calories
- 0.5g Protein
- 0g Total fat
- 3g Total carbs
- 0.5g Fiber
- 0g Total sugar
- 1% of the DV: Calcium
- 10% of the DV: Iron
- 7% of the DV: Magnesium
- 2% of the DV: Phosphorus
- 3% of the DV: Zinc
- 3% of the DV: Copper
- 182 ug: Folate
- 12.9 mg: Choline
- 3mg: Vitamin C
- 71 ug: Beta Carotene
- 118 IU: Vitamin A
- 0.16 g: Total Lipids
5. Irish moss boosts immunity.
This little seaweed provides more than 90% of the nutrients needed by your body. You may refer to it as a multivitamin by the nature of it. These minerals significantly contribute towards healthy tissue operations. Not to mention, each fact written above proves it to be an immune system booster. It also shows anti-aging, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties.
It may also help you build lean muscles. As good levels of proteins make strong muscles.
6. Sea moss may nourish your skin.
Rich supplies of vitamin A, sulfur, and Omega-3 fatty acids make it a super sea plant. Vitamin A helps prevent breakouts, speeds up healing, moisturizes, and improves the skin’s immunity. It also stimulates the production of collagen, which reduces wrinkles, patches, and fine lines.
Sulfur absorbs sebum (excess oil) that is likely to promote acne. It also acts as an anti-bacterial agent for bacteria causing acne. Sea moss is the best plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, which act as a nourishing lipid barrier, improving the appearance of the skin. Further, it deals with itchy, red, dull, and dry skin. And it provides treatment for certain skin diseases, specifically acne, and eczema.
Irish sea moss hydrates, remove blemishes, tightens, brightens, improves the skin’s complexion, and cures irritation. In fact, some skincare brands use it as a critical ingredient in their products.
7. Irish sea moss may lift your mood.
A good mood is an obvious indication of being fit and healthy. Sea moss contains a vast number of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients, making it a ‘powerhouse.’ For example, it contains magnesium that releases stress, enhances the frame of mind, improves sleep, and protects the brain. In addition, it may mediate anxiety.
Potassium is also a constituent of sea moss. It changes your mood by improving brain functions. Calming and soothing effects are some other properties of potassium.
8. Sea moss may have anti-cancer effects.
A significant advantage of sea moss is its cancer-fighting properties. It contains a class of medicinal pigment known as Carotenoids (including fucoxanthin) which aids in preventing cancer. This natural element fights against cancer. In fact, it shows to end or greatly slow down the growth of cancer cells. Fucoxanthin works by stopping the motility or movement of the cancer cells, hence, preventing metastasis of cancer cells.
In the future, scientists and pharmacists may manufacture anti-cancer medications containing fucoxanthin. As for now, studies are being conducted on animals.
- This statistic shows the value of the seaweed market worldwide from 2019 to 2025. According to the report, the global seaweed market was valued at approximately 59.61 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.
- The global seaweed derivatives market was valued at 2.36 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 and is projected to reach 3.9 billion U.S. dollars by 2027.
In short, these effective health benefits of Irish sea moss prove that it should be taken (in moderation) regularly. It can work wonders but is undervalued to date. Nonetheless, consistent and extensive studies may help increase exposure to the world.
Generally, consuming two to four tbsp (tablespoon) can be considered moderate and good for health. It might be the upcoming nutraceutical or superfood. Undoubtedly, it is wholesome when it comes to its medicinal effects.
The worth of Irish sea moss is increasing in the market, which may be due to the high demands.
- Irish Moss: Health Benefits, Nutrients per Serving, Uses, Safety Information, and More (webmd.com)
- Sea Moss: The Ancient Mucus-Fighter that Still Works Today | BlackDoctor.org – Where Wellness & Culture Connect
- Sea Moss: Health Benefits, Nutrients per Serving, Preparation Information, and More (webmd.com)
- Health benefits of sea moss – Chicago Tribune Sea Moss: Benefits, Nutrition, and Preparation (healthline.com)
- Sea Moss for Mucus (Congestion) (thenutriguide.com)Potential cancer-fighting properties in seaweed – Bio Sea Health
- Irish moss: Detox and aid digestion with this new superfood (chatelaine.com)
- Carrageenan: Nutraceutical and Functional Food as Future Food – IOP science
- “Fueling the Fire” – Irish Sea-Moss Resulting in Jod -Basedow Phenomenon in a Patient With Grave’s Disease | Journal of the Endocrine Society | Oxford Academic (oup.com)
- Prebiotic effects of diet supplemented with the cultivated red seaweed Chondrus crispus or with fructooligosaccharides on host immunity, colonic microbiota, and gut microbial metabolites (nih.gov)
- Sea Moss: Benefits, Nutrition, and Preparation (healthline.com)Food Data Central (usda.gov)Algae as nutritional and functional food sources: revisiting our understanding (nih.gov)
- Immunomodulatory Effects of Dietary Seaweeds in LPS Challenged Atlantic Salmon Salmo salar as Determined by Deep RNA Sequencing of the Head Kidney Transcriptome (nih.gov)(PDF) Potassium Homeostasis, Oxidative Stress, and Human Disease (researchgate.net)
- Marine Drugs | Free Full-Text | Fucoxanthin: A Marine Carotenoid Exerting Anti-Cancer Effects by Affecting Multiple Mechanisms (mdpi.com)
- Seaweed: global market value 2019-2025 | Statista
- Seaweed derivatives market revenue worldwide 2017-2027 | Statista