Sea Moss has recently risen in popularity among health-conscious consumers, but its actually been in use for centuries and has a considerable amount of research supporting its benefits. This article will break everything down from it's history to how it can benefit your health and the planet's health. It is our hope that this guide gives you relevant information to feel comfortable incorporating Sea Moss into your daily routine. Let's dive right into it.
Table of Contents
What's Sea Moss?
Sea Moss is a popular name that has been assigned to several different types of seaweeds. Most of the "Sea Moss" you see on the market today are either Chondrus Crispus , Gracilaria , or Eucheuma Cottonii .
Most of the "Sea Moss" US consumers see is actually Eucheuma Cottonii, which grows in tropical places with warmer waters, hence why most of the supply comes from Caribbean islands like St. Lucia and Jamaica.
Gracilaria is also known to grow in warmer waters. Colors can vary between both of these from gold to green or purple. The pigments on these give each type of seaweed a different nutrient make up despite being the same species.
Chondrus Crispus is a rarer species of seaweed that takes longer to grow and is found in cool waters, specifically in the North Atlantic Ocean.
So how did Sea Moss come to be known as a superfood today?
Chondrus Crispus (commonly known as Irish Sea Moss or Carrageenan) was a primary source of sustenance during the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840's. Due to this, it was looked upon as "peasant food" and a stigma developed as a result, losing popularity as the years of the Famine had passed .
According to history books, people waited until the ocean tide receded and would collect the seaweed and let it sun dry on the rocks .
Letting it dry in the sun was a natural form of preservation  which allowed for users to make sweets from it or put into stews.
Today, seaweed use is more widespread than at any other point in history .
The state of health of the planet is under stress as a result of natural resource exploitation. The last decade has brought about an increased awareness on how we should strive to consume in a way that minimizes our impact on the planet. Sea Moss benefits the state of our planet in the following ways:
Offers high nutritional value for low resource use
Seaweeds create highly nutritious foods with an abundance of nutrients and fibers
They have the added benefit of a low natural resource strain in order to produce
They even act as a carbon sink
Seaweed absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2) and returns oxygen (H2O) to our ocean waters
Seaweeds grow by capturing CO2 (through the process of photosynthesis), thereby reducing ocean water acidity (a direct result of pollution) and preventing 'marine dead zones' like the one in the Gulf of Mexico 
Seaweed grows at 30 to 60 times the rate of land-based plants (including planting trees!), making it a much more effective method towards tackling climate change 
We believe its important to sustainably source your sea moss from a producer who helps the environment.
While our goal is to promote awareness towards the benefits Sea Moss can provide for your health and our planet, you must also be aware of the quality of your source and whether that supplier is promoting a healthier marine ecology or hurting it, based on their practices.
Pros/Cons of Wildcrafting vs. Ocean Farming
While we should strive to always to get our food from a source as close to nature as possible, there could be unintended consequences. We share this information in order to help our customers make an informed decision.
Sea Moss can be farmed or wildcrafted. Wildcrafting means it is collected from its natural habitat, whereas farmed Sea Moss can be grown in the open ocean or a pool. Wildcrafting is considered the best quality and most nutrient-dense, but there are sustainability concerns due to its rise in popularity:
Less oversight on the environmental conditions that the Sea Moss may be growing in
May harm the local ecosystem if its not hand harvested properly
When hand harvesting, its important that some of the seaweed is left to regrow and continue absorbing CO2
In order to address these concerns, we make sure to only source Sea Moss from suppliers who have been hand-harvesting for generations.
This is important to us because a family-run business passed down from each generation assures us that they are stakeholders in their local ecosystem, and it would go against their own interests if they were to harm their ecosystem through irresponsible or over wildcrafting.
To give us- and the customer- an additional layer of assurance, our supplier:
Is certified by the Irish Organic Association
Frequently lab-tests their harvests for nutrient content
Lab tests for heavy metals (heavy metal content could be a sign of an unsafe harvesting environment)
Conducts biomass studies and works alongside other seaweed harvesters in their region to share best available knowledge and practices on how to ensure the region stays safe, regulated, and sustainable.
While not as nutritionally dense, there are sustainble farming practices that grow Sea Moss out in the ocean.
When ocean-farmed, Sea Moss can be harvested once a month. This matters because wildcrafted Sea Moss (Chondrus Crispus specifically) is more seasonal, which is a factor in pricing and makes it more susceptible to over-wildcrafting.
Pool-grown sea moss (commonly referred to as Fake Sea Moss) is when farmers try to replicate the conditions of the ocean- such as movement and lighting- in a pool. Due to this controlled environment, pool-growned sea moss can't obtain their nutrients from open ocean water. You can identify it by its lighter, less vibrant color (usually a good indication of nutrient density).
While ocean-farmed Sea Moss is a viable alternative to wildcrafted, pool-grown sea moss should be avoided altogether if optimal healh is the goal.
Wildcrafted Sea Moss is harvested at low tide when it's easiest to grab them from the rock and surrounding tide pools.
Collectors then cut the Sea Moss from the rock if its attached. This can only be done seasonally during peak harvest times, hence why wildcrafted Chondrus Crispus tends to be the most expensive type of Sea Moss.
Ocean-farmed Sea Moss is usually collected through a planned dive about once a month to collect their harvest.
Sea Moss Benefits
The body requires 102 minerals for optimal health. Minerals are important for bone, muscle, heart, and brain health; along with being a catalyst for the production of important enzymes and hormones that regulate our body's system .
Irish Sea Moss contains 92 of them in the form of trace minerals and macrominerals. This abundance of minerals translates to a wide range of benefits one can have through consistent consumption of Sea Moss, including:
Heart Health Support
Reduced Inflammation & Congestion
Improved Blood Circulation
Mental Health Support
Immune System Support
Improved Gut Health & Digestion
Libido & Fertility Support