This posting is from 9/14/2014. Please scroll down for updated information. TY!
INCI: Chondrus Crispus or Carrageen – Irish Moss belongs to the red algae family of seaweed. What’s awesome about it is that its a natural thickener and emollient.
It is thought to help repair skin, is a demulcent and is thought to have antiviral/antibacterial properties. Its also full of minerals (like Sulfur, Manganese, Iron, Bromine, Selenium, Zinc, etc) and mucilage. Its also high in iodine.
Whipped Irish moss can get so thick, it can replace gelatin (hydrolyzed collagen) in your regular recipes. It can also be used to create a hair gel.
Internally, Irish moss is used to help the upper respiratory system, to help clear out mucous, for bronchitis, sore throat, and other issues.
TIP from mountainroseherbs.com: Don’t ingest (internally) Irish Moss on a daily basis for more than 2 weeks at a time. Its full of iodine which could cause a potential imbalance in thyroid function. There does not appear to be a limit on how often you can use it externally.
Irish Moss is best processed by soaking it in water. After washing/rinsing it, sit it in distilled or purified water overnight in the fridge.
The water (tea), can be used as an ingredient in some of your homemade concoctions. Make sure you add some type of essential or fragrance oil because it will smell like seaweed.
After soaking, whatever amount you used will at least double in size. Take the actual herb (the actual seaweed) and put it in a blender to get it as smooth as possible. Let that gel sit (I put mine in the fridge) and it will get super super super thick like gelatin.
That final Irish Moss gel can be used as one of the base ingredients for almost anything you want to make.
Add oils and fragrance to make a gel. Add it as part of your water phase when making a conditioner. Add it to your already existing homemade honey hair gel to thicken it up.
And yes, you can use it on your skin as well. According to reports, it helps to retain moisture and helps support healthy skin. It aids in calming rashes, eczema and psoriasis. Add it to your homemade lotions, or store bought lotions to give it a kick.
HOW TO TELL GOOD SEA MOSS FROM NOT SO GOOD:
There are a few things you should know when looking to purchase real sea moss. Some producers of sea moss grow sea moss in salt pools which changes its composition drastically.
Producers of sea moss also grow it in sea moss farms in the ocean. This doesn’t change its composition as drastically, but it still is not grown under totally normal conditions.
Natural sea moss is thinner and has less salt than the processed pool sea moss. You can see difference in size and color in the picture above.
It is better to buy wildcrafted sea moss, it is naturally grown and harvested in an eco-friendly way. Wildcrafting sea moss means harvested directly from its natural habitat, therefore it bypasses human intervention.
Ideally, harvesters only take parts of the sea moss plant, so the plant can regrow and support its ecosystem.
Wildcrafted sea moss is a better option than “organic” sea moss. You can grow organic sea moss in salt pools, so organic doesn’t necessarily make it better.
In comparison to pool made sea moss, wildcrafted sea moss retains its natural color and will be thinner and less salty than pool made sea moss.
Pool Grown Processed Sea Moss
Dr. Sebi spoke about how growing sea moss in brine pools. He said it changes the composition of the sea moss and negatively affects it nutrient content.
Producers take sea moss from the ocean and grow it in pool farms. The farms try to replicate the properties of the ocean by supplying constant back and forth motion of the ocean, but they can’t totally replicate all of he ocean’s properties.
Sea moss develops in a specific way through its interaction with all the properties of the ocean it grows in.
The environment includes the nutrients the sea moss absorbs from the rocks it grows on, air, sunshine, the amount of salt and other nutrients in the water, the movement of the water, and other natural factors.
Producers grown sea moss successfully in pools filled with very salty moving water, but the environment doesn’t totally replicate its natural environment.
This results in the sea moss growing very quickly. It also grows to nearly three times the thickness of naturally grown or wildcrafted sea moss.
Pool grown salt also contains much more salt on it, and is less nutrient dense.
The nutrient makeup of the pool grown sea moss doesn’t turn out to be the same as wildcrafted sea moss, and it develops with much more mucilage than the wildcrafted sea moss.
Sea Moss Grown In Ocean Farms
Sea moss producers also grow sea moss in sea farms to make harvesting easier. Though the sea moss grows in the ocean it doesn’t grow in exactly the same way as wildcrafted sea moss does because it grows from ropes instead of rocks.
The sea farmed sea moss does grow to more closely resemble the wildcrafted sea moss, but in composition it isn’t the same.
Wildcrafted sea moss offers nutrients in the ratio nature intended, and therefore has more chemical affinity within the body.
Comparison Between Wild Crafted Sea Moss And Pool Grown Sea Moss
Many people break down the sea moss by boiling it to make it a gel. This breaks down the cell walls and allows more of the nutrients to become bioavailable, or digestible by the body.
I use a high speed blender to blend the sea moss which achieves the same thing. This comparison uses 56 grams of dry wildcrafted and pool made sea moss, which is then soaked and blended.
The pool grown sea moss is much denser and takes up less volume than the wildcrafted sea moss. The pool grown sea moss contains much more salt from being grown in brine water, and it is much lighter.
It is lighter because of the way it is grown, and because the popular practice of drying sea moss in the sun to remove its color is often applied.
Some people use a 1 to 1 ratio, which results is in thick gelatin like substance when refrigerated. It is used as a thickening agent.
I add sea moss to my vegetable juices and fruit smoothies, but I also like to drink it by itself and need to use more water to keep it as a gel water instead of a gelatin substance.
Sea Moss – Irish Moss Benefits
Sea moss is a nutrient dense seaweed and excellent source of minerals. It contains bromine, calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium.
The mucilage properties of sea moss is excellent in strengthening connective tissues and supporting joint health. Its mucilage properties also help to sooth the mucous membrane throughout the body, and supports skin health.
2. The Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Algae-Derived Lipid Extracts on Lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-Stimulated Human THP-1 Macrophages.
3. Neuroprotective effects of the cultivated Chondrus crispus
4. Chlorophyta and Rhodophyta macroalgae: a source of health promoting phytochemicals.