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What is Sea Moss?


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 [1], Gracilaria [2], or Eucheuma Cottonii [3].


Chondrus Crispus

Gracilaria

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?


History

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 [4].

According to history books, people waited until the ocean tide receded and would collect the seaweed and let it sun dry on the rocks [5].


Letting it dry in the sun was a natural form of preservation [6] 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 [7].

Sweet Potato and Okra Stew with Sea Moss

Seaweed Salad