Neither strictly Irish nor a true moss, raw Irish Sea moss is a seaweed that grows on the coastlines of North America and Europe. Used as either a foodstuff or an alternative medicine, Irish Sea moss has many nutritional properties and effectively treats many skin and internal ailments. Long used in Jamaican cooking, raw Irish Sea moss is finding its place as a superfood all over the world.
Source of Vitamin and Minerals
Raw Irish Sea moss is full of vitamins and minerals, giving it superfood status. It is a good source of protein, as well as vitamins A, B, C, D and K. It also contains high levels of sulphur and iodine. The high iodine content makes Irish Sea moss effective in the treatment of thyroid disorders. Irish Sea moss also contains antioxidants, which minimise the growth of free radicals in the body.
The vitamin content and sulphur levels in raw Irish Sea moss make it an effective tool in the treatment of skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, acne and dandruff. Skin care manufacturers use Irish Sea moss to make lotions and cream that fight dry, rough skin. The moss helps to return hydration to the skin and maintains softness and a healthy moisture balance. The moss can also be used as an anti-inflammatory.
Other Health Benefits
In addition to soothing the skin, when ingested, raw Irish Sea moss soothes the mucous membranes within the body. For this reason, the moss helps soothes arthritis, heartburn, indigestion, nausea, constipation and ulcers. The moss also has the ability to absorb fluid in the lungs and heal some respiratory problems. Practitioners use raw Irish Sea moss to treat radiation poisoning, bladder problems, high cholesterol levels and certain cancers. Note that Irish Sea moss is a powerful substance and carries many side effects. It should not be ingested by pregnant or breast-feeding women or people taking blood-thinning medication.
In addition to enjoying its healthy properties, many people use raw Irish Sea moss for its culinary benefits. If you blend or cook it, the moss forms a mucilaginous gel, turning it into a jellylike substance. This natural jelly thickens up smoothies and shakes and is a key ingredient in cheesecakes, puddings and raw ice creams. Raw Irish Sea moss has long been an important ingredient in Jamaican cuisine and raw food preparation.