Sea moss, also known as Irish moss, is one of the most popular dietary supplements of today. This seaweed has been used for centuries and is renowned for its vitamin, mineral and antioxidant content. Sea moss contains a staggering 92 minerals of the 100 our bodies need, so it's no surprise that this health food is considered one of the greatest superfoods of today.
Sea moss gel is a product that can be made from sea moss. Sea moss gel has the exact same benefits as sea moss, so this article will talk broadly about the best sea moss benefits.
As well as the health benefits of sea moss, you'll find a guide on how to make your own sea moss gel.
What Is Sea Moss?
Irish sea moss is a red-colored seaweed that grows on the Atlantic coast, bordering Europe, Ireland, and America. The first recorded use of sea moss was during the Ireland potato famine, when people started to eat the seaweed they found on beaches.
You may also hear sea moss referred to as "the collagen of the sea". It can be used as a plant-based gelatin substitute or a thickening agent, thanks to its carrageenan content. Carrageenan is a thickener used in low-fat ice cream and almond milk.
Sea moss has been converted into a number of easy-to-consume supplements in recent years. You can now enjoy sea moss in capsule, dried, powder and gel form.
It's easy to prepare sea moss gel at home if you have access to the right resources. The gel has virtually no flavor and can be added to your foods and beverages of choice.
Sea Moss Gel Uses
Sea moss is most commonly available in supplement form. You can also buy it in raw form, or in pre-made gels, powders, gummies or oral capsules.
For even bigger sea moss benefits, you can combine it with other superfoods and herbal supplements, like turmeric, burdock root, and bladderwrack. The combined properties of these ingredients can boost overall wellbeing, offering benefits to joint health and digestion, as well as immune support.
Sea moss is also ideal as a food-thickening agent. As mentioned earlier in this article, sea moss’s carrageenan content makes it perfect for thickening non-dairy milks, ice cream, cottage cheese, and more.
If you’re looking to thicken smoothies but don’t want to use egg or yogurt, try adding some sea moss gel to your blender. You can also use sea moss in your juices, acai bowls, soups, oatmeal, fruit preserves, sauces, and chia puddings. Sea moss gel can even be used as an egg replacement in some dessert recipes.
Aside from its culinary uses, sea moss gel can also be used topically on your skin and hair. A popular option is to add sea moss gel to your moisturizer. The vitamins and minerals present in this seaweed can be very beneficial to skin health. Similarly, using sea moss as a hair mask should provide your hair with a range of essential nutrients, boosting its shine and strength.
Sea Moss Gel Benefits
More research is needed for us to confirm sea moss's health benefits. However, some of the emerging positive health effects are as follows:
1. Supports the Immune System
Perhaps the biggest health benefits of sea moss are its immune benefits. Sea moss is a good source of potassium chloride, which prevents unnecessary inflammation in the body.
Sea moss can also reduce infections and have an overall positive impact on immunity. One study found that sea moss has both antiviral and antitumor properties when consumed by humans and animals.
2. Promotes Healthy Hair & Skin
Sea moss is rich in sulfur, which gives it anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Both of these properties can help to fight against acne and signs of skin aging.
When sea moss gel is applied as a face mask, its soothing qualities make it ideal for treating itchy or inflammatory skin conditions, like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. Irish sea moss is often used in beauty products for this reason.
Sea moss also contains vitamin E, which fights against oxidative stress – a main contributor to hair loss. Using sea moss as a topical treatment for your hair can help to encourage a healthy scalp and promote thicker hair growth.
3. Supports Respiratory Health
Sea moss is a common ingredient in supplements that support the body’s internal mucus membranes, like the respiratory system.
It’s thought that sea moss’s potassium chloride content makes it effective at treating phlegm and catarrh. It can soothe the mucus membranes and clear the lungs, relieving congestion. This makes sea moss effective for treating chesty coughs and common cold symptoms. It may even be effective at soothing respiratory conditions like asthma.
4. Detoxification Supplement
Detoxing isn’t the act of starving yourself or following a strict juice diet – it’s about eating the right foods to help your body naturally flush out the toxins.
Irish moss is a fantastic ingredient to add to any detox juice or smoothie. Again, it’s the high potassium chloride found in sea moss that acts as a drawing agent, supporting the body in detoxification.
With its antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial content, sea moss won’t add anything nasty to your body, further supporting detoxification.
5. Boosts Gut Health
Irish moss has mucilaginous properties, which have been found to soothe the gut lining. Studies have even found that sea moss acts as a prebiotic, encouraging the growth of good gut bacteria and supporting the healthy function of the gut. This in turn helps to support digestion and immunity.
6. Increases Energy
Low energy is often linked to low iron levels, as iron is needed to produce red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body. Sea moss is a particularly good source of iron, and consuming a small amount of sea moss gel can contribute to your daily RDI for the mineral. If you struggle to get enough iron, try incorporating sea moss into your diet.
7. Supports Weight Loss
Weight loss can only occur when you eat fewer calories than your body requires. Exercising is also essential if you’re trying to lose weight.
While there are no magical foods or supplements for weight loss, research suggests that sea moss may offer some weight loss benefits. It’s a good source of iodine, an essential mineral that helps the thyroid to produce hormones that keep the body in good working order.
Because of sea moss’s thickening nature, it may also be beneficial in helping you feel fuller after meals, similar to flax and chia seeds.
Sea Moss Potential Health Effects
While sea moss is an incredibly healthy natural food, it’s worth being aware of its potential health effects. Perhaps the biggest potential downside is that there hasn’t been much research carried out into the nutritional value of sea moss so far.
Irish moss has a very varied nutritional value, depending on its source, location, and other factors. This can make it difficult to define exactly what sea moss contains, and how much. The fatty acid and micronutrient content of sea moss depends on where it grows.
We know that sea moss is a fantastic source of iodine. However, iodine is one of sea moss’s variable compounds, which means that some sea moss may only contain traces of iodine, while some sea moss contains too much. Iodine overconsumption can be dangerous to human health.
In the long run, too much iodine can cause an underactive thyroid, which may affect your growth and metabolism. Additionally, sea moss is known to absorb high amounts of heavy metals, so sea moss growing in certain locations may increase your risk of heavy metal consumption.
Luckily, the toxicity risk seems to be minimal. A study examining seaweed in Asia and Europe found that the heavy metals present weren’t dangerous enough to pose serious health concerns.
However, it is still recommended that you don’t go overboard with sea moss consumption until we know more about the composition of this seaweed.
How to Make Your Own Sea Moss Gel
To make your own sea moss gel, you’ll need a cup of packed dried sea moss and some water.
Before you get started, thoroughly rinse your cup of sea moss in cold water to remove any lingering ocean debris, like salt and sand.
Next, add your sea moss to a large bowl and fill it with warm water. Leave the sea moss to soak for up to half an hour, then repeat the rinsing process.
Once the sea moss has been rinsed for a second time, add it to a large pot on the stove. Cover the sea moss with water, then switch the heat to high and bring the water to a boil.
Finally, take the pot off the heat and leave for another 20-30 minutes. You should notice that the moss turns translucent yellow and is gelatinous to touch.
To make the sea moss gel, scoop the moss out of the pot and put it in a food processor or blender. Add a quarter-cup of pure, filtered water to the blender, then pulse until the mixture takes on a creamy, smooth consistency. If you want a thinner gel, add more water.
Store your sea moss gel in a glass storage container with an airtight lid. Leave it to cool, then put it in the refrigerator. You can keep sea moss gel for up to 3 weeks. You can also store it in the freezer for up to a year.
It’s best to add up to 2 tablespoons of sea moss gel to your diet per day. You could mix it into a smoothie, juice, or protein shake, depending on your preferences. For a savory alternative, add sea moss gel to your stews and soups. Remember, it can also be used as an egg replacement in vegan recipes.
If you’d rather not use heat to make sea moss gel, you can try out the no-heat method.
Simply rinse your sea moss twice over, then soak it in warm water for up to 36 hours. After rinsing once more, blend the gel with between 1 and 2 cups of water.
When buying raw sea moss, make sure to find a natural, organic brand with no added ingredients. This will provide you with the best health benefits, with a much-reduced risk of side effects.