There’s been a lot of talk about sea moss in recent years and its health benefits, but few know exactly what sea moss is. Sea moss, also known as Irish moss, is seaweed. It comes from the ocean and contains 92 of the 102 minerals that the body needs for health.
A lot of confusion surrounds sea moss, primarily due to the many terms used to describe it. Sea moss is seaweed and seaweed is a type of algae. When it washes up on the rocks on coastal lines, it has an appearance similar to moss. Hence, the name sea moss.
It was used in Europe for centuries to prevent a variety of ills and conditions. The term sea moss became widely known to the world at large during the Irish Potato Famine in the mid-1800s. Facing starvation when the potato crops failed due to a fungus, the Irish people turned to the ocean’s bounty and began eating seaweed or sea moss.
In Jamaica, the benefits of sea moss have also been known for centuries and used in multiple types of home remedies. There’s a significant amount of scientific data to back up the health benefits of sea moss, but research has also shown that individuals should be careful not to consume too much sea moss due to its high iodine content. As with anything, over indulgence isn’t a good idea.
Sea moss is available in different colors, depending on the area in which it grows and there are dozens of species, further adding to confusion. The two types of sea moss that will typically be found on the market are Genus Gracilaria and Chondrus Crispus. The first grows in the warmer waters of the Caribbean. The second grows in cooler waters.
White/gold sea moss has undergone a small amount of processing, while the purple has not. They both have the full measure of nutrients, though the white/gold is slightly less potent. There are two ways to obtain sea moss. One is the traditional way by collecting it from the wild as it naturally washes up on rocks. The other is to grow it on ropes in underwater farms. Raw, authentic Jamaican sea moss is harvested the traditional way.
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