What is sea moss?
Irish sea moss, also known as Chondrus crispus, is an edible seaweed that grows naturally in Ireland and along the Northern Atlantic. Its distinct nutrient content makes it unique from other types of seaweed.
During the Great Famine in Ireland, it was the nutrient source that kept the Irish alive. Most could only afford to grow their own potatoes and relied on their local seaweed for their essential vitamins and minerals.
Today its primary culinary use is as a thickening agent, vegan emulsifier, or nutritional supplement. With high percentages of vegans being iodine and iron-deficient, sea moss pills and liquid extracts are an excellent source of both nutrients. Even if you aren’t vegan, sea moss serves as a multivitamin of sorts.
While the wellness benefits of this specific seaweed have not been widely studied, its nutrients can support your body in a variety of ways.
If you want to know more about the benefits of sea moss, watch this new video on our YouTube channel!
The Holistic Benefits of Irish Sea Moss
What is sea moss good for?
- Optimal thyroid function
- Respiratory function
- Prevention of cold, viruses, and the flu
- Boosting your immunity
- Balancing gut microbes
- Blood glucose regulation
- Nervous system function
- And more!
According to the American Thyroid Association, iron deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when your thyroid gland produces too many hormones.
Hypothyroidism can lead to symptoms such as:
- Unintended weight loss
- Irregular heartbeat
- Rapid heart rate
- Muscle weakness
- Frequent bowel movements
- Thin, rough, and brittle skin
- And more
Iodine and the amino acid tyrosine are 2 of the 92 nutrients in sea moss. Most Americans get their iodine from dairy products. With the rise in lactose intolerance, veganism, and flexitarian diets—up to 80% of those who don’t drink dairy are iodine deficient.
Adding sea moss to your supplement mix may improve thyroid function by ensuring that you have an optimal amount of iodine and tyrosine.
Are there any side effects of consuming seaweed?
One of the concerns of eating seaweed of any kind on a regular basis is its heavy metal content. Heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, zinc, copper, mercury, barium, and arsenic can be present in ocean water, plant life, and sea life. This is why we advise our customers to ensure that they purchase their sea moss from a company that performs heavy metal testing.
Rest assured that Herbmama tests all of our Seaweed Supplements (moss and bladderwrack) for heavy metals.
Lung and Respiratory Support
Looking for a proactive or reactive approach to respiratory wellness? Consider using Irish sea moss for lungs, colds, asthma, and respiratory infections.
The iron and potassium chloride within may prevent coughs, minimize the severity of coughs, and accelerate the healing process.
Potassium chloride is a nutrient that thins and dissolves phlegm and minimizes inflammation in a manner that can decrease congestion in the lungs.
Low iron levels increase oxidative stress in the lungs (1). You inhale environmental toxins in every breath you take. From polluted air, allergens, cleaning chemicals, and more. These toxins can decrease immunity and compromise lung health. There are a variety of ways to cleanse these toxins, including deep breathing exercises and adding more antioxidant-rich foods to your diet.
Most of our iron comes from meat, so iron deficiency (iron-deficient anemia) is more common in vegans and vegetarians. Liquid or tablet iron supplements are also difficult to absorb, so a food source is ideal.
Studies (2) find that:
- 60% of vegetarians/vegans are mildly anemic, and 40% are moderately anemic.
- 47% of non-vegetarians/vegans are mildly anemic and 7% are moderately anemic.
Irish sea moss health benefits include the potential for fighting viruses and bacteria. It contains a type of soluble fiber called carrageenan. Carrageenan is also what makes this strain of seaweed a culinary emulsifier. Emulsifiers have a binding ability that keeps food ingredients from separating. Even ingredients that typically separate, such as oil and water.
Seaweed emulsifiers have a mild flavor profile that doesn’t disrupt recipes. They are added to margarine, marinades, salad dressings, ice cream, shortening, and more.
Carrageenan also stimulates the body’s natural antiviral abilities. When a virus or bacteria enter your system, they populate through a process referred to as quorum sensing (3).
What is quorum sensing?
Quorum sensing enables a virus or bacteria to spread rapidly. It allows viruses and bacteria to communicate by sending genetic signals on how to resist your immune response. Carrageenan may inhibit quorum sensing, which can accelerate recovery from the cold and flu, herpes, and more.
The wide range of nutrients in sea moss also boosts your overall immune response and internal inflammation, which may reduce your symptoms.
Your digestive tract contains at least a trillion bacteria. Keeping bacteria in perfect balance is essential for gut health. This is why probiotics are so popular, as they introduce “good” bacteria to your digestive tract. While probiotics are essential, it is also important to prioritize prebiotics. Prebiotics feed good bacteria.
Irish sea moss contains the prebiotic soluble fiber mucilage (4). One of the things that make soluble fibers unique is that they don’t break down before entering the lower intestine. They also coat the stomach and intestinal tract, which may optimize nutrient absorption and minimize stomach inflammation, intestinal inflammation, IBS, and colitis.
When your gut is inflamed you can experience abdominal discomfort and you may not absorb as many of the nutrients in the food you eat.
Other foods, plants, and herbs that balance gut microbes include:
- Chia seeds
- Aloe vera
- Slippery elm
- Licorice root
- Marshmallow root
Even if you don’t have any digestive conditions or digestive discomfort, you can add Irish sea moss to your supplement mix for a proactive approach. Or use it while recovering from illness and to rebalance gut microbe after taking antibiotics.
Blood Sugar Balance
There are multiple compounds in organic sea moss that may provide glucose management (5), including fucoxanthin and carotenoid. Fucoxanthin and carotenoid can aid in insulin resistance and blood sugar control.
The antioxidant fucoxanthin activates enzymes that are responsible for the way starch and sugar break down in your digestive tract. These enzymes are long-lasting in your gut and blood.
Seaweed compounds also activate inflammation markers that may stimulate insulin resistance.
Why does this matter?
The soluble fibers in Irish moss slow down digestion in a positive way. When digestion is too fast, too much sugar can enter your system at the same time, causing your blood sugar levels to spike.
Another benefit of slower digestion is that you are likely to feel fuller longer, providing you with a mild appetite suppressant.
Even if you aren’t diabetic or pre-diabetic, seaweed can be part of your proactive approach to managing blood glucose levels.
Nervous System Support
Irish sea moss is an excellent source of magnesium. This is significant because between 60 and 80 percent of the US population isn’t consuming enough magnesium (6). They are either deficient or near-deficient. This is concerning as magnesium is a contributing nutrient for over 300 enzymatic functions.
One of the primary systems magnesium supports is the nervous system. It plays an essential role in nerve transmission, neuromuscular conduction, and protecting against the neurodegeneration (cell death) that is common in neurological disorders (7).
This means that taking sea moss for inflammation of any kind supports your muscles, joints, nerves, and brain.
We discuss the neurological benefits further in our YouTube video about Irish sea moss.
Even if you don’t have any of the risk factors above, you can take sea moss for health and energy. With its 92 essential nutrients, it supports your personalized wellness routine. It will help with recovery when you are internally off balance by minimizing the effects of your symptoms and aiding in recovery. Sea moss is particularly beneficial for vegans and vegetarians as it delivers the iron and iodine that many are deficient in.
Whether you are looking to implement healthy lifestyle changes or optimize your existing wellness routine—sea moss has you covered!
Wondering where to buy Irish Sea Moss? Look no further than Herbmama! You can buy our Irish Sea Moss Capsules or Liquid Extract Online. For maximum benefit, our capsules are infused with bladderwrack seaweed. All orders are shipped within 48 hours so that you can begin or continue your wellness journey without delay. Order now!