Chondrus crispus, as scientifically called, is a kind of algae found in the sea over time has gained a lot of significance. Its first use dates back to the 1800s potato famine of Ireland. People were starving to death when they started eating the moss growing on the rocks.
Thus, giving the sea moss its widespread name, “Irish Moss”. If you want to know more about these red edible algae, then this article is for you!
What makes this Irish moss so distinctive?
The body of this sea moss consists of vitamins, proteins, and minerals like iodine and sulphur. If your mind says, “this must be the key to all of its success.” Then, dear, it has been carrageenan all along.
For you, if you don’t know what carrageenan is:
It is a type of polysaccharide having sulphate groups attached to it. This carrageenan is used as additive in the food industry. Why? Stay a little longer with us to get to know right away!
By the way, thanks to Kim Kardashian for raising the stakes of this moss.
Does it have any health benefits?
Sea moss benefits extensively lay its focus on human health. Mainly used as a food supplement, here we have listed down a few of its ventures.
- Sea moss as prebiotic
The Irish moss improves gut health and microbial composition. It strengthens the colon, and the digestive tract is also enhanced. So now you have better metabolism.
- The anti- inflammatory property
Sea moss serves as anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral. Yes, that is what an immunity booster does. It helps to keep our immune system healthy away from infections.
- The storehouse of iron
These edible algae have a decent amount of iron in them, among other minerals. Iron is required in our body for synthesizing RBCs to carry oxygen from the lungs to other cells. If this mechanism functions well, then guess what? You feel more energized and refreshed. Also, it helps to cure mild anemia.
- Eat to lose weight
Well, you read that right. This seaweed, consumed moderately, can healthily help in weight loss. It is a great source of iodine as well, that regulates our hormone thyroxine secreted by the thyroid gland. This hormone essentially controls our body weight. So, check the fad and not the fat.
- Acts as aphrodisiac for men
The men in the Caribbean use this sea vegetable as an aphrodisiac. It is rooted in their belief and culture that eating sea moss enhances sex and increases the chance of fertility. It is believed that it increases libido as well. However, it is not backed up by any evidence.
Hey beauty maniacs, there is something for you
Sea Moss benefits aren’t limited to health-conscious. They extend their valued applications in the beauty domain also.
- It is a vital element in various face masks that claim to give radiant skin.
- Sea moss helps to soothe and hydrate the skin.
- When applied as a hair mask, these red algae contribute to the growth of hair.
- It helps in conditioning the hair.
Sea moss, the additive
While sea moss may be consumed raw directly or as an ingredient in smoothies, it is widely used in the food industries as an additive agent. That is where carrageenan plays its role. This linear sulphated polysaccharide is used as a stabilizer.
To stabilize the products, to thicken products like ice-creams, yogurt, dairy milk, etc. It enhances the texture of these packaged items.
There’s something fishy!
Although carrageenan is the major component of the sea moss, it is never the same when consumed raw. The carrageenan that is used as an emulsifier in the industries are extracted from the body of the Irish moss, sometimes degraded. Um, That’s something we think is better avoided.
The major drawback of this otherwise super-supplement is the lack of research. And we know facts and figures are not enough. We need evidence to support it. However, the natives of the Caribbean and Ireland have been using the seaweed in their diet routinely and have acknowledged its benefits.
If you ask the experts, they suggested that controlled and measured use can be effective. Excess use can pose a threat for sure as we are still not aware of the weed’s full capabilities.
And, as the sea moss is obtained from the underwater, so the fishy smell pertains. To remove it, keep trying various combinations till it’s gone.
How do I buy it?
Sea moss comes in various forms. The raw form is a hit for people who prefer homemade materials for almost everything. The sea moss gel makes more sense to be bought by those who opt to use it basically for beauty purposes. The powder (or capsule) is the time saver always.
You can go to the nearest supermarket and grab a packet of sea moss. Or if you are amongst the laziest of all, then you know what to do, right? [Hint: It’s available at the tip of your fingers]
Tip: If you are using the raw form, that is sea moss dehydrated. So don’t forget to soak in water overnight to rehydrate it. Rehydrated sea moss is claimed to be a bit more beneficial than others.
What now, after buying? How to use it?
For those who love DIY things, we are sure you must have a packet of raw Irish moss in your hands right now, and you are finding the best way out to use it and store it.
We’ve researched a lot for you and summarised the best ways. Well, then let’s get going.
If you are already done with the first step, Then you’re ready to convert some of it to gel. How?
Simple! Just blend it in a mixer with water and refrigerate. If you want some added values to your sea moss gel, you may add your likable ingredient in the mixer and blend them all and refrigerate.
This gel can be mixed with the face pack you want to apply tonight. Or you might add a spoonful to your smoothie. If you’ve added some fruits while blending, you can use it as jam also, provided you’ve added some sugar to it.
The Jamaican Sea Moss Drink is famous, and you can surely try it.
The powder can be used the way you want to, follow the instructions on the pouch, and you are ready to use it.
Did you just ask how much raw dried moss you need to soak so that you can use it for two weeks or more?
Just a handful will do the task.
Sea moss is a great supplement for sure due to its constituents. Yet we are unsure of its evidence and are unaware of its negative implications. Considering its recently found popularity, we really cannot deny its benefits and the wonders it does to your skin and hair.
An optimum and measured use, we believe, shall show good results overall.