Hype aside, are there real, legitimate benefits of Irish sea moss when it comes to supplementing your nutrition? Like, what are some of the actual things you’re going to see happen that you can point to and say, “Oh, this happened because I started consuming sea moss!”?
Like most health-conscious people, you’ve probably explored your fair share of foods, drinks, herbs, and supplements.
Each is touted to deliver specific benefits, often sounding too good to be true. As the saying goes, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
But every once in a while, a product or food comes around and takes the health world by storm. These products deliver all of the promised benefits and then some.
One such example in recent times is Irish sea moss. Though it may seem like any generic product that only looks good on paper, it has a profound positive impact on the human body and provides a variety of advantages.
Today’s article will explore the most prominent Irish sea moss benefits, how the algae works inside the body, and why you should consider it for good health and vitality.
What Are The Health Benefits of Irish Sea Moss?
Irish sea moss, also known as sea moss or Irish moss, is a red algae that grows in rocky areas along the Atlantic Ocean coasts. Depending on the type of sea moss in question, sea moss grows in different parts of the world, and each has different properties, depending on where its grown.
Chondrus crispus – grown in the British Isles – contains small and spiky, often resembling lettuce or cabbage leaves. While Gracilaria, which grows in different spots around the world, looks more like noodles than leaves.
Despite only recently gaining popularity among health-conscious people, Chondrus Crispus and Gracilaria are two edible seaweeds that have been used by people for millennia.
According to some findings, sea moss has been part of Chinese medicine for roughly 2,500 years. It has also been a popular food across the British Isles for over 2,300 years.
More recently, sea moss has been an essential source of calories and nutrients in Ireland during the Great Famine that plagued the region from 1845 to 1852. Interestingly, sea moss grew in popularity so much during these years that Irish immigrants later developed seaweed farms in the US.
In addition to the dietary advantages, there are numerous health benefits of Irish sea moss consumption, which we will examine more in-depth below. Among these, we will look at the immunity, hair, and skincare benefits of Irish sea moss.
What Does Sea Moss Do To The Body?
Despite the long list of potential benefits, it’s important to note that sea moss is food, not medicine. It is basically a sea vegetable, such as seaweed, that comes in a pack, and you can pick it up at your grocery store. As such, it cannot replace the regular treatment of various diseases and conditions.
Put simply, sea moss is an excellent source of various nutrients that support bodily processes and allow the body to operate at peak efficiency. However, it does not have the same effects as many medications.
For instance, some data suggests that sea moss can contribute to healthy cholesterol levels, potentially leading to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. But that doesn’t mean sea moss can treat existing heart problems.
Irish Sea Moss Skin Benefits
There are several skin benefits of Irish moss.
First, data suggests that red algae are a rich source of polysaccharides called carrageenans. These act as thickening agents and provide skin benefits when applied topically (e.g., in the form of a skin cream). Sea moss can provide a protective layer over the skin and is often added to moisturizer formulas and serums.
Second, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, you can use sea moss to protect and prevent dry skin. It is rich in zinc and sulfur, protecting skin cells from free radical damage and providing photoprotection against harmful UVB rays.
The third benefit of skin care with Irish moss relates to oil production. As mentioned, red algae are rich in sulfur, which can limit sebum production and reduce the risk of oily skin.
Irish Sea Moss Hair Benefits
There are numerous advantages of hair care with Irish moss. Most notably and as discussed in the previous point, sea moss is beneficial for skin health, which includes the scalp. Topical sea moss application can provide a protective layer that moisturizes the skin and prevents UVB rays from causing damage.
In addition, the sulfur found in Irish moss can reduce sebum production, offering an effective remedy against oily hair.
Other hair benefits of Irish moss include stronger and thicker hair. Eating sea moss can strengthen your hair and promote growth because it is a rich source of essential nutrients, such as vitamins B6 and B12.
For instance, vitamin B6 is necessary for optimizing oxygenated blood flow to hair follicles to promote growth. Similarly, vitamin B12 can stimulate red blood cell formation and prevent your hair from becoming dry and brittle.
One of the best ways to use sea moss for your hair is in the form of a gel or conditioner. You can make a hair mask, keep it for 30 minutes, and wash it off. Alternatively, add up to 10 grams of sea moss to smoothie recipes. Clean it thoroughly and soak it for at least 24 hours before eating or drinking.
Now that we’ve covered some Irish moss benefits for hair, let’s discuss another crucial point.
Irish Sea Moss And Immunity Benefits
Your body’s immune system works non-stop to protect you from external invaders that want to make your body their home.
Some effective tactics for strengthening your body’s defense include getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and engaging in regular exercise.
The good news is that you can also use Irish moss for immunity. Sea moss is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support bodily functions and strengthen your body’s defenses against pathogens.
In one study from 2013, researchers reported that Irish moss possesses anti-tumor and anti-viral properties. The red algae species can enhance the immune response through several distinct pathways.
Some research also suggests that Irish moss can influence gut microbiota and improve microorganism diversity. Such effects can further enhance the immune response, given that 70 percent of immune system cells live in the gut.
Conclusion: The Best Way to Use Irish Sea Moss for Overall Good Health
There are numerous sea moss uses. The red alga is undoubtedly worth considering whether you add it to certain snacks and recipes, such as smoothies, or apply it topically in a gel form.
Sea moss has a rich nutritional profile and unique properties that make it beneficial on several fronts, including for skin, hair, and immune system health.