Sea moss typically is a little-known marine vegetable full of many wonderful and beneficial properties. Outside of Ireland, the Caribbean, and parts of North America it has yet to really make a splash. Due to its incredible density of nutrients, it could be easily classified as a superfood!
With so much of the ‘same same’ information about sea moss online, we wanted to bring you something different for 2020. Here you will find out more about:
- What Sea Moss is
- Where it has it’s roots
- How this seaweed is becoming a food source that could change our Planet for the better
- How to make it a part of your day
- The value that it brings you as a source of nutrition
- The benefits of this seaweed being a part of your diet and daily routine, and
- What to know before you buy your Sea Moss
We are extremely happy to be able to provide you with our Ultimate Sea Moss Guide on how to get the best out of your sea moss in 2020.
2020 Ultimate Sea Moss Guide Table of Contents
1.0 – What is Sea Moss?
1.1 – The History
1.2 – Seaweed; A Future Sustainable Food Source
1.3 – Supporting Sustainable Seaweed Farming
1.4 – Why our Seaweed isn’t Wildcrafted
1.5 – Is Wildcrafting really that Bad?
2.0 – How to use Sea Moss
2.1 – Irish Moss Milk Drink
2.2 – A Sea Moss Bath
2.3 – Making Sea Moss Gel
3.0 – What is this Seaweed good for?
3.1 – A Great Source of Collagen
3.2 – Sea Moss Improves Skin Conditions
3.3 – Seaweed as Medicine
3.4 – Sea Moss for Weight Loss
3.5 – Other Sea Moss Benefits
3.6 – Known Side Effects of Sea Moss
4.0 – What to Know Before You Buy Sea Moss
4.1 – Where does Sea Moss come from?
4.2 – Cultivation and Harvesting Considerations
4.3 – Processing and Packaging
4.4 – What type of Sea Moss is the Best?
4.5 – Diseases and Quality Degradation
What is Sea Moss?
Sea moss is a generic name given to a collection of different species of seaweed, which we go into deeper looking at information around Irish Moss Seaweed and the confusion there. It is typically known by several different botanical names, which has proven to make the matter a bit confusing. This is particularly the case if you’re wanting to identify the authentic product.
Eucheuma Cottonii, Gracilaria and Chondrus Crispus are some of the more popular species commercially available on the market today. They are all referred to as ‘sea moss’ but they are very different from each other.
The species, Eucheuma Cottonii and Gracilaria, (shown above) grows abundantly in warmer waters, typically the:
- Java Sea
- Celebes Sea
- Solomon Sea
- Caribbean Sea, and
- the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans
The waters that Eucheuma Cottonii prefers are by no means still. They are normally consistently flowing open ocean currents, and they tend to be much clearer waters too.
While Chondrus Crispus is a species of seaweed which is rarer by comparison, it tends to grow more slowly in the cooler waters of the Northern Atlantic.
So, why are people discovering sea moss as a superfood today? Where did this all start?
Chondrus Crispus is also known by many as Irish Sea Moss, or Irish Carraigín. This is because the Irish consumed a lot of it in the 1840’s during the Irish Potato Famine.
It became a primary source of sustenance for the Irish people who lived in coastal areas between 1845 and 1849 during the height of the famine.
As a result, it is believed that it was later looked upon as ‘peasant food‘ when harder times had passed. It was reported that by the end of the famine it had fallen from grace and was not consumed as frequently.
According to the history books, people would wait until the tide went out and collect the red flat leafed seaweed. They would then lay the seaweed on the rocks to sun-dry.
Like many other foods that were intended for later consumption, storing for longer periods of time required some form of preservation. The seaweed would occasionally be layered with salt to help keep it longer.
Some made the seaweed into delicacies, more commonly it was added to stews.
This is not unusual even by today’s standards. In Vietnam people make desserts with different types of seaweed. They are also used widely for medicinal purposes.
Today, seaweed use is more widely spread than at any other time in history. However, most people aren’t even aware of just how often seaweed or it’s extracts feature in the different products they use and consume.
Take a look at some of your processed food packages and you’ll most likely find the word ‘Carrageenan’. This is an extract from certain species of seaweed, but we’ll go into that more a little later.
Seaweed; A Future Sustainable Food Source
We are all becoming more and more aware that there are extensive pressures on our Planet as a result of our activity as humans.
How we have cultivated and developed the land is one dimension that has had a measurable impact.
The Oceans have also borne the brunt of our activity. And if we’re not careful, they will suffer further.
Thankfully, there is a growing awareness, and movement with sustainability consciously in the front of mind.
People motivated to reduce their footprint are discovering sea moss and other species of seaweed. And they are learning about how these can be used in an impressive number of ways.
Responsible seaweed farming is doing a lot to return oxygen to the waters of the Ocean, reduce their acidity, and provide a more plentiful source of food for marine life. All of this is contributing towards making significant progress to a healthier future. One that has benefits for people and the Planet.
Some impressive innovations are also being made in other endeavors associated to the seaweed world.
So, we’re on the right track. We just need to work on increasing awareness and adoption, while being mindful of where our seaweed comes from, and how we’re getting it.
Supporting Sustainable Seaweed Farming
Over the past few years we have found ourselves diving deeper and deeper into the world of seaweed.
We have been in different locations around the world visiting Seaweed Farmers and learning about their operations.
We have worked with these same Seaweed Farmers to pool our collective knowledge so everyone can benefit, including you.
Sharing techniques and ideas on how to better protect open ocean crops, improve yields, enhance processing, and deliver a higher quality product for the market are a few of the things we have been involved with behind the scenes.
We have also had laboratory analyses of numerous seaweed samples from different countries completed and shared these with the Farmers. This has been done in the interests of helping them better understand their crops, and approach the market from a more informed base.
For us, this has helped with identifying the best quality sea moss, and zero in on the cleanest areas to grow it in. As a result, we have been able to find the highest grade sea moss to bring to you.
Why our Seaweed isn’t Wildcrafted
I can appreciated that the desire to find a food source that is as close to as nature intended is valuable. But, at what cost?
I don’t mean the retail cost to you as the consumer. I mean the cost to the Planet.
It is staggering to think just how much seaweed is collected and sold under the label of being ‘wildcrafted’. Have you stopped to think about what that means?
Far be it from me to want to make this sound like a beat-up on any one business, but many sellers are perpetuating the ideology that anything that is not wildcrafted is fake. Fake sea moss is really easy to spot once you know what you are looking for.
This is simply not the case. Many who are selling under the label of ‘wildcrafted’ are not actually wildcrafted at all. Many are farmed in open ocean waters in some form or another.
For those of you who are buying from sellers who are strictly wildcrafting, consider the impacts of this on a commercial scale.
Is Wildcrafting really that Bad?
As much as there is a trend towards wildcrafting seaweed, I’m personally against this methodology as it presents a couple of issues just on the surface in my opinion:
- Wildcrafted seaweed is taken from a balanced environment that really needs it to be where it is as a food source for other localized marine life, and it is a key part of sustaining the immediate habitat, and
- The quality of the seaweed that is collected under the wildcrafting approach may be unfit for human consumption due to a lack of transparency and monitoring of the conditions and environment in which the seaweed is collected from.
There are some who seek to make a point of wildcrafted seaweed possibly being more nutritious than farmed seaweed.
As you can already tell, this approach brings about too many issues that conflict with my values. It lacks in fundamental areas and does not support cleaning up the oceans.
In fact, it promotes quite the opposite in an opportunistic market. Even though there are businesses which state that they hand-harvest their wild seaweed in a sustainable manner, I’m still not buying it.
What wildcrafting seaweed fails to do is to put ‘more’ seaweed into the oceans than it takes out.
Increasing the seaweed content in areas where sustainable farming is able to take place provides another food source for marine life in the area.
As mentioned earlier, responsible open ocean seaweed farming increases the health of the water by helping to reduce the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and acidity (pH) levels in the water.
Think of this as the Ocean’s version of a tree planting program. With more seaweed comes more oxygen, and the water is also alkalized as a result.
This is something that our planet needs us to do on a bigger scale than we currently do. You can play a part in supporting this when you buy seaweed from a supplier who sources and grows sustainably.
As a responsible consumer, the more you can get to know about how your seaweed gets to your table, the better off you, the Seaweed Farmers, and the environment can be.
The question is; does wildcrafting as a practice really align with your values?
How to use Sea Moss
Being a very versatile marine vegetable, sea moss, along with other seaweeds, can be added to almost any type of dish. One of the things that love about sea moss is that it is a plant based alternative to gelatin.
Over the years I have made this a part of many recipes to help with binding, and doing all of the things that I previously did with gelatin.
It is also really easy to add to things like:
- Smoothie bowls
- Sauces, and
- Plant based ice cream
Some of my favorite recipes that I’ve developed around sea moss include my:
Not only do I use it in my food, but I also use it for a range of other purposes, such as:
- A topical application for clearer and younger looking skin
- A mouth wash that is chemical free, and
- A conditioner that is really good at fighting dandruff
The longer I’m around this amazing seaweed, the more I find that I can do with it.
Sounds almost too good to be true, right? If you’re new to it, why not ask others in various online forums about their experiences with sea moss. It may surprise you what you find out.
There are some other really cool things you can use your seaweed for that you might like to give a try. Some of these can be quite decadent, and others more traditional.
Also see How Can I Eat Seaweed Everyday?
Irish Moss Milk Drink
The Sea Moss Milk drink is known by some as Sea Moss Gold. To make this yourself, simply add milk to a pot and heat gently with clean sea moss.
You can also flavor the milk with honey, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. You can drink the Sea Moss Gold with (or without) a nip of whiskey.
A cool desert option to keep in mind is that when the Sea Moss Gold cools, the it can take on a pudding-like texture similar to tapioca if you haven’t used too much milk.
Also, this works really well with plant based milks. One trick I love to use is to make a 50/50 mix of coconut cream and soy milk. The coconut helps to take that nutty soy flavor out. This is great for cream based pasta alternatives too. The sea moss helps to thicken these up nicely.
Or you could try this lovely island treat. In the Caribbean, they make a drink from this by first cleaning the seaweed thoroughly. The next step is to soak the seaweed in lime juice overnight.
Add some water, cinnamon and the seaweed lime mixture to a pot and bring to the boil. Allow the mix to cool down and then add some sweeteners like sugar, lakanto, or stevia,with vanilla, condensed milk, and some dried fruit to taste.
More Recipe Ideas
As you can tell from the ideas shared above, sea moss is a natural thickening agent. It can be added to many different foods. By adding it to hot meals broths, soups and stews, the mixture will thicken nicely.
I love to add the gel to my smoothies. It gives them a beautiful silken texture.
A Sea Moss Bath
For a bath like no other where your skin feels hydrated and refreshed, adding your seaweed can help to give your body a touch of luxurious pampering that is like nothing else.
To do this, simply clean and then soak your raw sea moss in fresh (preferably filtered) water for twelve (12) to twenty-four (24) hours. Then add it, with the water it was soaking in, to a bath and allow to rest for a few minutes.
You may choose to leave the seaweed in the bath if you wish, or remove it before getting in, that’s up to you. The collagen in the seaweed will also help to reduce the appearance of cellulite, firm the skin, and leave you feeling relaxed.
Making Sea Moss Gel
Using as little as 0.5 ounces (15 grams) of dried sea moss will make about 17 fluid ounce (500 ml) of sea moss gel. Making your own gel is a simple process which has a few basic steps that I’ll outline for you.
Step 1: Cleaning
First, rinse your sea moss thoroughly with cool, clean water. You need to make sure you remove any sand, salt, and foreign matter off the seaweed.
Step 2: Soaking
Once you are happy with the cleanliness of the seaweed, soak the it in about 17 fluid ounce (500 ml) of clean, filtered water for 24 to 48 hours.
Some people suggest a shorter time frame and and boiling the sea moss. But I think it’s better to soak it for a longer period of time, and not cook it.
Keep in mind that this will expand to about three times its original size. It will be quite soft and slimy to touch (depending upon the species).
Step 3: Blending
Blend the sea moss with roughly 200ml of fresh water. It should start to take on a smooth consistency. The more liquid you add the runnier the consistency.
Step 4: Storing
Decant the sea moss gel into a clean glass container and store in the fridge until ready for use. This will last for between two and three weeks before it will begin to smell funny.
If you find that your gel is thicker than you would like, you can add more water even after it has set to thin it down. it may take a few batches until you figure out what consistency you like the most.
Also see How to Make Sea Moss Gel.
What is this Seaweed Good For?
Seeing as you’re reading this guide, I presume that you’re already aware that sea moss is an amazing superfood. Top of the charts if you ask me. But, if you’re still wondering what all the buzz is about, let me explain.
As it turns out, sea moss has a heck of a lot of benefits. I’m so pleased that more and more people are coming to realize this.
Did you know that our bodies require an astonishing 102 minerals for optimal health? According to all accounts, sea moss is believed to contain a whopping 92 minerals.
This is why it is regarded as a Superfood. And that’s just the beginning. Because sea moss contains so many beneficial minerals, it is clearly great for people who are malnourished.
Usually, people focus on the 16 essential minerals. If you’ve ever bought those multi-mineral tablets from the pharmacy, they will typically consist of:
- Sulfur, and
As you will have been able to tell so far, I prefer eating a diet full of variety so that I can consume all the minerals my body needs. Getting these straight from wholefoods, the way nature intended, is much more effective in my opinion.
A Great Source of Collagen
Did you know that there are different species of seaweed which are a great source of collagen? Yes, that’s right, plant based collagen!
The human body is made up of different types of collagen proteins which are almost identical to the collagen proteins found in seaweed.
Collagen is absorbed into the body where it is needed the most to help combat the effects of deterioration through aging, and improve general health.
Keep in mind that the body will use any source of sustenance it gets to preserve life before working on making you look younger. This is why I choose to use a topical application of sea moss gel. It gets those amazing minerals and collagen straight to where my skin needs it to look younger.
Also see Younger Skin with Vegan Collagen Sources.
Sea Moss Improves Skin Conditions
Apart from being a great source of collagen, sea moss also contains antiseptic properties.
When it is applied topically to the skin it helps to relieve and treats a variety of conditions from minor burns (including sunburn), to acne, rashes, psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.
I have been applying raw (uncooked) sea moss gel topically to my skin for over a year now. Since I started doing this I have noticed a visible improvement in my skin.
My skin texture appears more smooth, I experience fewer pimples, and a reduction in the fine lines around my eyes. I have also seen a significant reduction in the number of visible pores, and pore size
The type 1 and 3 Collagen from the seaweed gives me a more youthful looking appearance. No need for expensive cosmetics, I just apply sea moss gel morning and evening.
Yes, I sleep with it on as an overnight mask.
Seaweed as Medicine
With a history spanning back hundreds, if not, thousands of years, seaweed has been used for a range of natural medicinal purposes.
So, what is sea moss good for from a medicinal perspective? The research is ongoing and it looks like the list seems to be endless, but I’d like to cover a few that I found interesting in this guide.
Expels Excess Mucus from the Body
Sea moss contains antiviral properties which help the body recover from colds, flues and some more severe illnesses as well.
It has been used to treat respiratory problems from coughs to phlegm, bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and more for generations by providing the body with a means to purge mucus.
One of the fundamental teachings of Doctor Sebi was that there is only one disease; mucus.
The manifestation of inflammation arising from the build up of mucus in the compromised membranes causes varying degrees of congestion. Sea moss is believed to be highly effective at helping the body purge built up mucus.
Sea Moss, when consumed may help relieve muscle and joint pain. It possesses naturally occurring anti-inflammatory properties.
This, and other seaweeds have also been used to reduce the appearance of, and pain caused by the inflammation of varicose veins.
There are people who also consume this for improved gut health. Sea moss is believed to reduce the inflammation of the stomach and intestines while increasing the presence of good bacteria.
Eating this amazing seaweed on a regular basis, according to the research, has been shown to improve digestive health.
Our hormones are managed by the thyroid gland which is found at the base of the throat. The thyroid gland is responsible for balancing our hormones and managing the immune system.
If the thyroid is not functioning properly, people tend to experience either an overactive or under-active thyroid. Sea moss contains Iodine which helps to balance the thyroid function, and strengthens the immune system.
This is a vital nutrient for someone who actively avoids consuming common iodized sodium chloride, or table salt. Iodized salt is better than salt that is not iodized, however, mineral salts are better on the whole.
Some mineral salts can be lower in iodine than what you would otherwise need. Himalayan salt and Celtic Sea Salt are full of minerals, but they can at times lack in suitable iodine levels.
A healthy iodine level helps to protect against a range of complications and is a natural way to regulate hormones and metabolism.
Be careful when taking pharmaceutical thyroid medication as this may conflict with the natural properties of sea moss. Consuming too much, or not enough Iodine, may lead to more serious issues down the track.
Blood Builder and Cleanser
Consuming seaweed is also recommended by advocates of old for the natural treatment of high blood pressure. My Grandmother, who was a Naturopath in the 1940’s, relied upon seaweed in many of the treatments she administered. We even got seaweed as children in the ice cream she made.
Sea Moss is understood to help to clean the blood through a process of detoxification and controlling free-radicals. It has also been identified that sea moss can help the body to regulate blood regulate sugar levels through specific means. This makes this seaweed a good natural product for people with diabetes to help manage their blood sugar levels.
When it comes to building stronger blood, seaweed provides a mass of nutritional power to support this. Healthy blood need a supply of:
As a natural source of iron, sea moss helps to build healthier blood cells. Recent research has shown that maintaining healthy iron levels helps to prevent dangerous blood clotting. To help improve your body’s ability to absorb iron it is recommended by Dietitians and Nutritionists that you also have sufficient Vitamin C at the same time.
With these essential building blocks, the body is able to produce red blood cells more effectively. This means that oxygen is able to be transported within the body to where it needs to be.
Some people believe that sea moss plays a key part in enhancing or even increasing their libido, and claim that it’s a great aphrodisiac. This is the case in countries in the Caribbean where the seaweed is even available as a canned drink.
As much as this may sound like it is anecdotal, there are results of studies done by the International Journal of Marine Biology and Research that indicate this is proven. So, it sounds like the verdict is in; seaweed can enhance libido.
Other things that could impact on libido are various health complications, and even persistent pain. Dr. Sebi explained in detail how a change in his diet, where he fasted and moved to consuming alkaline foods had cured his obesity, diabetes and impotency. He explicit attributed the impotency to his overall health at the time.
Sea Moss for Weight Loss
My wife was previously a weight loss coach, and I must admit that the concept of eating healthy seemed to be a vague and sometimes poorly defined for her clients when they first came to her.
When she spoke with people about choosing healthy options there seemed to be an assumption that ‘healthy’ must mean food that was boring, like plain flavorless salads and nasty tasting health products.
In my experience, this certainly does not need to be the case.
There are lots of amazing healthy meal options available on the market. And adding seaweed to a variety of healthy meal options makes this a really simple process.
Sea moss is low fat and low cholesterol.
Did you know that there is research which shows that a balanced diet consuming a low-calorie diet and sea moss could help with weight loss?
There are plenty of accounts of people you’ll be able to find that have shared their weight loss successes when they’ve consumed this seaweed as part of a healthy diet.
We are also frequently told about the benefits of consuming fiber in our diets. The great news is that sea moss contains dietary fiber which is essential for gut health and a good digestive system. We’ll dig into that a little deeper in the next section.
Other Sea Moss Benefits
Preciously we have spoken about the Top 10 Benefits of Sea Moss. These covered quite a few of the positive outcomes that we have experienced, and those around us have communicated that they had experienced too.
Here, we will take a closer look at some of the other benefits that our Customers have shared with us, and we have since looked further into the research behind sea moss, which:
1 – Contains Taurine
2 – Is rich in Long Chain Polysaccharides
3 – Fights Varicose Vein
4 – Strengthens Connective Tissue
5 – Helps to Improve Digestion
6 – May be Effective for Fighting Prostate Enlargement
7 – Can Help to Control Appetite
8 – Can Promote Mental and Emotional Wellbeing
9 – Supports Healthy Gums
10 – Can Help to Clear up Acne
11 – Can Help to Reduce Pore Size
12 – Is effective at Reducing Dandruff
13 – Helps to Improve Circulation, and
14 – Reduces the Impact of Radiation Poisoning
As we dig deeper on the benefits and side effects of this seaweed, we need to understand that it has been attributed with many benefits and is constantly being studied.
As a natural product that has been used for generations, it has a long list of loyal believers. Many Naturopaths and Herbalists will administer different seaweeds as a natural treatments for a range of conditions.
Rather than waiting to find out that you’re struggling with a particular complication, you may want to take preventative steps and consider the following benefits of sea moss in conjunction with professional advice.
It is a valuable source of Taurine
A mineral which lowers blood pressure, Taurine is known to support a healthy metabolism and assist the body with binding bowel fats. As a result, is is actively involved in promoting the breakdown, digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Taurine is also essential for healthy heart function and helps the body to maintain mineral balance within cells.
Sea moss is rich in Carbohydrates called Polysaccharides
Polysaccharides from certain seaweeds have been studies and found to help strengthen the immune system. They have been found to assist with the reduction of tumor growth and autoimmune diseases.
These long chain polysaccharides are an inter sting form of insoluble fiber, and they have been found to help manage cholesterol, inflammatory bowel disease, and they may also hold the key to tackling one of the biggest health concerns today associated with carcinogenics.
Sea Moss is known to help fight and even prevent varicose veins
Potassium chloride is a key mineral which is very effective at dissolving catarrh.
Sea moss helps to strengthen connective tissue
Being full of collagen, Sea Moss is a great support to healthy hair, skin and nails. Some people have even reported that it helps to stimulate the regrowth of hair.
But, as mentioned earlier, any source of nutritional value you body gets that will support life will be used for this purpose primarily.
Collagen plays a key part in healthy bones and connective tissue. As these are more essential to keeping you alive and healthy than fighting wrinkles, this is where it will be used as a priority when you ingest it.
When you stop to think about the aging process, the skin changes in a more pronounced way when it is exposed to UV rays. These rays can stimulate the production of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) which contributes to the degradation of collagen.
As we age our genetics may see us being exposed to higher secretions of MMP and the resultant deterioration of collagen type I and collagen type III.
Sea Moss helps with digestion and digestive functions
Being a source of natural fiber, sea moss is a very gentle laxative. The almost slimy or filmy nature of it when it is made into a gel helps to line the bowels and keep them healthy.
This is believed to reduce the potential for matter sticking in your gut during the digestion and excretion process.
By enhancing transit time, and being a prebiotic, it is a great form of gut food that helps with soothing complications and helping to heal previous gut damage.
Sea Moss could hold the key to treating prostate enlargement
In more recent times there has been research conducted on a range of seaweeds potentially providing a natural option for the treatment various forms of mutagenic cellular growth.
Various species of seaweed have been looked for the isolation of specific structural forms including bryostatin 1.
Even though this research has proven to be slow paced and dogged with resource challenges, it is believed that sea moss and Bugula Neritina could provide a degree of hope to many.
Can Help to Control Appetite
If you’ve been trying all sorts of ways to drop those last few stubborn pounds or kilos, this seaweed might be just the thing to help you reach your goal.
Various studies have pointed to the presence of a specific type of dietary fiber in seaweeds like sea moss, and fucoxanthin. It is through these that the body can receive messages that tell it that it has had enough food.
I have been able to fast while on sea moss for as long as 2 weeks and have found the feeling of higher energy, better mental clarity, and dropping a few kilograms has helped me.
Before looking at doing something like this it is highly recommended that you speak with a qualified professional first who can assess your specific circumstances.
Can Promote Mental and Emotional Wellbeing
My wife can attest to the value of making sea moss a part of her routine in that it has helped her with overcoming depression.
After years of seeing one specialist after another, across a range of modalities, she decided to stop taking the medication that was prescribed, and change her diet.
This is not intended to be a call to action for anyone else to follow in her footsteps. This is simply an anecdotal account of her journey.
She complemented the addition of sea moss to her diet with other plant based wholefoods and progressively phased out animal products.
Having spent so much time and money working on herself in a number of ways, she has put together a book that outlines the steps she took and the changes she made.
This is a holistic approach that you may find interesting. But, to emphasize again, this is an account of her journey, and not intended as an instructional guide.
Studies have shown that alterations to the composition of metabolites and microbiota in the gut through dietary fibers found in seaweeds like sea moss have had a positive effect here too.
Interestingly, our bodies have no real means of storing or conserving potassium yet it is a necessary element for a healthy life. Potassium has also been attributed to supporting good mental and emotional health.
There have also been studies conducted where the benefits of potassium have been linked to improving ADHD, agitation, anxiety, depression, and even moodiness.
Supports Healthy Gums
I have been using sea moss gel as a mouthwash for a few years now, and I’m able to say that the previous occasional cases of seeing blood when brushing my teeth are no more.
Using this as a dental aid was something I moved towards instead of using colloidal silver. The organified silver (a biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles) found in seaweeds is much more effective in the human body.
Silver has a long history of being beneficial for good health. If you’re able to get the silver content you need from plant based sources rather than other non organic sources, you’ll be much better off in my opinion.
Can Help to Clear up Acne
My wife previously had occasional breakouts of acne from time to time. Since using sea moss gel as a topical application at night as a mask, and in the morning, she has seen a significant reduction in these.
The effect of this can be attributed to the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of the seaweed. I would also go so far as to say that the presence of Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) in sea moss has a significant part to play in skin repair here.
I previously found that after shaving I would experience ingrown hairs on my throat. Changing the direction of shaving and going with the grain instead of against it helped a bit.
Since I’ve been using sea moss gel as a topical application I have not experienced any ingrown hairs. This is with no other changes to how I shave.
Can Help to Reduce Pore Size
After using sea moss gel as a topical application to support the healing process on a spot treated with a drawing slave my wife noticed some changes in the pore size on the skin around my nose and upper cheeks.
Algal polysaccharides, specifically Galactans are believed to have a key role to play in promoting healthy skin and repairing the extracellular matrix. I firmly believe that these elements of the gel are what contributed to the reduction of pore size in my case.
I have also had feedback from friends and some Customers who have made their own gel that they too have had similar experiences. With a skincare option this natural and this cheap, why would you spend hundreds of dollars on something that has been isolated or synthesized?
Is effective at Reducing Dandruff
Another case of anecdotal evidence with some supporting research comes through a friend of ours who has been an avid sea moss fan since she learned about it from us.
She’s been using it as a part of her hair care regime and has provided feedback that it has completely eliminated her dandruff.
This is promising for anyone who struggles to control a case of dandruff, and the science behind this points to the minerals and natural salts as one component of what sea moss absorbs from the sea.
Particularly when combined with specific essential oils, sea moss has the potential to provide relief to those who are looking for it.
Helps to Improve Circulation
Extensive research into Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) and other elements of failing health that lead to poor blood circulation have yielded some interesting results.
The filing of patents on the use of extracts from sea moss in the treatment of PAD and other complications including the presence and build up of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque appear to provide for a promising future for many.
Being a natural source of Fucoidan, under targeted studies sea moss was identified as having arterial and venous antithrombotic properties, and was even reported as being capable of forming new blood vessels in animals under controlled experiments.
From my late 30’s I would experience tingling sensations in my left thigh at different times. This could be while standing, sitting, or laying down. My Doctor told me it was most likely the result of pressure on my upper thigh which came from having my wallet in my front left pocket.
I kept it here to reduce the impact on my spine from sitting on it. If you can avoid having a chunky wallet in your back pocket it will help your back health immensely.
After about 2 years of taking sea moss gel regularly I can report that the tingling sensations are no more. A also changed how I deal with my wallet which has helped too, although this step was implemented early on and there was still tingling and numbness for about a year after from time to time.
I’m putting the improvement down to both the change in what I was doing with my wallet, and taking sea moss gel daily.
Reduces the Impact of Radiation Poisoning
Seaweeds have been known to possess a range of benefits. But did you know that specific types of seaweed have been looked to for their capacity to treat the effects of radiation poisoning?
After the fallout at Chernobyl the contamination of the area as a result of the radioactive matter left many with health complications, and still does to this day. One highly radioactive substance which was released was a radioisotope that proved to be particularly problematic; Iodine-131.
The preferred method of treatment for exposure to Iodine-131 is to does with potassium iodide. The potassium iodide blocks the uptake of Iodine-131 by the thyroid.
Sea moss is one species of seaweed that has been identified as containing potassium iodide. This is not to say that your best option for treating radiation poisoning is to chow down on seaweed, but to highlight that it naturally contains what is used to deal with such complications.
When you stop to think about how Nature has bundled up the amazing gifts we have been given, it’s really quite humbling.
Also see Top 10 Benefits of Sea Moss
Known Side Effects of Sea Moss
The range of known side effects of sea moss can best be summed up to include:
- It has anticoagulant properties
- It has laxative properties
With all things that are good for you, there is what you could call an upper limit. That is to say that you can have too much of a good thing.
Sea moss is not excluded from this, so there are some considerations that need to be made before you make it a regular part of your diet. Looking more closely at these known side effects, it is worth keeping in mind that:
It has anticoagulant properties
It is worth keeping in mind that many different species of seaweed, including sea moss, contain naturally occurring blood thinners.
So it is not recommended to consume sea moss when taking any type of blood thinning medication (anticoagulants) or blood pressure medication (antihypertensives).
People that use sea moss while taking antihypertensives can experience negative side effects. Antihypertensive medication is used to treat high blood pressure, also known as hypertension.
Side effects that may occur can include feeling a sense of dizziness, a sense of being lightheaded and syncope, which is a momentary loss of consciousness and posture.
If you have suffered from stomach ulcers or other medical issues where you have encountered internal bleeding then you would be best advised to avoid sea moss in the case that a preexisting medical condition is aggravated.
It has laxative properties
Sea moss can have other side effects such as bringing on diarrhea in cases where there is excessive consumption.
However, the same could easily be said for anything that you have too much of. Your body is going to look for ways to flush it out if there is too much of it.
Provided you don’t suffer from any of the above conditions, this seaweed can be a great addition to your diet by bringing in plenty of additional nutrients and minerals for almost no side effect.
Are Sea Moss and Carrageenan the same thing?
Carrageenan is an extract from specific species of seaweed and it’s used to make beauty products, toothpaste, beverages, confectionery and many different types of dairy products.
Unfortunately, carrageenan, being an extract of seaweed, doesn’t contain all the amazing properties that whole raw seaweed has. It’s simply an isolated component that serves a very basic function and provides next to no nutritional value.
Carrageenan, as a processed product, has been linked to digestive issues and some other health complications.
It is important to note that through the processing of carrageenan rich seaweeds, all other elements that provide benefit within those seaweeds are lost.
Keep in mind that sea moss is not carrageenan, and carrageenan is not sea moss.
What to Know Before You Buy Sea Moss
Before you buy sea moss it is worth considering a few factors beyond just the price.
Origin, cultivation techniques, environmental impact, local laws, local ecology, local economics and a few other factors are what we consider before buying sea moss.
For us, it is more about what we are contributing to with our purchasing power rather than just getting the cheapest price on the market.
So, let’s take a closer look at the factors within our decision making process.
When it comes to your health there are often a number of factors that will influence your purchasing decisions.
Not all products are created equal, on that we can agree. So in this section of our guide I’ll share with you what I needed to know before I made the decision to buy sea moss.
There are a few different places where this seaweed is cultivated around the world. Some are more favorable than others for a number of reasons. The basic considerations I make before choosing where to buy my sea moss from includes:
- The environmental conditions in the area
- The quality of the waters that the sea moss is grown in
- The farming practices applied to cultivate the sea moss
- The practices used to harvest and process the sea moss
- The quality of the sea moss as a finished product
- The prevalence of diseases that affect sea moss in those areas
- The logistics of getting the sea moss to my door, and
- The cost of the sea moss
As I began to look into where I was sourcing my seaweed from, I found that what I learned about the various practices applied in different parts of the industry was troubling.
We know that the oceans have a history of taking a beating from the pollution that has been pumped out from the land.
Factories, farms, power plants, rubbish dumps, sewerage and storm water runoff, and commercial operations even on the smaller scale all have an impact.
From the blatantly obvious dumping of materials into the ocean, to the often forgotten storm water drainage systems that feed from transport yards, shopping center car parks and other high vehicular traffic areas.
Every decision that is consciously or unconsciously made with what you buy plays a part in painting one picture or another.
So, it’s more a question of values in where I choose to buy my seaweed from than simply the price of the product.
If you are not motivated by points such as these, there are some good reasons that link to the quality of the product that are worth considering too.
Sea moss is a very responsive plant. As it spends its life submerged in the water, it is directly impacted by what is in that very water.
The last thing you most likely want is a batch of seaweed that has been exposed to nasty chemicals, or worse. So, what can you consider before you buy sea moss that will help you avoid that?
Where does Sea Moss come from?
Sea moss is cultivated in many different countries around the world. There are very large seaweed farming operations based in Indonesia, the Philippines, the Caribbean, Zanzibar, China, Korea, Japan, Brazil, and Thailand to name a few.
There are more and more seaweed farms popping up all of the time. Australia is becoming known as a place where seaweed is grown for human consumption, and this offers immense value to the market as a result of our pristine natural environment.
As more and more countries wake up to the commercial opportunity presented by this growing industry, the number of farms continues to increase.
With different countries comes different dynamics. Most notably, standards.
As an emerging industry, seaweed farming is for the most part unregulated. Many operations tend to be small seaside villages where farmers plant rows of seaweed on submerged string lines.
These types of farms have virtually exploded in some parts of the world, while others are struggling to gain exposure to the global market.
With this type of opportunity there comes the potential for exploitation. And in an unregulated industry, this is ever more likely.
In recent years the Thai Government has worked towards establishing farming standards for the cultivation and harvesting of sea grapes, a different type of seaweed.
In my experience, the quality of these sea grapes is not to the same standard as in Vietnam where there are much higher standards with foods.
Further to the south, the Indonesian Government has supported local Seaweed Farmers with funding contributions. This has helped them establish a presence in the market, but more work needs to be done on standardisation and water quality control.
With regards to standards, our sea moss is grown and prepared to meet the strict food and bio-security regulations in Australia. This is laboratory tested and checked for a range of things that can occur in any ocean which may present a threat to health and safety.
As detailed in the opening, sea moss comes in a range of different species, and within those species there can be a range of slightly different characteristics. The most obvious being a difference in color.
Aside from species variations, this can be the result of the waters that the sea moss grows in, the mineral composition of the area, or even the quality and quantity of sunlight.
Although I had the ability to choose from a number of countries before I bought my sea moss, geography and exchange rates were among the last factors that I needed to consider.
I needed to know that with the decision I was making that I was contributing to a sustainable process on multiple levels.
As you read on in this guide, you will see that as important as the end price of the product is, it really is just one dimension of the decision making process.
Cultivation and Harvesting Considerations
Before you take the plunge and buy sea moss online, consider this. Typically, seaweed companies need to jump through quite a few hoops before they can get their product on the market.
Any company that has a current certification to show that they are operating compliantly, and meet the criteria to be deemed as organic are the ones to seek out.
This is not an easy process as responses from Farmers and companies involved in processing can be reluctant to turn over this type of information in my experience.
Processing and Packaging
Watch out for unwanted additives and chemicals used in the drying and preservation process. The whole reason you are looking at how you can come up with ways to eat seaweed everyday is to improve your health.
Some companies may opt to bleach their seaweed, particularly in the case of Kappaphycus Alvarezii, another name for sea moss. Naturally dried seaweed should have some signs of variations in shade or maybe even color.
This is a plant that grows in varying conditions, and like any other plant, it will not look consistently the same as the next plant.
As much as bleaching can take place, so can artificial coloring. If your seaweed is very bright to look at, like a brilliant green, chances are there are artificial colors in it.
Naturally, dried seaweed will look a little dull compared to fresh seaweed. But, that’s not what sells, so the manufacturers pump them full of colors to make them look pretty.
Check out the video of what this looked like on our Instagram before the color dropped out.
But what if it’s coated in chunky looking table salt?
You really don’t want to eat that stuff! Typically sea moss is dried in the sun, and the longer it is dried for the lower the moisture content.
If you are getting seaweed that has a higher moisture content, it is likely to have a much shorter shelf life, which is why it is later coated in slat. This is a step taken to help preserve the seaweed.
Another step is that bags or jars, once packed, are charged with food grade nitrogen gas. This is a standard practice in the food production industry, even in Australia. It purges the remaining oxygen out of the package and slows down the degradation.
Nitrogen gas makes up about 78% of the air that we breath. It is oxygen that is responsible for oxidization and decay occurring.
If it has been dried to the point that salt does not need to be added, the shelf life for the sea moss is going to be a lot longer.
This is a sign of quality. However, many people think that a bigger piece of sea moss is better, and the ‘real deal’ when it really only has a higher moisture content.
Think of this like you might when you think of dates. You know the Medjool Dates that you can buy which are big and juicy? They tend to cost a lot more when they are dried than when they are fresh.
This is due to the reduction in mass, which means less raw dates to the kilo, or pound, and there’s the processing (drying) time and handling that needs to be added too.
Dried sea moss, typically to a moisture content below 10% is of a very high grade. It will re-hydrate to be much bigger than what you may first expect. When it is higher in moisture content (or fresher), there needs to more slat to help preserve it.
But what about dried seaweed that is seasoned?
Too much salt, particularly when it is not a natural occurring mineral salt, is not a good thing. Some seaweed snacks are also pumped full of MSG, and you most likely already know what I’m going to say about that.
While on the topic of processing and packaging, before you buy sea moss you should find out about the nutritional content of the product.
If the supplier you are buying from does not have a recent scientific analysis sheet for the product, I would look for one that does. Try to find one that is less than a year old as the shelf life is normally up to two years for a low moisture content. This should be indicative of the age of the crop being sold.
What type of Sea Moss is the Best?
Without going back over the various species and the market confusion, we will look at the type of sea moss you buy as an end product.
When you buy sea moss it is much better to choose on that is naturally dried, and not baked. Take a leaf out of any Raw Foodist’s book with this; if it’s cooked, it’s dead.
Roasted seaweed of any kind has much less nutritional value when compared to the fresh or naturally dried varieties you can purchase.
Flakes are also something I avoid buying. It’s a personal preference thing; I’d rather have the whole piece of seaweed that I can work with rather than a packet of dusty fragments.
If your sea moss is in a powder form, it may as well be thrown in the bin as far as I’m concerned. It’s no longer a wholefood, and there’s no telling what else has been done to the sea moss in the process.
Powdered sea moss is often bulked up with fillers, and at times it is also often mixed with Carrageenan.
Diseases and Quality Degradation
Different species of seaweed are prone to different pests, and different diseases. One such disease that can affect sea moss is called ‘Ice-Ice‘.
Ice-ice can severely impact upon the yield when farming sea moss.Taking on the appearance of being frozen, ice-ice occurs when the sea moss is exposed to dramatic changes in the surrounding conditions. These can include:
- Fluctuations in salinity
- Shifts in water temperature, and
- Variations in the strength or intensity of sunlight as a result of sediment buildup on the seaweed
When species of sea moss such as Kappaphycus Alvarezii are identified as being exposed to Ice-Ice, the affected areas are described as taking on a ‘moist’ form which then provides an opportunity for bacteria, specifically Flavobacteria and Aeromonas, to compromise the plant.
Once these have been introduced to the surrounding water, the seaweed then takes on an iced white appearance, causing the plant to harden.
As a consumer, this renders the plant useless, and is comparable to a woody pineapple, or a powdery stone fruit or apple. There’s little you can do with it, and it’s far from palatable.
The presence of excessive sediment in the water can play big a part in impacting on the quality of the seaweed.
When you are shopping around, before you buy any seaweed from a new supplier, see if there is a clear photograph of a new, or current, batch. Look out for high levels of impurities and debris.
A thick or heavy layer of sediment could indicate that the seaweed may have been susceptible to exposure. A dirty looking specimen will have more than surface debris to contend with.
Often, due to the nature of the plant, there can be fragments and sediment inside the plant. This is normal to a much lesser extent and can be washed out, however, when you see a soiled plant you’ll know it!
Sediment typically comes from the sea moss being farmed in rapid moving, turbulent water, or after a natural event that causes the seabed to become much more disturbed than it normally is.
Seaweed Farmers that are impacted by waters that are too murky to grow their crops in will not have much success when it comes to a viable harvest. Normally, the waters a much clearer than other areas and can often have good underwater visibility for 20 meters or more.
Often plants that are heavily soiled by sediment aren’t even harvested for processing. They are far too damaged to have much value in the market, and a good Farmer will not risk their reputation passing off a their rate product.
Quite often, crops in these cases are simply abandoned. This is not a bad thing, as they still fulfill a function to support the ecosystem, even in their lesser grade state.
The resources required to clean the sediment off the seaweed often means that even if it were able to be sold, the price required to make a profit would bee too high for the consumer.
While we are on the topic of grades, there are different grades for sea moss, which is why there may be significant price differences. Like any other produce, the higher the grade, or quality, the higher the price.
Given that there are a number of factors to consider before you buy sea moss, this should have provided some context on what to look for, and why.
For your benefit we have included the comments from previous articles that have been redirected to this article as a part of the update. If you have anything you would like to add about your Sea Moss journey, we would love to hear from you!