Irish Moss and its benefits

Since diagnosed with Endometriosis ( a condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain, especially associated with menstruation), I am doing some research to calm the pain and try to remove the lesions without getting a surgery and I found that eating foods which are good for resolving blood stasis will help me. It includes kelp, vinegar, lemons, limes, onions, Irish moss and bladder wrack (the last two are seaweeds). Being in Jamaica, Irish moss is quite inexpensive and easy to find, so I decided to include it in my diet. Irish Moss has many benefits also.

 

A little history:

The Irish Moss is a seaweed that was original found near Ireland hence the name. The Irish consumed Irish moss during the famine of the 19th century in Ireland.

Irish moss or Chondrus crispus is a type of red algae harvested from the Atlantic coastline of North America, Great Britain, Iceland, and, as the name suggests, Ireland. The seaweed also grows on rocks in Jamaica. Irish migrants to Jamaica brought the tradition of the Irish Moss to Jamaica. ​

irish moss algae

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<==Red Algae

My cooked Irish moss ==>

 

Irish moss is usually harvested in the summer and then dried for
herbal.

The principal constituent is a mucilaginous body, made of the polysaccharide carrageenan, which constitutes 55% of its weight. The organism also consists of nearly 10% protein and about 15% mineral matter, and is rich in iodine and sulfur. When softened in water it has a sea-like odor and because of the abundant cell wall polysaccharides it will form a jelly when boiled, containing from 20 to 100 times its weight of water.

Irish moss is so rich in a certain polysaccharide called carrageenan, it is widely used as a thickening agent, stabilizer and lubricant in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

Gelatin is a very common binder in a variety of foods, however, it isn’t vegetarian/vegan friendly as it comes from the collagen within animal bones and skin. As a substitute, Irish moss is used as a vegan gelatin agent.

Instead of the animal based gelatin, the carrageenan extract from the seaweed is used in vegetarian packaged and frozen foods, milk, ice cream, and yogurt.

It’s not only used for food, it is a common ingredient in organic/vegan/cruelty-free makeup, toothpastes, lotion, and shampoos.

 

How do I prepare the Irish Moss that can be added to my meals?

Popularized in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries, the Irish moss drink is a beverage made from boiling the alga for an hour while adding flavorings, sweetened condensed milk, rum and spices. It is believed to be an aphrodisiac.

I don’t prepare it as a beverage but I keep it full in the fridge once it is done:

  1. Wash the Irish Moss to remove sand and other matter.
  2. Place the Irish Moss in a pot and bring to a boil. ( at least 1 hour)
  3. Add gum arabic (or acacia gum) , isinglass (kind of gelatin)
  4. Boil for another 10 min
  5. Drain it and let it get cold before putting the Irish Moss in the fridge.

I use at least 1 spoon for each meal. It can be blended in a smoothie, or in a soup, or I even put it in my food. I find that it has no taste.

 

Its Benefits

Irish Moss is being used to thicken smoothies and milks, and even in custardy desserts; but it has also multiple health benefits:

  • The Iodine, more concentrated in sea moss than any other food  is a serious fuel for the Thyroid. Selenium is also present in abundance and is a necessary factor in thyroid hormone production.The thyroid relies on regular iodine intake in order to convert the iodine into hormones.
  •  Potassium is very important to our body to support our mental/emotional health. Adding high-potassium foods like Sea Moss to the diet can significantly improve behavior and mental functioning (especially for ADD children!). High potassium foods can relieve many symptoms of anger, irritability, anxiety disorders, depression, and fibromyalgia.
  • Irish Moss also contains Algin. This phytonutrient has therapeutic value as a heavy metal detoxifying agent which means that it helps pull heavy metals out of the tissues of our bodies. Additionally, Sea Moss is a healing agent to all mucous membranes (great for external skin health and internal digestive tract health) and has a mild laxative effect.
  • Irish Moss is great to support our Immune system, it helps relieve and prevent symptoms of colds and flus. Irish moss is a source of potassium chloride, a nutrient which helps to dissolve the inflammation and phlegm in the mucous membranes, which cause congestion. It also contains compounds which act as natural antimicrobial and antiviral agents, helping to get rid of any infections.

 

 

DISCLAIMER:

I am not a physician or qualified medical professional. The information in this article, including my comments below, are for reference only and are not meant to take the place of medical advice you receive from your doctor. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

 

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