Irish moss is one of the natures gift to mankind. It is seaweed that grows in abundance along the rocky Atlantic coastline of Europe and America. It is also known as carrageen, derived from the Irish word carraigin, which means ‘moss of the rock’. As the name suggests, Irish moss grows in plenty all along the coastal area of Ireland, it is also found on the coast of Massacheutes.
The fresh seaweed measures approximately 20 cm in length, it is soft and has various color from red to greenish yellow. When the fresh weed is sun dried, it turns to slight reddish brown.The mucilaginous body of iris moss contains a long chain polysaccharide carrageenan, due to which the moss turns into jelly when boiled in water. For this reason it used as an excellent base for ice cream and shakes.
The people of Ireland regard Irish moss as a good luck charm, because it was during the 19th century of potato famine, Irish moss served as a prime nutrition and saved many lives from starvation. People during that time didn’t know the nutritional value of the magical seaweed, but indeed they knew its remarkable healing qualities.
Nutritional Value Of Irish Moss
The nutritional content of this amazing seaweed are absolutely astounding. It is densely packed with 15 essential elements necessary of the human body, particularly the antioxidants and minerals. Nearly tasteless, Irish moss is loaded with sulfur compounds, iodine, beta carotene, calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, B vitamins, protein, vitamin A, D, E, and K. Irish moss is a sure shot sulfur containing amino acid Taurine for vegetarians. It is almost absent in almost all the vegetables. Eating this amazing seaweed may suffice taurine deficiency among vegetarians.
The characteristic quality of Irish moss to form jelly is valuable in food industry. It is used as a binding agent in ice cream and dessert shakes. If you are calorie conscious then Irish moss is something most precious in your dish. It can replace nuts and seeds in many dessert recipes, minus the fat content! This quality is attributed to the mucilage polysaccharide (a form of natural sugar) present in the precious seaweed.
Health Benefits Of Irish Moss
- Iris moss aids stomach ailments: it is a natural demulcent. It helps to soothe all the mucus membranes in human body. People suffering from gastritis, peptic ulcer, indigestion, nausea are benefited from this gelatinous substance.
- Irish moss for respiratory illnesses: its action on mucus membrane is not only restricted to gastric mucosa. The seaweed extract is also beneficial for irritated mucus membrane of the respiratory tract, as in bronchitis and coughs. It has antiviral properties that are useful in fighting infections like influenza and cold. Its pivotal role in relieving symptoms of pneumonia and tuberculosis cannot be ignored.
- Irish moss for skin ailments: it is a natural emollient. When mixed with body lotions, the gelatinous product can make your dry skin smooth and silky. The moisturizing quality of Irish moss can be utilized in many cases of chronic eczema, psoriasis, and sunburns. Presence of vitamin A and C is useful for nourishing the tender skin.
- It reduces cholesterol buildup and helps in reducing weight. It is an essential iodine source. This attribute is useful for people suffering from thyroid disease. Irish moss plays a vital role in increasing metabolic activity in the body.
Jamaican Irish Moss Benefits
In Jamaica, Irish moss is believed to be an aphrodisiac. It is a popular natural home remedy to treat impotency in males. Jamaicans drink it as a thick beverage laced with vanilla.
It is said that man who takes Jamaican Irish moss in its boiled form, experiences enhanced libido. Though there is no scientific evidence to support this notion, there are many people in Jamaica who drink it regularly to boost energy and vigor.