Sea Moss


Chondrus crispus:

The name sounds like a magic spell, and with how trendy it has been lately, it feels like one too. Sea moss, aka Chondrus crispus, aka irish sea moss aka carageenan has had more attention lately  due to the benefits it has on our health. 


First of all, sea moss is a nutrient-rich food. It is a good source of vitamins, essential minerals, protein, essential amino acids, fiber, and polyphenols. They have a low lipid content and yet are enriched in polyunsaturated fatty acids. 



Carageenan controversy

Sea moss can be found in numerous products: in the food industry as gelling agents, in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics. You’ve probably seen it in products, listed as “carageenan”. It stabilizes and thickens products, keeps almond milk from separating, makes ice cream creamy. It also has gotten a bad reputation - certain studies have shown that it is pro-inflammatory, especially to the joints and digestive tract. However, this is a different product that causes inflammation: poligneenan, which is produced when the seaweed extract is mixed with an acid. This is produced under extreme, non-physiological acid hydrolosis (therefore does not occur with stomach acid, and has never been shown to convert to poligneenan in the GI tract). Confusion has occured in literature due to the mislabeling and misidentification of poligeenan as degraded carageenan, carrageenan, or carrageenan gum.  Further research and clarification has been working to separate these two substances, and confirms that consumption of carageenan has health benefits. 


Health Benefits and Research

Tests on carrageenans demonstrated that they express immune stimulating, antioxidant, anticoagulant antitumoral and antiviral properties. As well, sea moss produces high quantity of secondary metabolites, including sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, triterpenes and many other types that exert various biological activities such as antifungal, antibacterial, and anticancer activities.


Other health benefits include: 

Decreased cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) 

Increased immune status parameters 

Decreases in inflammatory biomarkers 

Naturally nutrient rich, containing antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins- including calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, omega 3, and folate 


More research is being done to show the impact of sea moss on male fertility, testing sperm motility and testosterone levels in mice. Results were positive after 48 days showing a significant increase in motility.


My thoughts

So - is it a worthy addition to your everyday routine? 


Don’t hate the answer, but - I can’t tell you yes or no! It really depends on your own health and presentation, what your symptoms are, what your diet is like, what you may be missing! I can tell you that it will not hurt**** and that the likely answer is that it is worth adding to your routine. Simply by ensuring that you’re supplying yourself with extra fiber, with a nutrient-dense, antioxidant rich product that contains omega-3, you’re doing yourself a favour. However it isn’t going to magically fix all of your problems. No supplement, no food holds the answers to everything. You always want to investigate further into your health, especially if there are specific symptoms or concerns that you have. 

**** Seaweeds are a source of essential elements such as iodine. However, high intake levels of iodine can cause damages to human health. If you have any history of thyroid disease,  talk to your healthcare practitioner before starting sea moss. Otherwise, 4-8g, or 1-2 tbsp daily or even every other day is a safe amount as long as you are not already supplementing with iodine. 



If sea moss sounds like a good option for you, the next step is making sure you are getting a good source. I source mine from River Lotus Rising. River is a wonderful person who I have been working closely with for a long time. She has a sustainable source of sea moss available to her, straight from Jamaica, and is working on creating even more ways to get this wonderful product to people. Please contact her through her instagram site @riverlotusrising for more information and to learn more about her journey with sea moss, as it has helped her son, who has cystic fibrosis, immensely.


Link to River Lotus Rising: