Irish Moss

Purple moss in nature
Purple moss in nature

What it is:

Irish moss, or carrageen moss (Irish: carraigín, “little rock”), is a species of seaweed which grows abundantly along the rocky parts of the Atlantic coast of Europe and the Americas as well as parts in the Pacific. In its fresh condition the plant is soft and cartilaginous, varying in color from a greenish-yellow, through red, to a dark purple or purplish-brown. The principal constituent of Irish moss is a mucilaginous body, made of the polysaccharide Carragenan of which it contains about 55%; the plant also has nearly 10% of protein and about 15% minerals, specifically rich in iodine and sulfur. Because of the abundant cell wall polysaccharides it will form a jelly when boiled or processed with water expanding from 20 to 100 times of its weight.

Use in the food industry:

Irish moss is used in bulk by the food industry to make jellies or aspic and as a smooth binder. This can go from ice creams, deserts, drinks, savory foods and flans.

Cosmetically used:

Emulsifier in skin creams, gels, shampoos, and as a skin softener. And it nourishes and protects your skin from environmental elements. It is an anti-tissuive, and effective against halitosis, the formation varicose veins.

Irish Moss , when mixed to body lotions, turns your dry, rough, patchy skin into smooth, silky, hydrated, glowing skin . It moisturizes and treats even the most unmanageable skin problems , including eczema, psoriasis, rashes and sunburns . It supports skin’s natural moisture barrier-keeps harmful, drying external elements out and beneficial moisture in. Helps support healthy skin appearance.

Health Benefits:

Irish Moss contains A,B,C,D vitamins that nourishes the skin In addition to its functional benefits. Raw Irish Moss is an excellent source of minerals. This almost-tasteless seaweed is loaded with life-enhancing nutrients such as sulphur compounds, protein, iodine, bromine, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, pectin, B-vitamins and vitamin C. Notably absent from a vegetarian diet, sulphur-containing amino acids, such as taurine, are abundant in Irish moss, more so than in any other type of seaweed!

it has been used to treat peptic and duodenal ulcers when used as a gelatinous substance and to inhibit arteriosclerosis. Irish moss is reported to be effective against, cancer and radiation poisoning (possibly because of the iodine content of Irish moss), it protects from obesity and cholesterol build up. Irish moss has a well documented anticoagulant effect on the blood, and clears up many bladder complaints. Irish Moss gives excellent sources of calcium, magnesium, sodium and iodine (essential to normal thyroid function).

It is used to increase the metabolic rate and give strengthen connective tissues, including the hair, skin and nails.

4oz, 8oz and 16 oz bag of Irish Moss
Our Irish Moss bags

Place a handful or all of your Irish Moss into a tall container. Rinse well 3 or 4 times and let soak up to 6 hours in the fridge. Change the water at least twice a day. Check on hidden sand, small stones or other impurities. Don’t worry about the “fragrance” when the sea moss is ready to use, it is practically odorless and tasteless.
If you do not have enough time you may soak the Irish Moss in lukewarm water for a few hours only. However, it will lessen a little of its gelatinous effect and you should use a little more in your recipe. The moss is ready when it has a creamy white color and nearly double size and weight than its dry original state.

According to your recipe blend the Irish Moss and water together until it is well broken down and very creamy. Before adding other ingredients make sure that you blend all chunks of the moss which might kept sticking on the lid and the walls of the blender. Irish Moss will make any liquid fluffy and is a substitute for gelatin and other thickeners such as agar agar, pectin, soy lecithin, tapioca or corn starch.

Dry Irish Moss can stay up to a year in a cool dry place as the salt will preserve it. If you have soaked more Irish Moss than you need you may keep it in the fridge and change the water every day and it will keep fresh up to 3 weeks. You may also blend the Moss with little water until you get a thick creamy consistency and store it in a closed glass jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, this is a nice idea when you frequently use Irish Moss, and you have the paste ready.

Please go to the recipe section, there are 2 yummy raw food preparation posted.


55 thoughts on “Irish Moss

  1. Great article, yeah Irish Moss is definitely a super food. I keep telling my friends that there is a ton of use for Irish Moss if you’re trying to lose weight. It’s has a ton of dietary fiber so it really can suppress your hunger if you add it to any drinks. There’s a tons of Benefits of sea moss such as it being high in minerals and vitamins, being tasteless so that you can put it into almost anything, also being really versatile in the sense that you can even put it on your skin.
    Pretty crazy more people don’t know about it honestly.

  2. I am a seamoss farmer from St Lucia. If anyone is interested in getting dry seamoss in large quantities you can contact me .

  3. Protein is responsible for repairing and building(that’ is why it is
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  4. There are many companies that are out there that provide a
    lot of information on Albumins and will give advice as to its use.
    The masks is definitely great for supplying the skin with its
    essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Others produce an effect on the facial muscles underlying the skin
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  5. Hello,

    I am trying to find a wholesaler for large quantities or organic irish moss, but I need the clear variety as I am using it in cosmetics and the brown is not as aestheticaly pleasing… I have been searching the internet for months sending loads of e-mails…. but to no avail thus far…. wondering if you could help me at all?

    Many many many kind thanks and much gratitude

    Bec Jean
    Organic Skin Food
    Avalon Beach, Sydney, Australia :)

      1. Hi Betty,

        not now.. I was usuing as a thickning/emulsifying agent in organic skin cream.. but I found it flaked on the skin a bit….. and also I found the brown colour of it was not soo appealing…and I couldn’t find information on its properties and actions on the skin…so I started using guar gum… I would probably prefer irish moss to guar gum.. I may come back to it… if you have any leads for me…..

  6. So much info! So, is boiling sea moss good or bad or just not as good as consuming it raw but still healthy? lol Thanks!

    1. Hello Tashsa,
      Unfortunately I cannot give you a clear answer, i have personally only consumed raw Irish Moss. I believe you gave yourself an answer, but i can only encourage you to make your own research or maybe another reader responds!
      Blessings, Edith

  7. My husband is from Jamaica, and they drink Irish moss as a beverage almost everyday. Their idea is that it boost the sexuality, but maybe is because of the energy that it gives. I tried it and never felt tired. Now we are in Mexico and got it from a home brewing company. My only concern is if boiled irish moss looses its properties. Apparently to make the jamaican drink they boil it with water, linseed and strain it, then add condensed milk and nutmeg. So which would be the healthiest way to use it?

    1. I have been introduced to Seamoss on Barbados, and it was a similar drink what you describe, this was in 1985, i loved it and had it every day. Since we carry Irish Moss in our company its mainly used raw: most of the raw food chefs have used it in their raw food creations (there are not many possibilities to make a cake fluffy) and the raw food community adapted this idea to consume Irish moss raw. However, in the Caribbean, Ireland and also on some Islands around Thailand I have only found traditional recipes with boiled Irish Moss. Wellness properties like gaining strength, libido and stamina seem not to be effected whether you consume the moss raw or boiled.
      I have found out however, that powdered moss, as well as Carrageenan is highly processed and looses the health benefits. In fact their are even digestion issues related to consumption of Carrageenan. As close to the nature as well as home preparation always have paid off!

  8. I need some more info, I am very confussed. Everything I’am reading here is possitive and other sites are say it is bad I know there is a difference in Carageen and Carageenan. Please help me to under stand.

    1. there are recent studies that link the intake of Carageenan to digestive related problems, some are severe, and I take all studies serious. However, Irish Moss has been used over centuries in its natural form and has a lot of benefits used in natural medicine all over the planet. This is the conflict, what to do next?

      When I read through the studies I broke the numbers down and one thing for sure, the amount of irish moss in a raw food cake is insignificant compared to the amount the rats were fed in the studies.

      Also the studies were not conducted with raw Irish Moss, but the concentrated extract, this does not mean Irish Moss is “safe”, and there is really not enough published to back up the “unsafety” either.

      My personal suggestion is very simple: observe your own body and the reactions to Irish Moss. And if you feel more comfortable to drop it, so do it, you may use agar agar, or coconut oil, or even cacao butter to make the recipe work. But if you feel a reaction in your body just listen to it!

      My second suggestion is to lower the intake of sweeteners which are also concentrated foods and are highly “overdosed” in our western kitchen, which create more imbalance and inflammations than anything else. There is a tiny market of Irish Moss, but a huge market of all kind of sugars.

      Also, any medicinal plant has an effect, that’s why it is medicinal, and therefore has side-effects :). this includes also greens and sprouts and nuts, seaweeds. I would not throw out the baby with the bathwater in respect to Irish Moss,

  9. this is my favourite smoothie at the moment, almond milk, seamoss powder(from Dr Sebi), banana, cacao powder, agave or maple syrup, a spoon or two of cooked quinoa some blueberries or other fruit and maca powder and cinnamon with a dash of vanilla..this keeps me going all day and i work outdoors.

  10. I have some irish moss and rather than the thin pale brown stems you show, even when dry it looks more like the fresh plant – as in red-brown and curly and smells very strongly of the sea. Is there more than one species?

    1. Yes, there are more species sold in name of IRISH MOSS. Our variety is yellowish white and also smells kind of “strong ocean”. so this is normal. whatever you purchased, make sure you clean it well and soak it well.

  11. I heard that carrageen causes gastro-intestinal and colon cancer??! Can someOne explain how this could possibly be a super food?

    1. Sorry for responding so late. I would first say that we do not claim that Carrageen is a superfood. It is a processed product and has been treated with heat, alcohol, acids, and chemicals to a certain degree. There are different types and qualities of Carrageen on the market. However, the “Superfood” is the natural unprocessed seaweed Irish Moss and has been known for more than 2000 years in various cultures where it has been used in natural medicine as well as food consumption. If you take the time and read information in the internet (like the good old Wikipedia) you will find in “health concerns”…quote: The Joint FAO/WHO expert committee on food additives states that, “based on the information available, it is inadvisable to use carrageenan or processed eucheuma seaweed in infant formulas”.[16] There is evidence from studies performed on rats, guinea pigs, and monkeys that indicates that degraded carrageenan (poligeenan) may cause ulcerations in the gastro-intestinal tract and gastro-intestinal cancer.[17] Poligeenan is produced from carrageenan when subjected to high temperatures and acidity. …”

      I hope that more awareness is created and information is released about all the low quality byproducts which are thrown so abundantly into Americas food, like high fructose corn syrup, table salt, white sugars, hydrolyzed oil, and you name it…. so that food containing those ingredients are simply not purchased or produced any longer. And i also hope that the same awareness educates the consumers to understand that a corn cob is not a health risk, nor is high quality mineral rich salt, nor delicious cane juice or cold pressed oils… same with Irish Moss.

  12. Howdy, i read your blog from time to time
    and i own a similar one and i was just curious
    if you get a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you prevent
    it, any plugin or anything you can advise? I get so much lately
    it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.

    1. i look through each comment and approve them manually. i do not know enough about blogging and want to learn more to do better, if there is a filter or plugin i would not know. at this point my manual approach seems to work. good luck with your blog. i am now going and check it out :) thank you for your post.

  13. Hi, interesting. On another site, it says that Irish Moss (at least the one used there) contains 300mg Magnesium and 30mg Calcium per 100g of moss. This means it is a great source of magnesium. Magnesium is used in hundreds of chemical reactions in the body. it is so important. However, it is really hard to get enough magnesium in the diet and most people in the western world are deficient. This is a key factor in many ailments, from heart disease to arthritis, migraines to infertility. So people really need to increase their intake. It is also important that any source of magnesium does not contain too much calcium as excessive calcium causes magnesium deficiency. So findings a source of magensium, with less calcium than magnesium is really good. Now, I am wondering how I will start using this.

  14. Hi folk, i use and love Carrigeen Moss. it is believed it got its name from Carrigan Co Donegal. It is superfood league, especially if you are ill.
    To prepare it I get a piece and run it under a tap eliminating possible sea sand etc. It will have revitalised and appears fresh and in minutes I add milk and cook 10-15 minutes. Then add Almond essence (or other flavor) and small amount of sugar or honey.
    Strain into a bowl according to your quantity in saucepan.
    Toss the strainer residue on a plate and eat also.
    In water: it is used in food industry and where jell substance (water like) is required.

  15. What kind of amounts are we looking to consume? A teaspoon stirred into a drink a day, a 1/4 cup day in different things? I cannot seem to find anything that tells me what is too lil or too much. Thank you

  16. I tried Irish Moss with Almond Milk every morning. I love it and it gives me energy. If I miss my drink in the morning I feel sluggish. I also take Vitamin D3 with the drink.

    I am a cancer survivor and this is one of the most easiest drinks to make for someone on the go. Don’t buy store bought shakes, there’s no need to make shakes with artificial ingredients – make them with natural ingredients AND IT’S CHEAP TOO.


    Irish Moss must be organic – it’s grown in the ocean. What other plant life can you eat that is not effected by our climate, pollution and other pesticides…really!

  17. Well proudly I can inform this blog’s viewers , that I have used Irish moss for about three years and it is truly a healing element in my life. It is has 92 of the 102 minerals the body is composed of . Prior to using Irish moss I suffered with anemia and fatique for I had a low iron count, I also experienced severe pms issues and allergy issues. Now I use it on a daily basis and I am well. Irish moss is high in iron, iron is the building block of life. Therefore once your iron count increases your fatique and tired issues goes away. You will have more energy and vitality to live stronger and better. No more Pms for me! Its high iron count and iodine levels restored my mineral levels . We as women reduce in iron on a monthly basis so it is imprerative that we replace it , I did that with Irish moss now I nolonger have abdominal pain, back aches, anxiety and a feeling of despair.

      1. Are you still working on the book? I am involved in a company this is a global seaweed expert and just wanted to point out the problems in using the term “Irish Moss”. It is like the term kelp, or car – too general. Traditionally in Europe and North America, only the red seaweed Chondrus crispus is considered true Irish Moss. But in the wild, other red seaweed grow amongst it (Mastocarpus, etc.). As well, there a number of (kappa) carrageenan-bearing red seaweeds from SE Asia that are used industrially and you often see these labelled incorrectly as Irish Moss. Often times, the jamaican irish moss drink is using these other red seaweeds, rarely I think Chondrus crispus. Also, Chondrus crispus has other interesting carrageeenan such as lambda in it which have health and cooking applications I’m told.

        Do the readers have interest in a cultivated Chondrus crispus grown in land-based cultivation tanks – VERY, VERY clean and so no need to soak, etc. to reduce the grit and other nasty stuff that often accompanies wildcrafted Chondrus or other “false” Chondrus? This product is just now entering the market. Thx

  18. Hi, im trying to make Irish Moss for the First time, as i have heard about the numerous benefits. However, on the blog it says soak for 36 hours and on your related website it says 6 hours. How long do I soak it for?
    Another question is are there any healthy alternatives to making Irish Moss than using Condensed Milk and sugar and is it necessary to use isling glass. Do you have a healthy recipe option?

    1. Hello! Thank you for your question, you are right. It sounds confusing. The truth is that we have received different types of Irish Moss since we started our blog. The best is to check the package… if you purchased from Transition Nutrition the package information is the most accurate on… in this case.: yes, you may try 6 hours and change the water, please. if the moss is not white and still hard, please continue soaking in lukewarm water or warmer even, and you get a great result. i personally really soak for at least 24 hours in cold water if i have the time, if i don t have the time i use warm water and shorten the time.
      I unfortunately did not understand the question regarding the condensed milk and the sugar, as well as isling glass. working with condensed milk might be really yummy but it does not create a jelly like agar agar o irish moss. the result is very different. if you do not want to use sugar, please try alternatives like agave, honey or maple syrup (all are liquids) or dry sugars like date sugar, maple crystals or coconut sugar. in case you want to replace milk you might always go with nut milk (like almond milk… generally I use 3 cups of water with 1 cup of nuts for milk plus a hint of a sweetener, for a condensed milk version i would use 1 part of soaked almonds with 2 parts of water plus a hint of a sweetener, and then strain it). a really alternative would be coconut milk: if you have access to sweet young Thai coconuts (health food store or Asian store) scoop the meat and blend it in a high speed blender with the liquid of the coconut, the result is divine. If you are used to condensed milk you may experiment and add a few soaked cashews to make the milk rich or sweeten a bit. It is really up to you, i would say just experiment. Maybe another reader has a good idea…. all the best to you! edith

  19. I’d heard Irish Moss can cause bleeding, hypotension, cramping, diarrhea, and infection. I think that was what it said anyway but I cant’ remember for sure now. What are your thoughts please?

    1. I have nothing to back it up what you say. i have studied Chinese Medicine as well as European Plant-Medicine and never learned it. It is actually used as a remedy for strengthening the lungs and respiratory system. It is slightly cooling and might in rare occasions softening the stool but not cause a diarrhea. If you personally experience any of the stated problems (i understand you heard about it but might not have experienced it) please let me know, i am very interested in posting real issues.

    1. dear Mithun,
      it is a seaweed and you can soak it and make any delicious drink with it. In the Caribbean I had many years ago the seaweed with milk and coconut sugar and mango. it was really yummy. today i would probably replace the mild with almond milk or coconut milk to stay vegan.

  20. This post is really the best on this laudable topic. I absolutely feel the same way with your points of view and will eagerly look forward to your upcoming updates. Just saying thanks will not just be enough, for the exceptional clarity in your writing. I will immediately grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. Impressive work and much success in your writing!

  21. On the behalf of a U.S.A. citizen,
    There should be a definite research on Irish
    moss because if people are drinking it and there’s not enough research, that cold be a problem. Because if people found out what irish moss does fully to their bodies, it may be safer.

  22. Have been having fun experimenting: as I write this, I’ve got raw, fresh grapefruit/agave nectar/Irish Moss sorbet in the freezer. Your Irish Moss is also helping me make a raw, vegan “marzipan”. (When I had the privilege of working in Stockholm some years ago, I developed a fondness for that almond fondant.) But read the labels: sugar in every form, egg whites, etc., and expensive! Back home in Los Angeles, where organically- or sustainably-grown almonds are plentiful in our farmers’ markets, I’ve looked for a healthful “marzipan”. Thanks to Irish Moss, I’m making up recipes. Try it yourselves: soaked,peeled (or not) almonds, Irish moss paste, raw agave, almond extract. (Haven’t got exact quantities firmed up yet…) **Have fun, and share your results!””

    1. I am delighted from your idea. I really love marzipan. As Austrian, we have it around Christmas time and for certain occasions. I like it, because it is such a simple recipe and tastes sooooo good. thank you for sharing, Pam!

    1. I get Irish Moss from Newtons Herbalist Pharmacy York Street Sydndey N.S.W. I just get the dried Irish moss and cook in a saucepan with honey ( lots of honey) in it……I then strain it a few times to get the pulp and gritty bits out and then I put a squeezed strained lemon juice in it…..Mix and put in containers in frig….it sets like jelly ( thats if to much water hasnt been used) and then when set I eat like jelly…tastes lovely with the honey and lemon.

  23. If you want to see a reader’s feedback :) , I rate this article for 4/5. Decent info, but I have to go to that damn google to find the missed parts. Thanks, anyway!

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