Benefit #1: A Nourishing and Energizing Food Source
Irish moss contains many beneficial vitamins and trace minerals such as sulfur, iodine, iron, calcium, selenium, magnesium, potassium and folate. Irish moss flakes, from the Chondrus crispus species, have small red-leafed blades that contain higher amounts of iodine than the whole moss strands, but generally the seaweed is not considerably high in iodine compared to that of kelp, bladderwrack and other sea vegetables.
As mentioned, the seaweed broth has been used for centuries as a building food, nourishing those recovering from debilitating illness, fatigue, physical injury or traumas. This practice was largely employed during the 19th century Irish famine (1845 and 1852) to strengthen the body and speed recovery from malnourishment and weakened physical states.
The seaweed is also a "time released" energizing fuel source, providing long chain polysaccharides that help to deliver nutrients over a longer period of time for a slower and more sustained nutritional uptake.
Benefit #2: Useful as a Respiratory Tonic
The seaweed is a commonly known and used remedy for issues involving the respiratory tract. As both an expectorant and demulcent, it can be very helpful for coughs, sore throats, relieving congestion and expelling excess mucus from the lungs. Chondrus crispus has been used extensively as an anti-inflammatory and lung tonic for bronchitis and pneumonia in many coastal cultures around the world.
According to seaweed expert Ryan Drum, "Red algae containing carrageenan have been used for millennia as treatments for respiratory ailments, especially intractable sinus infections and lingering pneumonias."
Benefit #3: Great for the Skin
Irish moss is widely utilized in natural cosmetics, creams and beauty products for its nourishing effects to the skin. One of the reasons for this is due to its higher sulfur content in addition to its lubricating long chain polysaccharides, like carrageenan. Homemade gels can be applied directly on the skin for tissue healing and for use as a facial mask.
Benefits to skin health can additionally be achieved by internally consuming the seaweed, which helps to rehydrate and moisturize the skin layer from the inside out. Blended gels in drinks or soups can be of great value for issues like eczema, sun burns, rashes or psoriasis.
Benefit #4: Strengthens Connective Tissues and Joints
The seaweed can be used to accelerate the recovery from injuries to the joints and is particularly well-known for strengthening connective tissues and cartilage. It helps to reduce swelling and acts as a natural anti-inflammatory for sports injuries or ailments affecting the knees, ankles and other joints of the body.
This nutrient rich seaweed also contains taurine, and other sulfur-based amino acids, in greater number than any other type of seaweed. Sulfur helps to shield the joints against infectious organisms that may lead to joint problems like arthritis further down the road.
It can be used as a dietary adjunct, along with MSM, morinda root and eucommia bark, for enhancing joint health and skeletal structure.
Benefit #5: Soothing to Digestive Tract
Rich soup broths made from irish moss seaweed have been used for centuries to relieve gastritis and ulcerative conditions of the digestive tract. Acting as a mild laxative, its demulcent qualities are lubricating and soothing to the mucous membranes and lining of the stomach and intestines.
Good For Weight Loss
Similar to chia seeds, irish moss can be used as a nutritious and low calorie thickening agent and filling food source, helpful as a substitute for nuts, fats and carbohydrates in drinks and desserts. Its time released nature additionally provides a feeling of fullness that satisfies hunger and acts as a natural appetite suppressant. It is a mild laxative and contains small amounts of iodine which can help to boost metabolism and increase energy, beneficial for those wanting to loose excess body weight.
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