Irish moss is a type of seaweed that has been in use in Ireland for centuries. According to local folklore, it was once carried by travelers for protection and was considered to bring good luck. Practical applications include its use as cattle fodder, mattress stuffing, and treatment for medical conditions like pneumonia and tuberculosis.
A huge health benefit of Irish moss is its ability to balance hormones in the thyroid. “Irish Moss contains the vital thyroid hormone precursor DI-Iodothyronine (DIT), and the thyroid hormones Thyroxin (T4) and Tri-iodothyronine (T3). If the thyroid doesn’t produce these hormones as it should, this can have a detrimental effect on metabolism and many other bodily systems. These have been found to be the main organically bound iodine compounds in brown sea moss (Irish Moss),” according to Indigo Herbs.
Of the 102 minerals contained in the human body, Irish moss is said to have 92. You will find it practically difficult to obtain any other edible item that can contribute so many minerals to the body at one go.
In addition, it also provides nutrients like beta carotene, sulfur, and pectin. An amino acid called taurine is found in Irish moss is greater quantities than in any other type of seaweed. Given that this is a nutrient that can alternatively be obtained only through meat, Irish moss should be made an important part of any vegan or vegetarian diet.
For those troubled with digestion issues, Irish moss can prove to be the perfect remedy. For one, the fiber acts as a natural scrubbing agent during elimination, which keeps bowels clean and the digestive process optimal. It is also prebiotic, meaning that healthy gut bacteria can feed on it. This helps with better absorption of nutrients from the food. Anti-inflammatory properties of Irish moss soothe the intestinal walls and also helps diminish the effects of heartburn, vomiting, and nausea.
Irish moss has an incredible effect on the skin. “The carrageenan in Irish Moss can help soften skin, strengthen hair, and soften the scalp. And, in addition to its benefits as an external skincare product, Irish Moss also contains 15 of the 18 elements which make up the human body, which means it is highly useful in rebuilding damaged, undernourished skin from a cellular level. Irish moss is also good for use against eczema, some rashes, psoriasis, and minor burns,” according to Health Root.
Even though Irish moss has these advantages, you should not consume them in unreasonably large quantities. At best you should only use 1 teaspoon of dried plant with a cup of water, limiting yourself to one or two cups a day at max.
Preparing a Jamaican Irish moss drink
To prepare a lip-smacking Irish moss drink, you will need 100 grams of the plant, 6 cups of warm water, 1 cup of almond milk, 1/4th cup of sweetener like maple syrup or coconut nectar, 2 tablespoon of flaxseed, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1/8th teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1/8th teaspoon of cinnamon.
Put the Irish moss in a colander and wash off any excess sea salt or debris on the plant. Put the moss and the flaxseed in a bowl and fill it with warm water. Let it soak overnight. In the morning, the water should have thickened and the moss expanded in size. Drain out excess water and put the sea moss into a blender. Puree it into a paste until the texture looks gelatinous. Scoop the paste out and put it in a jar to refrigerate.
When you feel like having a drink, put 4 tablespoons of the Irish moss paste into a blender together with vanilla, almond milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a sweetener of your choice. Blend until it becomes a smooth consistency and serve. Enjoy a sweet, healthy beverage!