Irish moss, also known as carrageen, has a lot of health benefits that were long known to the natives of Ireland. In Ireland and parts of Scotland, Irish moss is boiled in milk and strained, before sugar and other flavorings like vanilla, cinnamon, brandy, or whiskey are added.
Irish moss contains almost 92 minerals. It provides a wealth of nutrients including protein, beta-carotene, B vitamins, pectin, Vitamin C and sulfur. It also provides taurine, an element that provides energy. Irish moss has significantly more nutrients than any other seaweed. Irish moss is thus an excellent immune system boosting food, that can help the body fight debilitating illnesses.
Irish Moss Benefits
There are many Irish moss benefits that could help you lead a healthy life.
1. Thyroid Health
One of the most important benefits of sea moss is that it balances out thyroid hormones. Irish moss contains the vital thyroid hormone precursor DI-Iodothyronine (DIT) and the thyroid hormones Thyroxin (T4) and Tri-Iodothyronine (T3).
It can be ingested if the thyroid in a person does not produce these hormones as it should. Irish moss also happens to have a high concentration of iodine. You cannot make thyroid hormones without sufficient iodine(1)
2. Respiratory Health
Irish moss is a good source of potassium chloride. It dissolves catarrh and phlegm and soothes inflammation of the mucous membrane. Irish moss may also clear congestion that builds up as a result of a common cold. Irish moss has expectorant qualities, due to which it may be able to prevent a common cold from turning into full-blown pneumonia.
Irish moss may also be helpful in treating other respiratory conditions like bronchitis. With its powerful antiviral properties, it may help prevent or treat a myriad number of disorders, like flu, a sore throat, chest coughs, and more.
3. Provides Digestive Support
Since it is high in fiber(2), Irish moss exerts a mild laxative effect. It also soothes inflamed tissues within the intestinal tract, thus providing relief from a whole lot of gastrointestinal disorders.
Its nutritional properties facilitate healthy digestion and soothe the membranes of the digestive tract. Its gelatin-like nature also helps ease gastritis, dyspepsia, heartburn, nausea, and indigestion.
4. Aids in Weight Loss
The fiber content in Irish moss seaweed may help reduce appetite due to its ability to absorb moisture, increase its volume, and fill the intestine, thus increasing the feeling of having eaten(3).
The gentle laxative effect of Irish moss may promote the elimination of waste through the gastrointestinal tract. The iodine content in Irish Moss boosts metabolism, which in turn increases energy and can help accelerate weight loss.
Irish Moss has many benefits for the skin. It has been thought to work for dry skin, and for various skin conditions ranging from eczema to psoriasis, which is why it is a vital ingredient in many lotions and moisturizers.
Irish Moss is also full of collagen. Hence it is a great support to healthy hair, skin, and nails. In some people, the consumption of Irish Moss in steady quantities may even stimulate the re-growth of hair.
[ Read: Sea Moss Benefits ]
How to Make Irish Moss?
Irish moss may be consumed in a number of ways. You may create an Irish Moss drink, with the seaweed. There are many Irish Moss recipes that are tasty and can whet your appetite. You can crush the Irish moss seeds and consume them with water. Alternatively, you can add Irish moss to puddings, beverages, and desserts, to increase thickening.
Myths and Side Effects
Naturally, with so many benefits, there are also some myths associated with consuming Irish Moss. One major myth is that the consumption of Irish moss drink causes stomach cramps. Well, that is only the case if you have pre-existing stomach ulcers, in which case it would be wise for you to stay away from consuming seaweed altogether.
Moreover, nothing comes without side effects. Even Irish Moss can affect certain people under certain conditions.
- Irish Moss is an anticoagulant and may present some complications if you are on an existing medical prescription of blood thinners.
- Irish Moss may have a mild laxative effect, and you may feel the urge of using the bathroom a little more frequently. If you have diarrhea, it may aggravate the condition.
- People that use Irish Moss while taking antihypertensives, may also experience some negative side effects. This may include dizziness, a feeling of being lightheaded, and syncope, which is nothing but a momentary loss of consciousness and posture.
Thus, taking all things into perspective, Irish Sea Moss is good for you, if consumed in the right quantity. Full of nutritional value, it may help combat various health ailments like varicose veins, cough, etc.
A natural source of iron, Irish Moss helps build healthier blood cells. It also has polysaccharides, that have been found to help strengthen the immune system. They have also been found to assist with the reduction of tumor growth and autoimmune diseases.
Hence, it can be a great addition to your diet, by bringing in plenty of additional nutrients and minerals for almost no side effects.
[ Read: Health Benefits of Rhubarb ]
1. What’s the best way to consume Irish Moss?
Eat it, turn it into liquid and drink it, or add it to dessert. There’s no correct way of consuming seaweed. It’s all up to you, how you imbibe it, so be imaginative and dish out a treat.
2. Can Irish Moss cure baldness?
Since Irish Moss is full of collagen, it may promote the re-growth of hair in people suffering from pattern baldness.