Irish Sea Moss is a type of edible seaweed that grows among submerged rocks off the northern Atlantic Coast. Although referred to as a “moss”, it is in fact a seaweed popular for its nutritional and medicinal properties. It is recommended by many herbalists and functional medicine experts, including the great herbalists Dr. Sebi. Its potential health benefits has given sea moss the status of a functional food, in line with other sea algae like spirulina.
Irish sea moss's medicinal properties are attributed to its rich nutrients. It is rich in polysaccharides, proteins, amino acids, peptides, lipids and pigments. In fact researchers suggest that in comparison to cultivated vegetables, edible sea moss are potentially good sources of non-starch polysaccharides, minerals, trace elements and certain vitamins.
Here's a closer look at some of the health benefits of Irish moss:
Nutrient-rich profile: Sea moss is often used as a nutritional booster to fill deficiencies in the diet. The fact that sea moss was consumed during the Irish famine stands as a testimony to its value as a health food. Irish sea moss is rich in aminoacids, proteins and peptides. It is also a treasure trove of trace minerals providing 92 of the 102 trace minerals. About two tablespoon (10 grams) of Irish sea moss provides 4.7 mg of omega-3 fat, a type of essential fat that is crucial to keep brain, and nervous system healthy (2).
It is a prebiotic: Irish sea moss can improve your gut health because it is a prebiotic. Prebiotics are plant fibers that promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Preliminary studies found that Irish moss influences the composition of good bacteria and promote gut health and immune modulation in rats after supplementation.
May boost brain health: Irish sea moss has the ability to alleviate oxidative stress, this may help boost neurological health. In preclinical studies using Irish moss researchers found evidence on its protective effects on the nerves. Researchers suggested that Irish moss has a potential as a promising drug for neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s disease.
Good for your immune system: Irish sea moss could also be your immune system's best friend. A research from Applied and Environmental Microbiology suggested that red seaweed (Irish moss may enhance host immunity and effectively fight bacteria, fungi and other pathogens by boosting immune activity. Although this was a laboratory study, researchers concluded the results show a positive suggestion on the immune and health-promoting role of Irish sea moss.
Besides, these evidence-based benefits of Irish sea moss, herbalists also use it to boost skin health. Irish sea moss often finds use in skin care products and in topical applicants. Its rich nutrients, particularly omega-3 fats, magnesium, vitamin A and its powerful antioxidant components contribute to enhanced skin health. Although there has never been a study on Irish sea moss's beneficial effect on skin, its mineral-rich profile shows promise in anti-aging niche. Naturalist and herbalist encourage the use of Irish moss as a face mask to hydrate and soothe skin due to its antioxidant and nutrient-rich profile.