What is Irish Moss?
Irish Moss is also known as Carrageen Moss. It is a species of red algae or red seaweed, which grows along the rocky parts of the Atlantic coast of North America and Europe. Its color varies from greenish-yellow to red to a dark purple. It is a small alga with a length of 20 cm.
Use of Irish Moss In History:
Irish Moss was used as poverty food by the Irish in the 19th century, especially during the Irish Potato Famine. As a result, Irish Moss wasn’t considered as a desirable food item until much later. People associated Irish Moss with poverty and hardships of the time.
Ancient Irish Folklore suggests that Irish Moss was placed under mattresses to increase luck. It also suggests that Irish Moss ensured a steady flow of money into the family.
Types of Irish Moss:
The most commonly used type of Irish Moss is Chondrus Crispus but there are a few other types of Irish Moss too. They are:
- Mastocarpus stellatus: A less common seaweed.
- Sagina subulata: A terrestrial plant with leaves like needles.
- Soleirolia soleirolii: A terrestrial plant with round leaves.
- Arenaria verna: A terrestrial plant in the genus Arenaria.
- Gracilaria: A species of red seaweed.
In terms of consumption, Irish Moss can be divided into the following types:
- Whole Dried Seaweed: Untreated in any way; completely natural.
- Dried Flake Pieces: Higher nutritive properties.
- Powdered Seaweed: Easy to consume.
- Fresh Irish Moss: Fresh out of the water.
Uses of Irish Moss Today:
Irish Moss is usually used as a stabilizer and thickener in milk products, like Ice Cream. Irish Moss is also used for fining beer or wine. Irish Moss is also used in Asia for gelatin-like desserts like Almond Jelly.
In Scotland and Ireland, it is boiled with milk and strained. It is then mixed with sugar and added flavors to make a jelly-like dessert. Similarly, it is boiled with milk and cinnamon in Jamaica, and the drink is called Irish Moss. It is believed that this drink is an aphrodisiac.
It has also been used as a home remedy for a sore throat and congestion in Venezuela.
Nutrition in Irish Moss:
Irish Moss consists of nearly 10% Protein and around 15% of the mineral content. It is believed that it contains 15 of the 18 elements that make up the human body.
Minerals in Irish Moss
Irish Moss is highly mineral rich and contains a high amount of Magnesium. Magnesium helps our body to absorb calcium more effectively, which helps in strengthening our bones.
Irish Moss is also rich in Iron. Iron helps build the hemoglobin in our red blood cells, which carry oxygen to our cells.
Irish Moss also contains a good amount of Iodine. Iodine helps for proper Thyroid function.
Vitamins in Irish Moss
Irish Moss is also a good source of the B Vitamins. It contains a good amount of Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B9. Vitamin B2 helps break down fats and carbohydrates. Vitamin B9 helps make DNA and other genetic materials.
Proteins & Amino Acids in Irish Moss
Irish Moss is also a good source of Proteins. 15% of its content is Protein. Irish Moss contains Proteins and Amino acids like Tryptophan, Lysine, Tyrosine, Proline, and Methionine.
Fibers in Irish Moss
Irish Moss is also rich in Carbohydrates. It contains good amounts of Dietary Fibres, Starch, and Sugars like Sucrose, Lactose, Fructose, and Maltose.
Fats and Fatty Acids in Irish Moss
Irish Moss contains very low amounts of Fats. But, it is a good source of Fatty Acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6.
Benefits of Irish Moss:
Irish Moss consists of nearly 10% Protein and around 15% of the mineral content. Irish Moss is highly nutritious. It is believed that it contains 15 of the 18 elements that make up the human body. Followings are the health benefits of Irish Moss.
Irish moss protects our heart:
In 2013, a scientific study confirmed that Irish Moss and some other blue-green algae can protect us against cardiovascular disease. The study showed that regular intake of algae improves blood lipid profiles and also prevents inflammation.
Irish moss lowers cholesterol:
The algae within Irish Moss has natural cholesterol-lowering properties. Irish Moss contains a high amount of phytosterols. Phytosterols assist in lowering the absorption of intestinal cholesterol.
Irish moss reduces pain and inflammation:
Irish Moss is rich in chlorophyll and Omega-3 fatty acids and other non-inflammatory compounds. Irish Moss contains a high protein content, which is a great source of active peptides.
Irish moss supports mental health:
Irish Moss contains an ample amount of Potassium. Therefore, adding the seaweed to any diet can relieve many symptoms of anger, irritability, depression and anxiety disorders.
Irish moss helps with thyroid problems:
Irish Moss is rich in Iodine and Selenium. Both of these compounds help in the production of Hormones. Thus, Irish Moss helps avoid a lot of Thyroid related problems.
Irish moss blocks the transmission of HPV:
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. The red algae in Irish Moss produces a gelling agent called carrageenan.
Recent studies have proved that this agent is able to block the transmission of HPV.
Irish moss helps with respiratory problems:
Irish Moss is very helpful for sore throats, coughs, and relieving congestion. It is also used as an anti-inflammatory and lung tonic for pneumonia and bronchitis.
Irish moss nourishes the skin:
Its high sulfur content and gel-like qualities make it a useful addition to a lot of cosmetic products. Homemade Irish Moss gel can be used as a face pack to nourish the skin.
It can also be consumed internally to benefit the skin.
Irish moss strengthens joints and tissues:
Irish Moss helps accelerate recovery from injuries and strengthens tissues and muscles. It also helps reduce swelling and acts as an anti-inflammatory for knee and joint injuries.
Irish moss helps with weight loss:
Irish Moss can be consumed as an alternative to nuts, fats, and carbohydrates. Irish Moss provides a feeling of fullness that helps you control your urge to eat. It also boosts energy, which could prove helpful for those participating in physical workouts to lose weight.
Irish Moss Supplements:
Not sure which supplements you should try? Check these out, maybe you’ll find what you’re looking for!
Fresh Whole Leaf Irish Moss
- Irish Moss is Vegan!
- It’s loaded with Vitamins and Minerals.
- It’s raw and sun-dried.
(Dr. Sebi) Irish Moss and Bladderwrack Gel Mix:
- Contains 92 Minerals.
- Contains a host of Vitamins.
- Easy to consume.
Irish Moss Powder:
- It’s organic.
- It’s 100% pure seaweed.
- Contains 15 essential elements.
Irish Moss Drink & its Benefits:
Irish Moss drinks are prepared and consumed the most in Jamaica, This Irish moss drink is made by boiling Irish Moss with milk and adding cinnamon and vanilla flavoring. Here are a few of the Irish moss drinks below.
IRISH MOSS VANILLA DRINK
JAMAICAN IRISH MOSS PEANUT DRINK
Irish moss drink benefits:
- Softens and protects the skin.
- Combats peptic and duodenal ulcers.
- Helps with tumors, obesity, congestion and blood disorders.
- Repairs and Hydrates skin.
- Helps with recovery from diseases like Tuberculosis and Pneumonia.
Irish Moss Smoothie
In case, you want to make Irish Moss smoothie at home. It is an easy process. First, you need the Irish Moss, you can buy Irish moss from any local supermarket or from online (Amazon, eBay, Walmart). You have two options when it comes to buying Irish moss, either you can the organic Irish moss or the regular Irish moss.
Now, you got to prepare the Irish Moss. Soak it, rinse it, now, blend it with your favorite fresh fruits, dry fruits, chocolates, coconut milk, and whatever else you want to blend with, it is totally up to your imagination and creativity.
Irish Moss Smoothie Infused with Mango
Irish Moss Gel and its Uses:
Irish Moss is also available in the gel form. Irish Moss gel can be used in a variety of ways, both for consumption and health care.
Uses of Irish Moss Gel:
- Can be used as a welcome addition to a Smoothie.
- Can be used as a face mask.
- Can be added to Herbal Tea.
- Can be used for hair care.
Irish Moss Powder:
Irish Moss is also available in powder form! This way, you can easily add it to your food.
Benefits of Using Powder Form:
- Can be easily added to food.
- Easy to store.
- No fussing required.
- No preparation required.
Here are some good powder choices for you:
Starwest Botanicals – Organic Irish Moss Powder
Irish Moss Powder (Raw, Wildcrafted)
Wildcrafted – Whole Irish Moss
Where To Buy Irish Moss?
The best place you can look for Irish Moss is probably the internet. You can find Irish Moss in whichever form you prefer, with just a few taps of the finger.
Personally, I’d recommend you to order through Amazon (amazon.com). It’s very easy to find, and most of the times, you can find great deals too!
Side Effects Of Irish Moss:
People taking medications for high blood pressure may experience some negative side effects after using Irish Moss. These side effects may include dizziness, lightheadedness, and syncope.
Irish Moss acts as a thinning agent, therefore people taking anticoagulant medications should avoid it.
Other Possible Side Effects:
Other side effects that may occur are bleeding, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and hypotension.
Irish Moss Warning:
- Nursing or pregnant females should not eat Irish Moss.
- Irish Moss should not be given to Infants, because it is capable of suppressing the immune system.
- People with low blood pressure should speak to their doctors before using Irish Moss.
Thus, Irish Moss is beneficial for those fit to take it, and yet, dangerous for some.